You’re ready to launch your new SMM campaign, your social media accounts are set up, and you even have a great design plan for your posts. You may think you’re ready to launch, but stop right now. You still need to make a plan.
Why Planning is Crucial to Your Social Media Efforts
Anyone can jump on Twitter and start tweeting about their business. With some luck, anyone can gain followers, and even generate website traffic. But, if anyone could rock social media marketing, then everyone would be doing it. Planning is central to SMM success.
According to Hubspot, there are serious risks you face by not properly planning your social media efforts:
- Lack of understanding from target audience
- Sending the wrong message to followers and fans
- Supporting the wrong interests, cultures, and regulations
What Can Go Wrong When You Don’t Properly Plan an SMM Campaign?
To raise awareness for two black men killed by white officers and start a healthy discussion amongst followers, Starbucks started a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #racetogether. This is what followed:
The arrival of Starbucks is typically a key indicator of gentrification in low-income communities. But, #RaceTogether
Most public tweets resulting from this campaign had a similar message – people were appalled and highly vocal about it. In order to optimize a campaign, plan far in advance and research what people are saying about your brand, both good and bad. In this case, it would have been simple to find out that Starbucks was a symbol of race gentrification in communities where this is a real problem, simply by monitoring previous social conversations.
The Basic Outline for Any Social Media Marketing Plan
Keep in mind, while planning, that every post you publish on social media is part of a larger campaign. Each campaign should have specific, measurable goals targeted to a specific audience. You can easily break SMM planning down into 6 steps, following Hootsuite’s advice:
- Set goals and objectives. The goals of any social media campaign should be measurable, and attainable (ex: 1,000 new followers or $4,000 in new customer sales within two weeks).
- Conduct a social media audit. Before you launch, conduct a social media audit within your analytics platform and double check all of your website’s sharing tools. This will give you valuable insights that may have otherwise gone overlooked.
- Create or optimize your social accounts. If you don’t have social accounts, now’s the time to create them. Make sure all of your accounts are pointing back to your main landing page for the current/ upcoming campaign.
- Get inspiration from others in your industry. Check out your competitors, industry leaders, fans, clients, customers, and haters for inspiration.
- Create a content calendar that includes your SMM plan. Once you have the first four steps out of the way, create your content calendar, which will show what you are going to share, and when you are going to share it. Make sure to prime viewers with related content between sharing posts that include your main offering.
- Test, evaluate, and adjust your plan. You need to actually write this into your plan, so you can see what’s working, what isn’t, and adjust accordingly. Do this periodically throughout the duration of your campaign to ensure that you meet your daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
In the race for the best social media campaigns, many people still believe they can rely on wit and organic traffic. But, planning an educated campaign – way in advance – is the key to social media marketing success. Follow the advice above for SMM that gets real results.