Depending on the type of business you have, social media marketing can be tricky. For media companies, some service companies, and a few celebrities, it is easy to determine what social media platforms to use and how to use them. But for other types of businesses, it can sometimes be confusing.
There are a number of social media sites available. Besides the big players like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok, there are also many niche social media platforms that are gaining popularity. But just because they are available, does not necessarily mean you should jump in. Many mainstream businesses are still not sure how to use sites like Pinterest and Snapchat to turn followers into customers.
As the decision maker for your business’s marketing activities, it is important that you don’t spend a ton of time and money using social media unless you have a clear plan. In this article, you will learn the 10 most important questions to ask when creating a social media marketing plan.
10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating a Social-Media Marketing Plan
1. Who is my target audience?
To consistently publish and post content that will engage your audience, you must understand to whom you’re communicating your message. Establishing your ideal buyer persona is a powerful exercise that defines your preferred clients’ personal needs, likes, and dislikes.
Having this knowledge arms your marketing plan with content that is sure to garner interest and grab the attention of those who will most likely become loyal customers.
2. What does a successful campaign look like?
You measure success by meeting set goals with pre-established performance indicators. You can create measurable objectives to be accomplished by establishing goals for each campaign. The nature of the campaign will determine the goals. A campaign aimed at growing brand awareness may not have the primary goal of increasing sales.
A key performance indicator could be to expand the number of followers to your brand, and the number of shares your content receives. Although ultimately, increasing revenue is the overarching goal for almost every company. Achieving that goal is often the combination of multiple campaigns that each serve a specific purpose and has different goals.
3. Who should set up and maintain my company’s social media accounts?
The same person or persons should manage your company’s social media to develop your brand’s image more cohesively. The number of people that manage your social media accounts depends on the size of our business and the size of your audience.
If your company has many different departments, it’s ideal to have one person from each department assigned to posting content. This way, the accuracy and depth of detail will be more substantial than one person that doesn’t understand the inner workings of all the different aspects of your business.
4. How often should I post new content on my social networks?
Studies indicate that when posting once a day on Facebook is the ideal number of times. Twice a day is an absolute maximum as there may be diminishing returns since users’ engagement drops significantly.
You want your followers to be interested in the content you’re posting. If you overload them by posting multiple times a day, you risk them becoming bored, tuning out your posts, or worse, they will quit following your company altogether.
Twitter is an exception to this rule since a tweet has a much shorter lifespan. A tweet can get lost in a person’s timeline after 20 minutes. If you want to promote new content on Twitter, the best practice is to post and repost up to 5 times within a month, spacing your posts three to five days apart.
Instagram is another beast altogether. The posting frequency largely depends on what you are wanting to accomplish. With Instagram, you must also consider factors like which day to post as well as what time. Check out our article on the best time to post on Instagram to narrow down the best posting times for your Instagram account.
5. What types of content should I post on which social platforms?
It’s considered best practices to mix up the type of content you’re posting on your social media but publishing a video has proven to be the most shared content type. It also elicits the highest user engagement statistics as most people prefer to watch a video than read an article.
You will naturally want to use images and videos as regular parts of your marketing plan. LinkedIn and Facebook are better for article marketing (especially for a B2B marketing plan). There is greater engagement on posts with images, as evidenced by Pinterest and Instagram’s popularity as marketing platforms. Infographics are ideal for garnering interest and shares.
Despite the effectiveness of the different types of multimedia, video still reigns supreme on all social platforms. Tik Tok made the video’s domination abundantly clear by its incredible recent success, which inspired new additions to Stories on Facebook and Instagram Reels.
6. Should I use social media to provide customer service?
Social media can be an excellent choice for customer service if you can effectively respond and manage queries quickly and descriptively. If you’re communicating with customers and prospects on your social profiles, it serves to demonstrate the level of your customer service and the dedication you have to your clients.
As long as you provide exemplary customer service, the user-generated content will contribute to painting a picture of your business in a positive light and inspire confidence, trust, and ultimately more revenue.
7. What is my brand voice?
Your brand voice plays a huge role in how you interact with your customers. It is all about the language, emotion, and attitude you use to communicate your message to followers. Brand voice is your company’s personality and is a considerable aspect of promoting your company’s longevity. When people come to know and love a brand, they are usually lifetime customers. Your brand voice should be a perfect match for your target audience, and it should relate and engage with them at their level.
8. How will I convert social-media followers into customers?
The beauty of digital marketing is that virtually everything is measurable. Create specific goals for your campaigns to analyze performance in the specific areas you expect your content to improve. No campaign is entirely perfect, so learn from your mistakes and continue to optimize for better results by adapting to challenges, utilizing what works, and eliminating what doesn’t.
It also pays to analyze your competition. Identify what works for them and incorporate those ideas into your marketing plan. It’s not uncommon for successful people to stand on others’ shoulders by taking what they do well and doing it better.
Take the time to get to know your followers by having simple conversations that will provide insight into your intended audience can make or break a marketing campaign. Be genuine; your followers will know when you’re not. Customers appreciate when a company takes the time to interact with them.
9. Which platforms should I focus on?
Focus on the platforms your target audience is using. If you’re not entirely sure, analyze what your competition is using and check to see what their user engagement looks like. There’s no sense in marketing on Instagram if your target audience is senior citizens.
Keep in mind that Facebook is always a pretty safe bet since it’s the third-largest website globally with about 3 billion users; you won’t experience an audience shortage there.
Lastly, it’s better to be responsive and develop a real presence on one or two platforms than to have many profiles that you only post content and answer questions days or weeks later. If you’re not active, you won’t get great results on any platform.
10. What is my marketing budget?
According to the US Small Business Association, you should be spending roughly 7-8% of your gross revenue on marketing and advertising; this gives you a rough estimate on how to allocate a budget for social media. Is it your only source of advertising? What percentage of new clients are you receiving from your efforts? Budget your marketing plan prioritizing the strategies that are working best to deliver new clients and revenue.