Create A Winning Social Media Marketing Plan With This Easy Peasy Checklist ✔️

Developing a clear, concise and thorough social media marketing plan should be the first thing any business does when starting to use social media to market their business. Having a clear plan will make the difference between a social media presence that thrives and is effective and one that isn’t. Constructing your plan needn’t be a daunting task however, it is simple answering several key questions to ensure that you clearly know the direction to take to develop an effective presence that helps you achieve the results you want for your business. Start your marketing plan today by answering these several fundamental questions;


 

What Objectives do I want my Business to Achieve by Using Social Media?

Whether you want to use your social media presence to gain exposure for your brand, directly educate and interact with your customers, promote specific products and services or all of the above, clearly identifying your objectives is the critical first step towards a successful social media presence. Identifying your objectives in the beginning ensures you will be able to tailor your content and posting schedule to maximise effectiveness and provide value to your customers. Having clear objectives also ultimately helps you to accurately measure your success as you will be aware of the most appropriate metrics to track efficiently.

Common Social Media Objectives

  • Build Brand Awareness
  • Drive Traffic to Website
  • Providing Customer Service
  • Engage with Fans
  • Establish Thought Leadership
  • Launch New Products or Services
  • Generate Leads
  • Increase Sales
  • Research and Insight
  • Build your Community
  • Improve SEO
  • Competitive Analysis

 

What Platforms am I Going to use for my Business?

What you platforms you choose to use will ultimately depend on where your customers are and what are right for your business. Spend the time researching where your current customers are online and what platforms can be best utilized with your resources and business. The key is to not spread yourself too thinly across lots of social media platforms just because you think this will gain your business more exposure, rather it is much more effective to run a handful of platforms consistently and efficiently and to spend the time reviewing the platforms you are on to make sure they are as effective as they can be. You should also keep up to date with research into new technologies and platforms that your business could potentially utilise in the future.

Selecting the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

The key to choosing the right social media platforms relies on you having a clear understanding of your objectives for social media, your target audience and what resources/ information you have to share as having a clear idea of these will inform you of which platforms are going to be the most effective for you. Ultimately ask yourself these three questions;

Purpose – What information do you want to share with and communicate to your audience?
Format – In what format is the best way to present this information? Videos, Podcasts, extended pieces of writing etc.
Platform – Which social media platform will allow me to share this message best and which platform has the correct audience that I want to reach?

 


Have I Done my Research?

A successful social media presence is always aided by a good, solid foundation of prior research. You should look to do initial research into key areas such as your competitor’s social media, your target audience demographics, the latest trends and news in social media, marketing and business as well as many others. Conducting research and paying attention to changes in your industry and audience for example should also be a regular and active occurrence as things, especially social media, evolve and change so you need to keep up to date to ensure your strategy is as relevant and effective as possible.

Market Research – Who is your target audience? How do they behave on social media? Where are they online?

Your Competitors – Which platforms your competitors are using? Are they directly engaging with prospects online? What are they good at online? In which areas could they improve? Can you get case studies? (both successful and unsuccessful examples?

Latest business and social media news, trends and techniques – Do you know the latest techniques on your social media platforms that are effective? What is changing in social media and/or business that could affect your marketing?

 


Who are My Target Audience?

Determining the audience that you want to reach and engage with on social media is fundamental to your strategy. Whether your target audience is your current or potential clients or customers, affiliate businesses, thought leaders or all four, your aim is to create a successful social media strategy that matches and is tailored towards understanding and acting on your target audience’s behaviors online. What are your target audience’s interests? Where do they spend their time online? In what format do they like to digest their content online? These are a few of many questions that you need to know the answers to in order to develop a successful and targeted social media strategy that will bring real results for your business.

 


Who is Going to Set up and Maintain My Business Social Media Platforms?

In the beginning you will need to decide who will implement and maintain your social media accounts. Whether you want to run them in-house or hire a social-media marketing manager or firm, you need to ensure that the person who is in charge of your platforms can effectively represent your brand and know how to create and maintain a successful social media presence. That person is going to ultimately control how your business is presented to others in the online world so you need to be absolutely confident that they are the right person for you and your business.

 


What is my Publishing Schedule?

Your publishing schedule is going to be ultimately dictated by three things, your business capabilities, the platform you’re using and your audience needs. In the beginning you will need to experiment to find a publishing schedule that works best for your business, goals and readers and is the perfect balance of what you want and what your audience wants. Part of this consideration is also understanding the nature of the platform you’re using to publish and whether it is one such as Twitter that favours several short updates per day or Facebook where posting 3 – 5 times a week is effective. Ultimately, how often you post is different for everyone and personal to your business so you when you are creating a publishing schedule you need to ask yourself, Can you keep this schedule consistently?, Can you always publish high-quality content at this rate? And will you have enough content for this schedule? Once you’ve discovered the most effective schedule for you, being consistent with your publishing schedule has the benefit of increasing SEO value, maximising value and engagement from readers and encourages readers to come back regularly for more.

