Where to Spend Time on Social Media
An April 2013 study confirmed that people in the United States spend 27 percent of their time on the computer and 15 percent of their time on smartphones using social media networks. Thus, a social media plan is an essential component of any marketing plan. With so many channels to choose from and the fear of becoming overly promotional, putting together a plan can be an overwhelming task. Simplify by choosing a few areas of priority and build from there, using these suggestions.
- Know your target audience. The first aspect of any social media plan is gaining knowledge about your audience. Look beyond basic marketing personas and make the effort to get to know details about your prospective customers. Learn which social media platforms and types of engagement they use the most often. This information may largely dictate your social media goals.
- Tailor your social media messages to your target audience. Social media activity requires deliberate planning. Craft content that addresses your audience’s needs, and don’t forget to add a personal touch. People want to know that the content is coming from humans, not computers that have generated and posted generic messages.
- Choose social media venues. Where is your target audience active? Bring the content to them instead of assuming that your content will be good enough to make them follow you. Consider both classic channels such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs, as well as newer channels like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.
- Establish your social media presence through social media engagement. Your audience should be able to identify your communication and content without seeing your brand name. Consider using colors, fonts, photos and tone that set your brand apart from both direct and indirect competitors.
- Provide relevant, engaging content. The content that you offer must be appropriate for your target audience. Marketers are required to spend time on social media to converse with their target audience. However, social media users spend time on networks to interact with their family and friends. They’re not interested in endless advertisements, even from their favorite brands.
- Integrate your social media activities into your other marketing. An effective marketing plan has multiple components. So consider how you can promote your social media through other marketing venues. For example, include QR codes to relevant blog posts and/or Pinterest boards on company fliers.
- Measure your results. Now that you have a solid social media plan in place, track your results. Put your focus on metrics that indicate whether your business is moving forward.