10 Essential Components of A Comprehensive Social Media Marketing PlanSocial Networks, Viral Marketing
Creating a comprehensive social strategy is a major marketing concern and a continued challenge with the social media environment becoming increasingly complex. However, it is the central element that businesses need to make sense of their social media presence. Without a social strategy, how will you know what to do, how will you measure your performance and how will you determine the ROI of your social media program?
The key to achieving excellence in social media is understanding the different components that make a comprehensive social media strategy.
Branding boils down to being consistent. Across the different social media channels, the same naming, imagery type and color scheme that is part of your branding need to be applied to social media. The challenge is perhaps to keep your voice consistent as well, which is the most important aspect of social media branding. You need to choose a voice to represent your business and choose a tone.
Content in social media provides a medium for businesses to engage with social media users. Informative and shareable content benefit a business’s social media presence. That being said, content is not limited to blog posts and photos. You can think outside the box. Infographics, memes and discussions (for example tweet chats) are all different types of content that you can include in your social strategy.
In social media, if you only talk about yourself, people will lose interest in what you have to say. To breathe life into your social media accounts, you need to curate content that is of interest to your fans and followers and promote it together with your own content. Does your social strategy include sources from which you curate content?
Over the web, there are over 50 active social networks with million of members each. You can’t and should not have a presence on each one of them. You need to choose which social networks to include as part of your social strategy and subsequently determine the best practices and tactical plans for each of these networks.
The next stop is maximizing your ROI for time and resources spent on each social network. No two social sites are alike and based on statistical data, you need to decide how much time and resources you will allocate to, for example, making posts on Facebook and tweeting. More frequent posting does not mean more effective social media marketing.
Engagement in social media should be both proactive and reactive. Most businesses do well with proactive engagement but fail to engage with users who engage with their updates. Engagement in both the proactive and reactive forms is important for maintaining an effective social media presence.
For excellence in your social media program, you need to have a listening strategy in place. Listening includes but is not limited to being on the lookout for negative feedback. Every person who engages with your Page or Twitter account is an opportunity for you to be a good listener and collect social data to improve your strategy.
To amplify your reach and impact on the social networks, engage with influencers for the right reasons and in the right way. This makes your social media marketing more effective. So target the right influencers for the right objectives. Don’t brush this off, targeting the right influencers can be a deceptively difficult task.
9. Brand Ambassadors
In the social media environment, you should always be on the lookout for ways to engage and one of the untapped opportunities for businesses to do so is to reward brand loyalty and amplification. For any business, brand ambassadors are critical whether we are talking about your internal employees or loyal fans of your brand. People trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of marketing.
10. Crisis Management
Your social media plan should include an effective crisis management strategy. Because of the impact of social media, a business should always be prepared for the worst.
So here we are! Together, we’ve covered the 10 most important components of any social media plan. Of course, depending on your social business strategy, the importance of one or two of the above ingredients may change to align your social plan with your business objectives and needs. Think of the above checklist as a bare minimum requirement for any social media marketing plan.