 


 

How am I Going to Ensure my Business Branding is Representative and Consistent?

Having a social media presence is a great way to show a wider audience who you are, what you stand for and ultimately why they should love you. From this, it is important that you know clearly what your brand stands for and how this is going to be conveyed consistently and accurately across your platforms. This consideration needs to be applied to everything from the voice you want for your brand that can be consistently applied across all your posts to the creative aspects of your platforms- that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your social media platforms it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand.


 

What Resources/ Content do I have at my Disposal?

Each social media platform has a certain type of content that is best suited towards it, for example Pinterest and Instagram are both inherently visual and as such require good-quality and memorable images to be effective. From this, you need to understand what type of content that the platforms you are using are most effective and importantly what content resonates best with your audience. Once you are clear on both these aspects, you will be able to form an effective content strategy with maximised effectiveness. It is important that you share with your audience a diverse and interesting mix of content types that encourages engagement so you need to think about the types of questions you will ask, updates you will share and ultimately what resources do you have that you can utilise and repurpose for your social media platforms.

 


 

How am I Going to Measure the Success of my Social Media Marketing Efforts?

Tracking your social-media marketing metrics is fundamental as it helps gauge which tactics are successful and which areas are in need of improvement. From this, you need to have a clear vision of what your business objectives are for your social media presence and subsequently what are the most effective metrics you should therefore be analysing to ensure you are reaching those objectives. So whether you want to boost your personal brand through LinkedIn or use Facebook to drive traffic to your site, ensure you have clear objectives with your platforms and routinely assess whether you are successfully meeting those objectives and they are still relevant to you, and if they’re not then you will need to reevaluate.

 


Am I Going to Have to Create a Written Social Media Policy for my Employees?

If there are going to be several different administrators of your platforms or you run a business with staff members who have personal and/or business social media accounts, it is well worth creating a social media policy for your staff to sign so everyone is clear on their responsibilities and what is deemed appropriate and inappropriate behaviour when they are representing or discussing your business online.

 


Ultimately, Have I got a Clear Strategy?

Having a clear idea on every aspect of your social media marketing strategy is key to its success. Ultimately, you should easily be able to answer confidently and with clarity the below questions that form a basic marketing strategy. Part of maintaining a strong, successful presence is also to regularly assess whether certain aspects of your original strategy have changed (For example are your objectives still the same? Is there a new social media platform that your audience is using?) and then adjust your efforts accordingly. As you become a regular participant on social media you will find ways in which you need to improve certain areas and areas in which you excel in, so never stop learning and listening to what your audience and your analytics tell you.

  • Why do I need social media?
  • Who will be responsible for social networking?
  • Who are my audience?
  • What do I want to tell them?
  • How am I going to tell them?
  • What content am I going to create?
  • How often am I going to post?
  • Which social media sites will I use?
  • What tools will I use to measure my success?

 


 

New eBook! The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses [Advanced Version, Updated for 2018]

Shameless plug alert! My new eBook “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses [Advanced Edition, Updated for 2018]” is now available to buy over on Amazon!

Perfect for beginners to social media, this 300+ page guide is packed full of straight-forward and effective advice and guidance, cutting through the jargon and giving you all the essential social media know-how to confidently grow your social presence, generate leads and sales on social media and make your mark on the online world.

This eBook is packed full of useful social media stuff, yet the handy bite-sized paragraphs and bulleted checklists makes it a light read for you and your business. Throughout the book we look into key areas such as;

  • An Introduction to Social Media
  • How to Create a Social Media Strategy
  • Best Practices for Social Media Marketing Success
  • Important UK Internet Usage and Social Media Statistics
  • A Comprehensive Look at all the Major Platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Pinterest, Instagram and many more.
  • Social Media Monthly Clean Up and Refresh Checklist
  • 83 Engaging Ideas for Your Social Media Content
  • Useful Tools and Apps to Help You Market Smart

 

PREVIEW THE EBOOK HERE!

 


Don’t worry, you can still download the free version off my website. No sign-ups or long forms – just download your free PDF and away you go! http://www.scarlettdarbyshireuk.com


 

The Ultimate Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly Social Media To- Do List [PDF]

We all love a good to-do list don’t we?

Whether you’re a social media butterfly or a start-up like a deer in the headlights when it comes to anything online, every savvy marketer needs a go-to checklist to streamline all aspects of their social media marketing.

To help you along, this checklist will make sure you are ticking off and maintaining those all important fundamentals that help keep your social media presence ticking along nicely.

No gimmicks, no fuss. Just a straight-forward PDF with a handy checklist to make managing your social media a breeze. Oh and there’s even a handy to-do list for your business whilst you’re at it. good eh?

