The biggest myth about social media is that it’s optional. No matter what size of business you run, social media planning and its integration into your overall marketing plan is a ‘must’. Newspapers, radios and televisions are no more the only forms of media that your consumers use to gather information about your brand, products and services. With the social media fever catching on at an alarming rate, today’s consumers are more savvy and smarter than ever.
It’s about time that you integrated social media into your marketing plan without any further delay. If that doesn’t convince you yet, here are some facts and figures that you can never reject.
Around 65% of US adult internet users use a social network (They also claim to have received positive benefit through their social media participation).
Businesses that use social media platforms for 6 hours a week and offer compelling content to consumers witnessed a boost of 52% in their overall lead generation.
Over 46% of small businesses in the US have already integrated social media into their marketing plan.
Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the recently launched Google Plus are all seeing a rapid increase in their usage. All of these social media platforms feature different types of audiences and serve different purposes. To make the most of your social media marketing, you do need to plan a strategy that works for your business best.
But, how can successfully perform social media integration into your marketing plan to expand the presence of your business? Well, given below are eight key questions that you should answer before you get started.
Q1. What does my ideal customer look like?
The first step to planning your social media marketing strategy is to find out what an ideal customer for your business looks like. When you are able to visualize the type of customer profiles you are looking for, you’ll also be on your way to knowing their interests and aspirations.
Q2. What are my business objectives?
Being clear about what business goals you want to fulfill is the next important step in social media planning. It is only when you are aware of the business objectives that you want to achieve that you can align them with people.
Q3. How do I need to use social media?
Depends on the type of business objectives you have. You should always plan your social media strategy in a way that helps you achieve the primary goals of your business.
Q4. What type of content should I use to engage consumers?
Without having a powerful content strategy, you won’t be able to garner the benefits of social media platforms. Before you start using social media to expand your customer outreach, you need to think about the content that you would share with your target audience.
Q5. Which social media tools should I use?
It really depends on type of customers you seek. There are multiple social media platforms that you can choose to plan out your marketing strategy. What’s important is to select those networks where your target audience is located. In any case, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs are the best social media tools that maximum marketers use.
Q6. How much time do I need to invest?
Yes, you need to break out of the myth that social media is free or it doesn’t require investment. Depending on your specific business requirements, you may need to invest both time and money. It is always advisable to spend anywhere between 6-11 hours each week initially on social media marketing.
Q7. What are social media marketing best practices?
Before doing the social media integration, you also need to educate yourself on the best practices of using the same. The most important thing to remember in this regard is how you can stand your message out in the crowd. You need to know about using Facebook for business and Face posting techniques. Likewise, you should be equipped with some best Twitter marketing tips. In a nutshell, you should be aware of the dos and don’ts of using social media.
Q8. How do I measure social media ROI?
An effective social media marketing strategy should also include a good measurement system. If you don’t know how to measure your social media marketing efforts, how can you expect to know whether you are headed in the right direction? Do some planning in advance to measure the ROI in terms of consumer engagement, customer satisfaction, cost savings, revenues, brand loyalty etc.
Marketers can quickly generate a lot of exposure for their business by using the right kind of social medium with the right approach. Whether you want to reach out to new customers, generate traffic, improve search rankings or generate leads quickly, social media can make it all happen for you. So, are you ready to plan your strategy for using social media effectively?