If you’re really serious about your content marketing you really need to get serious with your social media. Social media has an amazing ability to amplify your content and have it reach people you’d never imagined. It helps with your SEO, it helps to build trust with your followers and it helps you get leads to your website. But if your social media is simply an afterthought and you post when you remember and don’t really have a plan, it’s likely that your social media won’t work as well as it should.
So considering it’s almost the end of 2014, I thought I’d put together some ideas for you to develop a kick ass social media plan for 2015 so you can start fresh and reach some goals.
1. Actually have a plan
It doesn’t have to be detailed, it should at least contain these things:
- Your ideal audience (gender, age, interests, challenges, goals)
- Your competitors – where are they on social media? What are they doing well (or not so well)?
- What channels are you going to focus on? (where does your ideal audience hang out?)
- What are your social media goals? They could be that you want to get more traffic to your website or that you’d like to build your email list.
- How are you going to measure your goals? What insights or analytics are on offer for the channels you are using?
- How often are you going to post on social media?
- What type of content are you going to share? (don’t forget this should be linked in to your audiences needs, what content do they want and that will help them?)
And then your social media plan should also address the following areas within the above sections:
It could make life a whole lot easier if you automate your social media updates instead of posting when you remember or doing it all manually. Consider applications like Hootsuite or Buffer to make your life just a little bit easier and more organised.
3. Fill in the gaps
Determine what your competition is doing or writing about, find a topic you love, that’s timely and no one else is writing about. Of course, you need to make sure it is content that hits your audience’s pain points and that they’ll value. This is what makes high quality content.
‘Listen’ to your followers, they will give you a good indication of whether or not they find your content valuable. You can ‘listen’ by observing shares, comments, tweets, retweets and comments on your blog. What posts have gained more traction on your social media channels? These are the topics that hit the sweet spot. Also ‘listen’ to chatter within your industry or niche.
Stuck for ideas? Ask your community how they feel about a certain topic or ask them to give examples of what happened to them in a particular situation and gather them together in a post. For example, you might ask your audience how they budget during Christmas and then create a list post of the ‘top 10 ways keep your finances in check during Christmas.’ Easy.
6. Maintain social media etiquette
It goes without saying really, but if you really want to show you care, be sure to respond to comments, be consistent and show your true self instead of coming across as a faceless robot behind the facade or social media. In your social media plan, specify the type of voice you are going to use and how often you will allocate yourself each day/week to engage with your followers.
7. Look beyond Facebook
As we all know, in the new year Facebook is going to make it even tougher to get a good organic reach. Sure, stay on there and battle it out (or pay to promote your posts if you have the budget) but make yourself open to other social media channels. If you’ve been solely relying on Facebook, I’d recommend you start putting more effort into other channels now so they can make up for the loss experienced over on Facebook.
You will not know where to improve or how to improve if you don’t look at your analytics. Once you’ve set yourself some goals, determine some KPI’s (key performance indicators). This could be something like ‘5 new page likes a week’. Then at the end of each month, look at your insights to see if you have achieve this. If not, have a look at where you could improve, it may just mean you have to look at your content strategy and share content that is more targeted to your audience.
I could keep going on and on about things to include in your social media plan, but I think these are definitely some ideas to get you started.
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