So. Here you are. You’ve decided to look into what all the hype is about regarding social media marketing and why it’s important for your business.

Truthfully, we’ve been waiting on you. We were hoping we’d get the opportunity to actually help someone with little to no social media or marketing experience come to terms with what it’s all about.

There are thousands of articles online about social media marketing. This one is different. In this post we dive into all the important details. We’ll explain why marketing is important, starting with the basics. Then we’ll explain the benefits of a successful, and well-rounded, marketing plan. Lastly, we’ll give you several tips on how you can become your own marketer. But, should you get through this post and decide you would like to hire an expert for your marketing needs, we’ll be here to help.

In order to cover this subject thoroughly, we decided to do it in three parts. This page features Part 3, THE PLAY-BY-PLAY. If you have not already read Part 1 or Part 2, please use the links below to navigate to those sections first.

PART 3. THE PLAY-BY-PLAY

WHAT ARE YOUR SMM GOALS?

Well, it looks like you’re ready to chart a course through the SocialSphere. You’ve done some homework. You’ve put in the research and have decided to move forward with a Social Media Marketing plan. Now what? Goals! Let’s set some attainable ones that you can reach in the short term and in the long term. After all, who sets out on a maiden voyage with no goal to reach a distant shore?

SHORT TERM GOAL #1: FOLLOWERS

Probably the most fun part about Social Media Marketing is gaining new followers. In most cases, you’ll start seeing new targeted social media followers within a few hours of having started your new SMM campaign. However, the key to gaining followers comes through the term we used above: “targeted.” You wouldn’t spend money to market snakes to a group of chickens, would you? Then why spend money marketing your business to folks who have a very slim chance of ever becoming a paying customer? Don’t ever buy into the notion that having thousands of general followers is a good thing, especially not if you’re paying for them. That’s just wrong. Gaining new followers is a huge part of an effective SMM campaign, but they must be followers who bare a great chance of becoming a paying customer in the near future.

In Part 1 of this post we mentioned a tool called Manage Flitter. Manage Flitter is a filtering tool that works through the Twitter social platform. It scans for Twitter users using a robust set of filters and parameters that you set in order to find Twitter users who are looking for businesses or services like yours. Remember the old saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” Manage Flitter helps you eliminate the thousands in the bush so you can focus on the ones who carry the most value, becoming paying customers. After all, is there a purpose to having thousands of followers on Social Media if they never buy your products or services? Nope!

SHORT TERM GOAL #2: SOCIAL PLATFORM AWARENESS

This goal is all about drawing more and more attention to your existing online social platforms. You need to post legitimate content to your Facebook and Twitter feeds so your new followers can engage with you across those platforms. But don’t overdo the business stuff. No one likes to have products and services shoved in their face all day long, even if it’s only on Social media. Instead, post thought-provoking content about your business, your weekend, or something funny related to your business. Tell a clean joke at your expense or at the expense of your company. Make people laugh, but keep it clean and always circle back to your great business. The idea is to get new followers engaged in your business through different means. You’ll know you have achieved this once your new social followers begin to ask you questions about your product or service, or when they simply respond to your witty posts.

SHORT TERM GOAL #3: A MONTH-LONG PLAN

Here’s where you start getting into the real nitty-gritty of Social Media Marketing. You’ve got some new followers, you’ve sent out a few basic Tweets and posted decent content on Facebook but now you need to see how you’ve fared out. Here are a few tips you can use to actually track how your social followers are engaging with you and your website in the short term:

How are you posting content to Social Media?
  • Are you writing a blog post to your website which, in turn, posts to your Social media platforms for you? If so, perhaps you can use a plugin on your website that tracks website user engagement on that specific post. You can pair that up with the analytics program on your favorite Social Media platform to see if your followers are clicking through your social posts or linking back to your actual blog post on your website. This information will go a long way to helping you determine the type of posts your audience is interested in getting from you.
  • Are you posting from a Social Assist platform such as CrowdFire? Many Social Assist platforms offer insight to your posts, such as user engagement, impressions, and overall likeability of your post content. For instance, if you were a marketer and decided to post a Tweet through CrowdFire about Social Media Marketing, you could check the CrowdFire analytics of a particular post to see how your #SocialMediaMarketing hashtag fared. From there, make adjustments to how you post and how you tag.
  • Are you engaging your audience directly through Facebook, Twitter, etc? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other Social Media platforms often have better analytical tools than Social Assist sites. Makes sense that they should, right? They own the SocialSphere. Twitter has very easy-to-use analytical tools that can be used to track overall follower engagement with your posts. You can see how many times your Tweet was liked, shared, viewed, etc.
What are you posting about?

More times than not, business owners get this idea that they are doing well to post literally ANYTHING to Facebook or Twitter. Nothing could be further from the truth. Posting useless content is actually worse than posting nothing at all. No, not every post needs to be the most perfectly-crafted blockbuster post ever, but every post should be well-thought-out and should be specific. You’re not doing anyone any good by only posting a photo of your dog at the end of each week with a “Happy Friday!” caption. If you’ve been engaging all week with your followers and you want to throw that one in there as a monotony breaker, fine! Just don’t think that’s all you ever need to post.

