Underlying Foundations of an Effective Social Media Strategy

12-steps-to-social-media-marketing-success-infographicA good-simple starting point to building a fruitful social media plan is to use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound) outline as a guide. However, to populate the SMART outline you must first have all the data and information at your fingertips to make intelligent strategy determinations.

The underlying foundations of the strategy

Primarily based on researching and knowing our audiences, this back information avails to us topics and interests our buyer personas are most social about, as well as what problems we can possibly solve for them based on their complaints or pain points.

This segues us into a solid path in selecting the right social media channels for our brand mainly based on which social networks our customers are using.  Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are naturally good brand ambassador platforms for most key audiences. Pinterest and YouTube can be a good medium to use for graphically enhanced posts. Instagram, snapchat and periscope/meerkat would probably be the least effective for most customers in creating awareness and engagement because capturing fun to share images is generally more social in nature.

Measurability is an extremely important goal

It’s imperative to identify key performance indicators (KPI) to measure progress towards accomplish in quantifiable terms. A social media marketing playbook is a good thing to write centering on selected social media channels while detailing KPIs, audience profiles, brand personas, campaign concepts, promotional events, contests, content themes, and even a crisis management plan. Metrics reporting should also be designated as weekly, monthly, or bimonthly, depending on your goals and desired outcomes.

To increase followers and engagement

Have tactical timelines in place that note each element along with the responsible blog/social media channel engagement person/customer service rep, milestones and timelines. The editorial calendar goes hand-in-hand by noting scheduled tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts, Pinterest pins, and other social media content relevant to newsworthy topics and events. One thing that many miss the mark is treating all social channels differently and not posting the same message to each. Reanalyze your plan on a regular basis. If something in your plan isn’t working, switch it up or do some testing to determine what your audience responds to better. Another strategy is to create and join groups/forums to expand reach relevant to your industry. This allows you to provide helpful and informative advice or to start relevant discussions that can help generate interest in your brand.

As far as what to post

I am a big fan of the more visuals the better because we are a visually attracted and stimulated society. The Social Media Examiner addresses how to engage better with visual content because it’s easier to understand, can tell a story and evoke emotions more easily than written posts. 11 ways to increase social sharing and fan engagement with images. (Links to an external site.)

Just as a reminder, the primary reason to be on a forum is to participate in other people’s discussions. Answer, chime in and let the community guide the discussion and don’t just shamelessly promote your content. Q&A sessions are also a great way to inform the public about new products, services, and promotions.

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