Creating a goal-oriented social-media strategy is important to promote your business. But with dozens of social networks, it is difficult to imagine a manageable strategy that covers all the bases. So, it is important to develop a strategic social media marketing plan to stay on-task and on-track.
Here are 9 questions you must ask while creating a social media marketing plan for your business:
1. What does my company want to achieve using social media?
The goal of the business may vary depending upon the type of business you are doing. You may use the social media to directly interact with your customers or you may want to get exposure for your brand or you may want to utilize this to promote the specific products or services of your company.
So, first set the goal for your business and then understand your customer’s goal. Based on that, find out how your social media marketing strategy connects both of them.
Next, make sure your social media strategy provides value to your customers. Especially, think about how you can use social media to solve your customer’s problems.
2. Who should I hire to manage my company’s social media accounts?
If you have a small business, then hire a person who has a good track record of implementing effective social media campaigns. If you have a larger company, a qualified person in the marketing department might be the right choice for your goal.
3. Should my company have an account in all the popular social networks?
If you are a small business owner, then you are advised to start with a blog and presence in only one social network for first few months. Of course, it is hard to choose which social network is good to go for in the first few months, but you can pick the one your customers frequently use.
Just take a small survey from your customers about which networks they use the most and then finalize. As your company grows, try the same on other social networks.
4. What are the best social networks for small businesses?
Twitter is best for all types of businesses and also it is good to learn and use. If you want to boost your website search engine optimization, then you can use Google+.
If your business is mainly a B2B firm, then you can use Slideshare and LinkedIn to reach influencers within your industry. For B2C businesses, Pinterest and Facebook networks are good.
5. How frequently do I have to post content on social networks?
It is recommended to update your social profiles, two to five times a day. Because, most of the users visit the social media sites at different times of the day. So, updating single post per day is not going to be enough.
If you want to reach more followers, then update your posts frequently at correct time intervals.
6. What types of content should I post on which social networks?
Some type of content works well only on some social networks.
For example: LinkedIn is the best choice to share your leadership articles, company news and productivity tips. The same might not be effective on other social platforms.
Google+, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are good to share the images of your company products, events, etc. Especially, these networks work extremely good when you share the snapshots of behind-the-scenes.
Sometimes, the text-only status (asking questions to the audience) works better on Facebook.
The Twitter platform works good, if you maintain a proper balance of your company tweets and retweets of others’ content.
On the whole, if you mix all types of content (short videos, awesome photos, thoughtful questions, helpful tips and useful links) in a good ratio on all social networks, it will help you keep things fresh as well as interesting.
7. Should I use social media to provide customer service?
Of course, yes! Social media is the right choice to interact with your customers instantly. You can use them to order status inquiries, respond to customer questions, complaints, etc.
8. How can I convert social media fans/followers into customers?
There is no direct trick to convert your social media fans and followers into potential customers. Still, some tactics work better in that direction.
For example : Facebook advertisements is a good way to grow your fan base, increase engagement and collect the sales leads. But it’s all up to you to convert those sales leads.
Sometimes, the cross-platform contest works better in attracting potential customers towards your business.
For instance: To drive the customer to your online store, you can send a tweet that describes about a contest on your Facebook Page along with the entry form and a link to the rules of your contest.
9. How can I measure the success of my social media marketing plan?
In order to find which tactics and types of posts work better in your marketing strategy, you need to measure them weekly or monthly. Some social networks offer their own metrics to measure the success.
For example: Facebook gives page administrators access to page insights data for free. It will tell you how many people are interacting with your posts. LinkedIn also provides similar analytics for company pages. It will help you measure your success. Generally, you can use Google Analytics tool to analyze your marketing efforts.