Marketing is a discipline that has been changing as new technologies have emerged. The theory of marketing as we know it now has evolved and has become increasingly complex as environments are increasingly competitive and tools are at hand for everyone. That is why we must be more planned and at the same time versatile and adaptable.
In digital marketing the situation is not different. In fact this is a field in which changes are introduced with a lot more speed and the ones that are not ready for them will see a noticeable setback in their conversions.
In order to meet the needs and innovations imposed by the digital market, you must always have a strategy. This will tell us where we want to go and how we should act in different scenarios.
In this post we will dedicate ourselves to evaluate the necessary steps to build a social media strategy, one of the keys to digital marketing.
We are going to build our Digital Marketing plan:
The Target or Target Audience
As with traditional marketing, everything begins with the target audience and the product. You have a key audience to which you are going to sell something. When we talk about product, we refer to anything that is the object of a transaction: service, physical product, idea ... in short, anything you want to sell (and with sales we do not only talk about money, sometimes you want to get something else from the strategy of marketing: leads, followers, readers, donors, sponsors ...).
At times we make the mistake of seeing what we have and then decide to whom we sell it, and the truth is that the strategy must work the other way around. When we detect a market niche we adjust our product to reach you.
The only way to make a social media strategy with meaning is to understand who we are going to sell to. For this you must evaluate the demographic, socio-economic, psychographic variables, etc.
A good tool to understand your key audience is to give it a personality. Sit down to think about a typical client, what his personality is, give him a name and ask yourself. How old are you? What are your income? Do they have children? What do you like or do not like? What motivates them? Go about creating as many profiles as you have public objectives, this will allow you to understand well what is their behavior on the web.
Goals And Objectives
Once you know who you are going to address, you must be clear about your objectives. Having these clear goals allows you to react quickly when social media campaigns are not meeting your expectations. Without goals, you have no way to measure success or prove the return on investment (ROI).
These objectives must be aligned with your broader marketing strategy, so that your efforts in social networks are oriented towards the objectives of your business. Your goals should go beyond vanity metrics like Retweets and Likes. Concentrate on advanced metrics such as generated leads, web references and conversion rate.
You must also use the SMART framework when setting your goals. This means that each objective must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and limited in time.
Once you set your goals, make sure you can measure them. Find the right tools to track and analyze each one, in order to quantify your progress. This will not only let you know when it has arrived, it will also help you detect problems early and adjust your course if necessary.
Conduct An Audit Of Your Social Networks
In order to measure the scope of your strategy you have to draw a good one beforehand. You have to understand what the current state of your networks is. This is not just to see how many followers you have. This is to evaluate in depth the current performance of each network. How many users are active? How many are fake followers? What ads work more? At what time should posts be published in the current state?
In addition to that you must see who controls each network, which URL addresses them, what purpose they have served until now. Once you have this clear picture you will know where you should go.
Look At The Competition
When it comes to social networks, your competition can tell you a lot about what works and what does not. After all, they are aimed at the same customers. If you ignore your competition, you are giving up a fantastic opportunity to learn from their successes and mistakes.
To investigate your competitors, start by choosing three or four of the best. Find out what social networks are active and study their content. Is it funny or serious? What kind of cultural references do they use? Do they talk about their product mainly, or do they focus on other things?
For example, if you sell snowboards, do your competitors talk about how your snowboards work?, or publish surprising snowboard videos that simply include your products?
Next, see how well each competitor is doing - for example, how much commitment, it will allow you to determine which strategies work for them and which do not.
Choose Which Social Platforms To Be On
Once you have an audience detected, you know the status of your networks and you have monitored the competition and you have enough information to start choosing your channels. For them:
- Evaluate in what media your audience moves. What good is an account on Soundcloud if your audience is not there?
- Look outside the box. The abacus of social networks is wider than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are networks with micro-niches that can be interesting for your brand, discover them!
In this phase you should make sure to guarantee the name of your brand in all the social networks in which you think you can have a presence, so do not think that at this moment it is necessary to open the channel. More and more users are registered in each network and names have become less available.
Create a Content Plan and a Publication Calendar
Having great content to share will be essential to succeed on the social networks. Your social media marketing plan should include a content marketing plan, consisting of strategies for creating content and recycling content, as well as an editorial calendar.
Your content marketing plan should answer the following questions:
What types of content do you want to publish and promote on social networks?
How often will you post content?
Your target audience for each type of content
Who will create the content?
How you will promote the content?
Your editorial calendar should include the dates and times when you want to publish blogs, Instagram and Facebook posts, Tweets and other content you plan to use during your social media campaigns.
Establish customer service channels
Networks are an excellent platform to communicate with your customers. In your Social Media plan you should describe what will be the communication protocol with your clients. You must establish who is responsible for responding and how to act in situations that may become complicated. It is not the same to serve a client who is going to congratulate you for your service than one who is going to establish a complaint.
There are also times when the flow of comments is very broad. Although in an ideal world all of our clients should receive an answer, you must have priorities about which messages will be answered directly and which will not. All this should be perfectly clear in this section of your social media plan.
Also, you must be very clear about the protocol to follow in the event of a crisis within your networks. What is considered a crisis? Who to contact? What will be the response?
Test, Adjust and Evaluate Your Social Media Plan
Once you have your plan assembled it's time to try it. After some time has passed, which should be established within the plan, you should proceed to evaluate the actions and recalculate your strategy in case the objectives have not been met.
Remember to take into account why goals were not obtained and where the fault was and make adjustments as needed.
If you have any other ideas or tips let us know.