 

Download your free copy here! Social Media To Do

How to Craft an Effective Tweet

Twitter currently supports four formats that you can use to create your social media updates:

  • Status Update
  • Link Share
  • Photo Upload
  • Video Link Share

While it took three years, two months, and a day to reach the billionth tweet shared, it now only takes one week to send one billion tweets. To help you get noticed among all this noise, take note of the following tips:

Start with a Relevant Following: The key to a successful presence and indeed tweet begins with you having built up a relevant and engaged following that wants to engage with you. If you only followed others in the hope of gaining an easy follow back or bought followers then you are wasting your time as both of these types of followers are useless for your business as they will not engage with you and are likely to never become customers. Instead, look to build a relevant organic following by searching industry hashtags and follow those users that appear, include a follow me on Twitter link on your website and blog, tell your existing business contacts and customers you are on Twitter and utilise your other social networks to bring audiences over from your other networks.

Establish Your Objective for the Tweet: Every tweet you share needs to have a purpose. Whether you want to create interest in your latest blog post, promote a new product or service or generate engagement through a Q&A, knowing your objective will dictate and affect every aspect of what you include in your tweet from the links you’ ll include, where they go, the tone of the tweet, the CTA you include, right through to how you will measure the success of your tweet.

Create a Headline That Grabs Attention: At any given time there could be hundreds of tweets in your target audience’ s Twitter feed and to ensure you stand out people need to be given a good reason to click on your link which is why creating a well-written, clear and attention grabbing headline is crutial. Before you tweet simply ask yourself if you would share and click on that tweet based on its headline and if you wouldn’t then you need to change it.

Keep the Tweet the Optimal Length: The limit for characters within your tweets is 140; however you do not have to use them all. Rather it is suggested that the optimal length for a Tweet is around 70-100 characters as this makes your tweet short enough to digest within a few seconds and is the right length for anyone who wants to retweet and add on a couple words for their own comment.

Include Some Form of Media: To make your tweets attract more attention it is recommended that you include some form of media content such as a photo or video as this makes the tweet more interesting and appealing. So make sure to tweet and share insightful, informative and valuable content that your readers will want to click on and looks visually appealing also.

Pay Attention to Spelling and Basic Grammar: You represent your brand with every tweet you post so don’ t leave your audience with a negative and unprofessional opinion of your business by not taking the time to proofread for spelling errors and not checking your general grammar. Ensure your tweet is clear, concise, the punctuation use is correct, you have correct spelling and you clearly spell out your words instead of using abbreviations to save characters as many followers may not be familiar with certain abbreviations.

Include a Clear Call to Action: Ensuring you include a clear call to action in every tweet you post ensure that each tweet will be purposeful for your business. Whether you want to direct the reader to a new blog post, a product page or to a newsletter signup page ensure you make it clear and concise to the reader what the next step is that you want them to take.

Utilise Relevant Trends and Hashtags: Hashtags are a great tool for connecting to a wider audience so ensure you utilise them within your tweets. For ideas you can relate them to the content you are posting to enhance the tweet or for content ideas you can do a search within your business community to see what is trending and if relevant, add your thoughts. It is important not to jump on and use any hashtag that is trending as many won’ t be relevant for your business, rather the key is to be selective and only utilise those that are relevant and will enhance your business in some way. You can also create and promote a hashtag campaign yourself to help revive your community and spark conversation around your brand with both old and new customers. To start a hashtag campaign, decide on the goal of your campaign and how it will relate to your customers. Then research what your audience is talking about to come up with a hashtag that they’ ll identify with.

Using Links? Ensure They’ ve Been Shortened: Using a link shortening tool such as bit.ly to shorten your URL’ s not only helps you easily gain more characters to use, it also provides valuable insights into how the link is being shared which is essential for future content creation and link selection. Top Tip: Try placing links in the middle of the tweet. Dan Zarrella found that placing links roughly 25% through a tweet leads to a higher click through rate than including the link at the very end. This is probably due to the fact that most tweets include the link automatically at the end, so anytime there’s a variance in a user stream, the tweet catches our attention more.

Actively Learn From the Tweets of Others: Be active in looking through your feed and looking at the tweets that stand out for you as this can give you valuable tips that can help guide you in creating better tweets in the future. To those tweets that stand out to you and made you click on them analyse why and look to what makes that tweet so good then apply it to your own tweets. By consistently looking at others and learning you will gain the necessary knowledge to know what makes a great tweet that your audience can’ t resist which in turn will make you gain more followers, respect, authority and ultimately make your Twitter presence more successful.

Optimize Twitter Publishing Times: The shelf life of a link on Twitter is only 2.8 hours. In order to get the maximum impact of each tweet, you need to publish your tweets at optimal times. According to recent data from Kevan Lee at Buffer…the most popular time to tweet:

  • noon to 1 p.m. local time
  • the early morning hours is when tweets receive the most clicks, on average
  • the fewest tweets are sent between 3 and 4 a.m.

These are a general guide however as through your own testing and regular assessments of your analytics, you will come to learn the most effective publishing times for you.