If you want to really engage with your social audience in the best way possible, find out what they’re all talking about and tie it to your brand. This example is probably cliche since it’s been done a million times, but hopefully, you’ll get the idea. Imagine you search Twitter for trending Hashtags in your area and you discover everyone is talking out President Donald Trump. You see the Hashtag #MAGA or #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. Well, use it to your advantage. “Donald Trump is trying to #MAGA while we’re making Pizza great again! #MPGA.” Get the idea? The reasoning behind this is quite simple. Twitter users want to talk about current events. Thousands of Twitter users are talking about them. Millions are. So, you throw your hat into the ring and talk about it too, where all those thousands of people can see your Tweet or post. If you style your Tweet right, you’ll capture the hearts and minds of some and they will engage with you on your thoughtful post. They key here is styling your post just right. If it’s

If you want to really engage with your social audience in the best way possible, find out what they’re all talking about and tie it to your brand. This example is probably cliche since it’s been done a million times, but hopefully, you’ll get the idea. Imagine you search Twitter for trending Hashtags in your area and you discover everyone is talking out President Donald Trump. You see the Hashtag #MAGA or #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. Well, use it to your advantage. “Donald Trump is trying to #MAGA while we’re making Pizza great again! #MPGA.” Get the idea? The reasoning behind this is quite simple. Twitter users want to talk about current events. Thousands of Twitter users are talking about them. Millions are. So, you throw your hat into the ring and talk about it too, where all those thousands of people can see your Tweet or post. If you style your Tweet right, you’ll capture the hearts and minds of some and they will engage with you on your thoughtful post. They key here is styling your post just right. If it’s too cliche, it will have a negative impact. Lastly, and I can’t stress this enough, post about legitimate substance. Don’t be generic. Craft your post or Tweet so that it’s clear, concise and to the point. Check your spelling. Misspelled words are an instant turn off to customers who are paying attention. Avoid this by using a grammar tool such as Grammarly.

Lastly, and I can’t stress this enough, post about legitimate substance. Don’t be generic. Craft your post or Tweet so that it’s clear, concise and to the point. Check your spelling. Misspelled words are an instant turn off to customers who are paying attention. Avoid this by using a grammar tool such as Grammarly.  Remember that you are engaging with people you are trying to convince to spend money on your products or services. Accordingly, post great content about your business, products, services, team members, specials, upcoming events, etc., and remember to keep it light-hearted and occasionally witty, but ALWAYS professional.

LONG TERM GOAL #1: FOLLOWERS

It’s time to purge your social sites of all those folks you are following who aren’t following you back. You simply can’t engage with people in a one-way conversation. It’s like talking to a wall… a never-paying, never-buying-anything wall. You don’t need walls like that.

This may not actually fall into the category of a Long-Term Goal as you should really be working at this in both the Short Term and the Long Term. Nonetheless, it’s important to manage.

Keeping your social sites full of followers who are engaging with you on a daily basis is the entire point of Social Media. Never let your social sites get so one-sided that you can’t follow more “worthy” people because of all those who won’t follow you back.

LONG TERM GOAL #2: MAINTENANCE & MONITORING

Social Media Marketing is a lot like many other things in life, you have to work at it and you have to make occasional adjustments. There may be times when you post a really effective ad, so you get the idea that all of your posts or ads should follow suit. Then, you become frustrated when you don’t see consistent results. That’s normal, so don’t sweat it too much. Not every social ad, Tweet or post will produce perfect results every time. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, take a look around the Social Sphere to see what may be working for others, try your hand at a few new methods, then sit back to see which ones do best. Mastering Social Media sometimes comes down to a game of chance.

As important as it is to try to consistently reproduce effective ads and posts, it’s sometimes equally as important to remove those ads and posts that didn’t produce the results you’d hoped for. If your social followers are rejecting a specific post by not sharing it, liking it or commenting on it, remove it. This is especially a good idea if your post originated from a post on your website. Chances are, if you don’t get good engagement from social followers, the few folks who do click the link to read the blog post on your website will likely not read the entire article or click out of your website fast, harming your click-through rate.

Keep your social posts and your website posts maintained and well-organized. Doing so will result in having only valuable content throughout your social existence, which will appear that you only post the best content.

LONG TERM GOAL #3: A VALID PLAN AND STRATEGY

You may be wondering why I chose to put this goal as number 3 instead of number 1 or number 2. The reason is that the absolute best plan for business owners to implement for their own Social Media Marketing campaign is one that is tried and true. No salesman in the world can outsell the guy who has the most experience with his product.

Providing your own Social Media Marketing will prove to be a learning lesson for you. At times your strategy will work well, at other times it won’t. You’ll have to make adjustments, as mentioned in Long Term Goal #2 above, in order to fine-tune your plan and get it to run like a well-oiled machine. Only then will you have a reliable plan and strategy that will produce desirable results for you long into the future.

Don’t forget, Interarc is always here for you if you get stuck. Marketing is our niche. Social Media is our playground… and we LOVE to play!

MARYLAND WEBSITE DEVELOPERS

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