Monday, 20 February 2012 Written by Lorraine Ball
The 5 Components of a Complete Social Media Marketing Plan.Let's face it, social media and email marketing are an incredbile waste of money for small businesses. You probably think that is a harsh thing to say, especially coming from someone who earns a significant portion of her living with these tools. But the hard cold truth is this: for marketers who don’t have a plan to integrate them into a comprehensive marketing strategy, using Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin is an incredible waste of time.
As my company surveys small business owners annually about their social media programs, we have found less than 50% of the companies we studied had any type of formal social media strategy. This is unfortunate, because these entrepreneurs are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to boost their online marketing efforts with the right doses of social media mixed with email and traditional marketing.
What should your plan contain:
1. Clear definition of your audience
Make sure to know who they are and where they hang out. Your strategy doesn't need to address all social media platforms. Pick the one where your client is most likely to hang out.
2. Clear Goals:
What are you trying to accomplish: New clients? Repeat Purchase? Customers Service? Facebook is a great tool to grow relationships and stay in touch with existing clients, but twitter is typically a better way to reach a large audience of strangers.
3. Conversion Tactics
The purpose of social media is not just to be good at social media. The purpose is to be good at business. A complete social media strategy should include links back to your core website with specific calls to action to entice prospects to sign up for newsletters and updates.
4. Stay in Touch
Create a regular cycle of engaging emails, newsletters and blog content which brings visitors back to your site again and again. Using the users you've converted in step 3, communicate with your audience consistently to stay top of mind.
5. Measurable Results
Social media has so many built in analytics tools that allow you to see what is and isn't working. What should you measure? Fans, followers, and likes are an obvious and good start. But don't stop there. Look at engagement and click through rates. Are people paying attention, sharing your content and checking out your website? These statistics are crucial to figuring out if you're spending your time effectively. If your strategy isn't working, change it!
As an entrepreneur, time is your most valuable asset, so start acting like it. If you are investing time, you are investing money in social media. Make sure you have a complete plan to get the most out of that investment.
As Creative Director of Roundpeg, Lorraine is typically at the center of the managed chaos that is life in a small business. With more than thirty years as a marketing professional (lie and tell her she doesn’t look that old) Lorraine keeps Roundpeg popping with a never-ending stream of new ideas.When not at Roundpeg, Lorraine can be found sharing what she knows in seminars and presentations around the country. She has a BA from Queens College, City University of NY, and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas.