Social Media Marketing Strategy Guide For Beginners
It’s comes at no surprise that Social Media Marketing has become a very power tool for both big and small businesses alike to have in their marketing arsenal. Developing a Social Media Strategy has become a necessity for all small business owners and knowing How To Create an Effective Social Media Marketing Plan as a Beginner will not only keep you in the running, it will help establish your business as front runner in your respective niche.
So as a way to help support my fellow little guys (and gals) I’m going to be giving you a step by step beginners guide for making your own effective Social Marketing Plan.
As long as you do your part in the researching phases and stick to the strategy you layout for your business’s social marketing efforts.
What Is A Social Media Marketing Plan
A Social Media Marketing Plan is just that…
A Plan, but more specifically, it’s a physical representation outlining the strategic actionable tactics that a business or individual will take to obtain business oriented social media marketing goals.
More importantly, this plan includes a way to measure the amount of success or failure of this progress so that the plan can be tweaked to obtain the desired results.
But you already knew that the best part to any kind of business strategy is the ability to measure and improve upon the results.
It’s just not a strategy without it and one for social media is no different.
A great way for developing social media strategy template is to do so with the acronym S.M.A.R.T. in mind.
- S- Specific Goals or Actions
- M- Measure said goals progress
- A- Attainable Resources to accomplish goals
- R- Relevant to your niche or business
- T- Time Bond or Time Frame in which progress should be made
Developing Social Media Marketing Plan For Beginners
There are no shortage of social media marketing guides online and the shear number of them out there should give you a pretty good indication of just how important social media is for growing your business.
Social Media Marketing has been growing in popularity more and more each year and for small business owners it helps level the playing field by which giving all of us the chance to compete for the free traffic that comes from search engines.
Not to mention giving us all the possibility of turning our great new business opportunities into a possible future Fortune 500 company.
Just ask the folks that thought up the fidget spinner or that water hose attachment that fills up 50 to 100 water balloons at a time.
OK, enough talk let’s get to finding out how to create an effective social media marketing plan that will Increase:
- Brand Awareness
- Website Traffic
- Return Customers
- Site Popularity
- Link Juice (Back-links)
Step #1 – Research Your Niche
More than likely you already have a good grasp of what niche your business is competing in but branching out socially is going to require you to find a few of the essentials regarding your niches social business presence.
To help you hit the nail on the head so to speak here are 4 critical research points that are a must for creating a strong and effective social marketing strategy or plan.
- Define who your direct competitors are
- Find your niches biggest social influences
- Research and analyze the common social content trends to discover what content works (shares) the best
- Then determine how often your social niche circle authorities/influencers post their social content
Step #2- Discovering Your Audience
It would be kind of difficult, no it would be next to impossible to have any sort of effective social media marketing strategy if you don’t know whom it is you’re directing your marketing efforts towards.
There are a few different social tools you could use to help you out here but if you’re on a shoestring budget like I was starting out than you’ll be doing all the leg work on your own.
Which will help you make more money online!
Here is what you will need to do and know to discover your target audience.
- Easy way to find your audience is to use Google search > search popular niche keyword > click on your biggest known competitor > Research what social channels they are most active on
- find common lifestyle trends among your existing social subscribers (if you have any) if none perform this task on your competitors audience
- use determined lifestyle habits and hobbies to find your audience across all channels and platforms
- Using Alexa.com find which social media platforms has the biggest user base (audience)
- Check and track target audiences content habits such likes, shares, retweets and the types of content they engage with the most
Beginners Guide Step #3 – Goals & Objectives
No social media plan is complete without a clear cut outline of the Goals and objectives you’re hoping to achieve and eventually master.
To help you better understand the types of goals you could accomplish with your new found strategic social media marketing plan I have listed some examples below.
Just to be clear, your strategy may not include any of these goals and that is absolutely fine.
After all it is your Social Marketing Plan For Your Business!
One thing you’re going to want to avoid optimizing your goals for is vanity goals.
Vanity goals are things like followers and likes. If you’re creating the right goals and objectives than the rest will fall into place as your brand gains social traction.
Strategy Development Step #4- Content Management
A huge part of your success with marketing to your social media followers will be rooted in the kind of content you decide on publishing and its ability to keep your audience engaged and entertained.
Like with everything on this big blue rock we call home, some things are just more entertaining and hold our gaze longer than others.
Your content will be no different and because we’re here to help you find the most popular content options in order of their popularity.
