3 effective steps that should be included in a social media strategy are evaluation, implementation, and measuring. Together these three items represent the core of any marketing plan.
There has been a great deal of information thrown out there to everyone who is trying to understand how to make social marketing work for them. The problem is that there is too much information, and some of it is contradictory. Another problem with all of this information is that to implement and follow its “wise” instruction is not practical because it become a full time job. Who needs that on top of running a business? There are only so many hours in the day. The goals of this article are aimed at teaching people how effectively to use social media through strategy.
The First Step is to EVALUATE your market.
Begin by learning how what you do impacts your market. Most of the problem with much of the social media advice is that it all says to do this and to do that. So what is the effect of what you do when you do this or you do that? Does it work? How do you know? Does your business benefit from social media?
We will discuss measuring action and reaction later in this article, but for now, a measurement that you can easily do is to measure your fan base. On facebook.com how many followers do you have? Do they participate in your social media postings? On pinterest.com how many people follow your posts? Is there a pattern to what the picture represents and the reaction that it gets.
A lot of questions I know, but the reality is that answering these questions is not difficult, and it brings us to an important piece of information. If you evaluate how your actions impact your market, you will begin to see that some of your actions pay off better than others. Focus on what works for you and your market. It is really just that simple.
The actions that do not work can either, be tweaked and monitored (measured, ) or they can be discarded. This process allows you to develop tools that work for your business without costing you a lot of your time. Remember that time is a commodity and it has a cost. Use time wisely, by developing simple tools that are easy to implement, and that work.
The Second Step is Implementation:
Implementation is another word for planning. Through evaluation, we have learned which tools work for us and which do not. Implementation is about building your plan that employs those tools that work. If you know that posting seasonal pictures to pinterest.com, provides the biggest response among followers, than develop a plan that produces quality pictures for each holiday that your business participates. Here, is your Christmas plan. Here, is your Thanksgiving Plan. Here, is your Valentines day plan. In creating these plans, you have laid out the tasks needed to accomplish each plan. If this is your Pinterest.com Valentines Day plan, how can you connect the plan to facebook.com?
Another aspect of implementation is time. When do you start your Christmas campaign? A good tool to use is your calendar. Develop your social strategy based on your agenda. The effectiveness of marketing campaigns can be measured in time. When are they the most effective? When are they not effective? As you learn these things about your business and marketing plans, you gain knowledge and power that can be used to make your actions more effective.
The last consideration under implementation is to develop tasks that you can actually complete on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. One key to being effective with social media is to be consistent in posting.
One of the primary tasks in any marketing plan is to the measurement of your actions. Measurements are the results of success and failure. The goal promote the marketing successes within your strategy, and adjust the marketing failures so that they either become successes or they become extinct. The measurement tools of strategic marketing is always a constant. It is through measuring and adjusting of your marketing actions that you find the best tools that work for your business.
Measuring is a matter of collecting reactions to your marketing plan. If you posted a picture on pinterest.com you can measure its success by determining how much money that picture made your business. Did it attract customers? Was it shared by viewers? These are all questions that have answers that are measurements. These are the types of measuring tools that you want to develop. With that data, you can then correct your plans to be as successful as possible. Continue what works and discontinue what does not.
In closing out this article, I would like to remind people that the first rule of business is to keep your marketing plan simple and manageable. Look at customer satisfaction and remember that, in social media, your audience are your customers. We already understand that being aware of your audience is key to converting visitors to buyers and that when we reward loyal fans/buyers that they share that information with their friends. Produce content that engages the audience and attracts new members to your followers.