Leaders at your company most likely create budgets, business plans, five-year growth plans, and so on, but do you have a local social media marketing plan?
Here are a few easy steps:
1. Know your audience. Before you jump into social media, you’ll need to know your audience. For example, if your targeted demographic is slightly older and well established, you’ll want to be sure to have a Facebook presence. If you’re looking to capture the interest of 18- to 34-year-olds, try Tumblr. In rare instances, your targeted audience won’t be on any social media sites at all; in that case, you should look to marketing avenues other than social media.
2. Set goals. All goals, including those related to social media, should be reasonable, attainable, and trackable. Check out your competitors’ sites for an idea of how many followers they have and how many interactions they have with their followers each day. Then set realistic goals, keeping in mind that sometimes it’s better to have fewer followers who are highly engaged with your brand than more followers who aren’t interested in what you have to say.
3. Determine which tools you’ll use to measure your progress. The web offers several tools to help you gauge your social media success. Most social media platforms, such as Facebook and Pinterest, provide basic information such as the number of followers you have, the number of clicks to your website, and so on. However, you may want to look into other tools that aggregate all of your social media accounts so that you can see the big picture of how your social media strategy is doing.
4. Set up accounts for the social media platforms that your audience uses. After you’ve done your research, get started! Make sure that each of your social media pages is branded and look professional. Avoid any pixilated profile images or distorted logos; they hurt your credibility. Include a link to your company’s website in the description section of your profile to bring users back to your site.
5. See how your audience uses those platforms, and listen to what they’re saying. Consumers are becoming accustomed to actively participating in conversations with businesses, and sometimes they can even help you solve problems with your products or services—and all you have to do is listen! Often, your followers can provide great suggestions that lead to more sales for your company.
6. Respond to them and provide valuable content. Web users are so inundated with flashy web banners and ads, they have learned to tune them out. Unless you’re using the web and social media to help them solve a problem or improve their lives, they’re probably tuning you out as well. Valuable content is more likely to be shared with your followers’ friends, which leads to organic growth that’s always good for your bottom line.
7. Track your results. Local marketing experts always recommend that you analyze data to look for opportunities to improve. We’ve found that Google Analytics is a great way to measure how social media is affecting web traffic to your site. You can see which platforms are referring the most traffic and use that information to your advantage.
Once you’ve completed all these steps, it will be time to run through the entire process again! The exciting world of social media is always changing, and your business will need to adapt.