- Image and Text
Social Media Strategy Guide For Beginners Step #5-Platform Selection
When choosing the best social media platforms for your business there are a few statistical aspects you’ll need to know beforehand and that will help ensure success when you’re learning how to do Social media Marketing.
These are vital for ensuring that you’re not barking up the wrong tree so to speak. If you’re unfamiliar with these aspects or how to find them than simply click the link above.
It will break down that process for you so if you need assistance in that area I urge you to click on over to learn more.
Now because most everybody has created a social media account at least once in their lives we will not go into great detail in regards to that aspect.
We will however, give you a few pointers for you keep in mind when you do get to this step of the planning process.
- Make sure your business name is spelled the way you like it
- Be sure to use your business name for the page name
- Fill out the entire profile
- use popular niche keywords in the bio
- correct contact info
Even if you do make a mistake here you can go back and change it later.
It will likely result in you losing some of the socially generated favor search engines have given you or cost you many valuable backlinks from the social platforms from which they were accredited.
Only if you change your business’s URL profile, such as it’s name.
Strategic Plan Development Step #6- Create, Post, & Measure
Now you are that stage where you can start acting on the plan you’ve put together so far by creating your desired type or types of content and then posting it to your social channels.
That’s the easy part that we are all quite familiar with.
If you remember a few steps ago I stated that your goals should not be solely based on business vanity.
The reason for that is due to the difficulty of being able to accurately measure those types of goals but if you concentrate on one of the more important goals (like more sales) the rest will come naturally.
When posting content to your social business account it’s vital not to overdo it with self-promotion and a good rule to follow so you know you’re not overdoing it is to use the 4:1 rule.
Which is also commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule but no matter what you call it the meaning for it is still the same.
For every 4 blocks of social content you post you should post 1 self-promotional piece or in other words 20% of your social content should be about how great your business is and why.
There are a variety of free tools online that you can use to measure your social media success or failure and most platforms offer you an analytical look at your business account.
If you’re like I was starting out than you want to know more about how these tools arrived at the conclusions they did.
A good way to measure if your content is performing well among visitors and followers is to keep track of shares and likes each post gets.
No Engagement = No Good
Step #7- Monitor & Tweak
To monitor your social media success or failure just create a Google Alert for Brand Mentions or set up notifications, on the platform you’re using, to notify you anytime someone likes, shares or comments.
Monitoring is a bit different than measuring because monitoring is just the act of keeping up with comments or community join requests.
Things of that nature.
As you’re monitoring you should be keeping notes on which kind of content is doing the best.
The main things to look for are the number of shares and comments, how long after posting did you begin seeing engagement, and duration of continued engagement. i.e. 6 days after or 6 months after.
Also monitors all of the factors above but do so in respect to different social platforms to find out where your customers like you the most.
After you’ve been monitoring your social channels for a few weeks and there seems to be no or very little engagement than you may want to consider tweaking your social campaigns.
However you should use good old fashion common sense here before making any changes.
If you started out with no followers than it is going to take some time for your brand’s awareness grows naturally.
Some things you may want to consider adjusting are:
- Changing the content type
- Changing the platform all together
- Changing your posting schedule
But again use your better judgement.
Social Media Marketing Strategy Plan Management Tools
So now that you’ve got an actionable social media marketing plan template its time to hit the proverbial streets and start reaching out to the masses.
There are a number of ways that a great social marketing strategy can turn a no name business into the latest trending hashtag of the online business world.
Social marketing tools can take a lot of the stress surrounding content management out of the equation so that you can focus your energy on other important aspects of your business.
To help you save time finding the right tool for the job we have put together a list of the top social marketing planning tools for beginners.
We’re certain you will find one of these a great help in balancing the workload.
- Likeable Hub– Free and Paid Membership options, plus 30 day free trial (Cheapest Membership 19.99/M)
- HootSuite– Free and Paid Memberships and also includes a 30 Day free trial. (Cheapest Membership Level $9.99/M)
- Buffer– Limited Free Features + Paid Membership starting at $10 a month
- Socialpilot– Free/Paid Memberships + 14 Day Free Trial after which the cheapest Membership is $10/M
- Jarvis– Paid Membership + 7 Day Free Trial after that the cheapest membership fee is $19.95
Well there you have it, a step by step guide on How To Develop a Social Media Marketing Plan For Beginners. Now that you know How To Do Social Media Marketing it’s time to Start Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy Plan To Suite Your Business Marketing Needs. As always, thanks for reading, and if you have any other questions about Developing Social Media Strategies than feel free to ask them below.