Creating a social media plan is a bit like that first time you went stand up paddleboarding (SUP) or something you have never tried before.
Remember that newbie feeling of having to learn the techniques and wondering if this is really going to work?
Feelings of complete overwhelm…when I got on that SUP the first time, I literally could not even stand up, let alone paddle gracefully on the river like everyone else.
It can feel a bit like this 👇
It’s a bit like that when a business owner comes to me and wants to create a solid yet simple social media marketing strategy, like that little turtle…they would rather slide off the edge, just land in the water and do what they love doing so that they can forget all about the content creation.
CREATE A PLAN
Creating a marketing plan that works well for social media can trigger the same feelings, like the one’s I had on that SUP. It was a real thing.
How could it be that hard?
When you are first starting out, it may seem overwhelming and exciting at the same time.
You know your business and what you want to do. You know why you want to do it.
Others in your industry seemed to have mastered social; so where do you start and how do you own what seems to come naturally to others?
The place to start is at the beginning, not on Canva scrolling through all the templates.
START AT THE BEGINNING
Do some research, Dr Google has literally every answer we need, the trick, of course, is finding the right answers.
Step 1: Select your social media networks and complete your profiles.
This is where it is important to understand who are your customers and what is important to them, small tip here….it may have nothing to do with you and what you offer.
You do not have to have a presence on all social media networks, although I would suggest you have all the same names across each platform.
Consider the points below and select the networks that matter to your audience:
Time –Just like learning a new skill, in the beginning it may take you some time to get the hang of the layout and tools. Decide on how much time you can consistently dedicate to it. Once you are familiar with the, head on over to third party providers like Hootsuite, Meet Edger and Buffer to help with scheduling.
Resources – Facebook and blogging (yes it still works) require quality content to stay relevant and interesting; while Pinterest or Instagram work best with gorgeous imagery graphics, and photos. Consider the skill set that you have available, each platform is different to another, what you do on Facebook wont work on LinkedIn
Audience – Do your research. Know where your target audience hangs out. How do they like to receive their content? Do they like to read, watch video or listen to a Podcast? This will help you prioritise where you should dedicate your efforts. Video is still the best way to deliver content, and for many, including myself, this can be a challenge, however that is for another day.
Once you have decided the who, the where and the when; it is equally important to focus on completing your profile in its entirety. Pay particular attention to ensure that your ideal customer, bio and profile remain consistent with your brand and are cohesive across all your networks.
What it means is this….it portrays honesty, trust, that you are real and reliable, that you are who you say you are.
Thank goodness the days of perfect images with the perfect look are not as relevant.
Focus on what I call homegrown marketing…real, raw, yet still portraying who you are.
Step 2: Set your social media goal/objective
Content creation is very important, but before we create any content, it is best to know who and why you are creating it.
For the sake of this article, let’s focus on the next 30 days, what would you like to achieve?
Is it more followers? More engagement? People to talk to? Subscribers to your newsletter?
What’s the goal?
Spend time to develop the foundation to your content marketing, the tone, voice style, and the core messages that you want your content to focus on.
In order to set yourself as the authority within your industry, focus on being the solution to the problems faced by your ideal customer.
Now, while we are talking about content, social media is about being social, having some fun, we talk WITH people not AT them.
Step 3: Pick your frequency
Consider how frequently you want to post.
I was sitting with a client who recently attended my ‘Star of Influence’ workshop series, and we spoke about this very thing.
The answer to frequency really depends on how often your posting now.
Tim was telling me he posts 1 – 2 times a week when he is not busy and not at all when he is…this equalled 2 – 3 posts per month in the past month.
My answer to Tim was this.
It is better to be consistent twice per week than create a plan and goal to post 5 times a week and it is sporadic with a big dose of overwhelm.
If you are not posting at all, consider a couple of times per week and commit to being consistent.
If it’s a little more, take it easy on yourself, and plan to get to 5-7 days per week in the next 30 days.
Visibility of shared social media content is vital.
You want your audience to do three key things: like share and comment = engagement.
Step 4: Pick the types of posts
Now, before you answer this question, think about what your ideal customer wants to see, read and watch.
Then think about how you want to be seen, how you want to ‘show up’ online.
From there, you can choose a mix of great photos of you and your business, graphics, Canva is brilliant for this as you can use it for free.
You can now create GIF’s, video’s, graphics, and so much more on this one platform.
Step 5: Automate and engage
Automation of posts and updates will save you a lot of time and help you focus on money-generating activities. Find an automation tool that works best for you, these are the scheduling tools, there are literally loads to choose from.
You can schedule directly into Facebook using their publishing tools tab on your Facebook page.
THE MISSING LINK
Engage, engage, engage!
I see businesses spend a lot of time on their content, they post it up onto the various platforms, and then do not go back and engage with the people who have taken the time to comment and share.
Set time during your day to follow up with your audience’s comments.
Do not ignore them – keep in mind these may be your potential referrals and customers.
Keep an eye on notifications and be the person who stand out by being human.
Remember, it’s all about human to human interaction, not human to business.
These days basic analytical tools come standard with most social media networks.
For example, you can access the dashboard in Buffer or Hootsuite and ascertain the key performance indicators such as likes, views, clicks, comments and shares.
This is where benchmarking and goal setting comes into play.
After a few weeks of posting, review your audience’s reaction to your posts – this will be your benchmark, it’s the engagement you want to focus on, not followers or likes, they are popularity metrics, and don’t mean a lot.
Let me know how you go.
Have a great week,
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