As a startup or small business you have to wear many hats and perform tasks such as accounting, human resources, & marketing. At times it's hard to define where you should focus your energy for the most results. According to Hubspot over 80% of business owners indicated their social media marketing efforts increased traffic to their websites.
By developing a social media marketing plan you are given many advantages over your competitor. I will help you create a social media plan. You can expect to walk away with the following.
- Find out what social media channels potential customers are on
- Gain insights on your customers online behaviors
- Define your social media goals and how to measure your efforts
- Learn how to reach out to influencers in your industry
- Discover social media marketing tools to automate processes
- Integrate sales & customer support into your social media marketing
- Optimizing your social media marketing strategy
Where Are Your Customers?
The Internet has destroyed and created many industries because of its ability to disrupt traditional processes. You may know where your customers are at offline but online you're completely loss and don't know where to begin.
You shouldn't try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to marketing for the most part. I recommend using the tool Similar Web to research your competitor's websites and learning where their customers hangout online. This tool is very powerful; it shows you how much traffic your competitors get, their website visitors interest, websites that are sending your competitors website traffic and much more. Play around with the tool and research 3 of the top companies in your industry. While researching look and see what social media channels refer the most traffic because this is a great sign of where your customers are at as well. This will be in the referral section of the report.
Bonus Tip: On social media keywords will be used in hash tags. As well look for hashtags that are used by your customers. By using hashtags in your social media posts you will increase the number of people who see you social media posts.
What Are Your Customers Looking For?
Majority of your customers use search engines to find answers to their problems. If you can determine what keywords they are searching for it's safe to say you can easily find them and even increase the ability for them to find you. For this strategy you need to use the Google Chrome browser and install Moz Bar. After installing it visit your competitor's website and look at their title tags & Meta descriptions for each service.
After discovering keywords add them to an excel sheet to save for later in the social media marketing plan where we will go over how to optimize your social media profiles
How Will You Measure Your Social Media Marketing Efforts?
There are three main metrics that are used by social media companies. They include growth, engagement, & reach.
Growth: The rate at which your social media account gains new fans & followers. This is the first objective a small business should focus on because without an audience to share your content with engaging on social media is pointless; nobody wants to talk to himself.
Engagement: This is the ability to get your fans & followers to interact with your social media posts. If you grow your social media accounts the proper way then you already have people that care about what you have to say. Please avoid paying for 10,000 twitter and facebook fans. Most of the time they are bots and inactive people who aren't interested in your product or service to begin with. I will share techniques to grow your Twitter & Facebook accounts effectively further in this post.
Reach: After initially growing your social media account and getting fans to engage with your content then you can focus on strategies to increase your reach. Reach is the number of impressions a social media post gets. I say impressions and not fans because your reach isn't limited by who's your fans because of the ability to run social media ad campaigns.
Who Are The Top Influencers In Your Industry?
Large brands use celebrities to increase their perceived authority and influence. Thanks to the internet small businesses now have the ability to easily get endorsements from influencers online. I will share two strategies that you can use to develop relationships with influencers.
Offer Perks To Businesses: You should ask yourself what incentive can you offer influencers for promoting your product or service to their audience. As awesome as your company is without an incentive influencers may not be motivated to act on your offers. Klot is a company that scores and identifies influencers by categories. Use the categories that your competitors websites ranked for on Similar Web to easily identify influencers.
Gain Online Press: I recommend using the company ContentMarketer.io because of it simplifies the blogger outreach process into 5 steps and they already have a network of influential bloggers.
- Creating and setting your campaign goals
- Finding and researching bloggers that fit your campaign
- Engaging with bloggers if necessary
- Pitching bloggers to tell them why your product/service/brand is something their audience will love
- Tracking results and continuing the win-win relationship
Bonus Tip: Currently they offer a free trial that will allow you to determine if it's a good fit for you.
How To Integrate Sales & Customer Support
Often I see mostly curated content being shared without any true objective but to be heard on social media. Two strategies that I recommend asking your sales department what are some of the common objections that they are getting. With that information companies can create focused content and share it on social media. This will help create engaging content but also aid your sales department with supportive content they can refer potential clients to. To take this strategy one step further integrate social selling into your organization.
As well develop content around customers problems after receiving your product or service. This will help with retention and referrals.
Recommended Social Media Marketing Tools
Similar Web: Compare website traffic of your competitors and view traffic sources, bounce rate, time on site, organic keywords & much more. Also it's currently free.
MozBar: Great tool to analyze websites page rank, title tags, meta descriptions, rich text snippet to help with SEO and social media research.
Google Analytics: The largest search engine in the world and offers a robust website analytic platform that all small and medium size businesses should use.
HootSuite: Social media marketing tool that allows you to schedule & analyze posts. Also HootSuite supports multiple users to collaborate in a team environment.
Klout: Innovative software based on an algorithm that gives you a Klout score. Great for developing relationships with influencers and adding an innovative spin to your social media campaigns.
Mail Shake: This tool allows you to connect with bloggers and increase the reach of your brand.
Optimizing Your Social Media Marketing Plan
Now that you have several social media marketing strategies and an in-depth marketing plan you're almost ready to succeed online. Every business is different and not all of these techniques will work in every industry. Measure, test, & learn from your marketing efforts. This will allow you to identify what does and doesn't work I recommend using Google Analytics to measure your referral traffic and HootSuite which has an URL shortener that will give you the ability to get in-depth analytics of each individual social media post.