Social Media Strategy - Social Media & SEO: Part Five

September 9th, 2018

Create Branded Pages on Social Media

In your social media strategy, some social media accounts allow you to create special branded pages. Some are more adaptable than others. The important thing to do is to take advantage of whatever functions the social media allows. If it allows you to use HTML to create a branded landing page, use the function, if it allows you to upload special photos and images, do so. The more unique your social media accounts are the better.

When creating branded pages on social media it's important to realize which social media you're using, and read the rules. For instance, on Facebook, your cover image cannot ask customers to download anything, or give any contact information. In fact, they do not want any calls to action on your cover photo. Use features such as Facebook's ability to pin a post at the top of the feed so that new viewers will always see that when they arrive. That post can contain a video, or simply some text.

The same concepts can be used across all social media. Use the tools available, maximize your profiles with images, videos, and more that enhance and demonstrate who you are to your audience. Always look at your pages from the audience's perspective to ensure you're presenting your business in the best light possible.

Planning Your Social Media Strategy

A solid social media strategy will strengthen your business by increasing brand awareness, improving SEO and advancing customer engagement. In addition social media marketing is a very cost effective form of marketing. Your social media marketing strategy goes hand-in-hand with other forms of marketing and is part of good search engine optimization today. By creating a social media strategy you'll improve your chances for success.

Establish Your Social Media Goals

In order to set solid social media marketing goals it's important to understand how to make a goal. Every goal you make must be achievable, specific and measurable. Creating goals establishes metrics that you can study to decide whether or not your efforts are working. Without defined goals, you are just shooting in the dark.

First, your goals should be about the big picture. In this case your goal is very general such as "I want to get more traffic." or "I want to make more sales." The next step is to break down the big picture goal into smaller achievable, specific, measurable goals. Since the 1980's due to George T. Doran using the term in the November issue of Management Review, many people use the mnemonic device SMART to help them make goals.

* Specific -- Instead of saying, "I want more sales" as your goal, you need to be very specific and write down exactly what you mean by more sales. Such as: "I want to sell more of xyz product."

* Measurable -- In addition, you should mention how much you want to sell. Instead of just "I want to sell more xyz product" say "I want to sell 20% more xyz product."

* Attainable -- Ensure that you evaluate whether or not your goal is something that can really be done. You should know based on your research what can happen or not happen. If you've done no market research it'll be hard to make a goal.

* Relevant -- Any goal you make has to be relevant to your overall big picture. If you want to make more sales, but your specific, measurable goal is "Increase traffic by 20 percent." Does that relate? How? Why?

* Time Sensitive -- Finally, give yourself a time limit on any goals that you want to achieve. Don't leave the time open ended or you won't ever reach your goal, or an end point in which you can evaluate whether you reached your goal or not. So finally, your goal will look like this:

"I want to increase sales of xyz product by 20 percent, by the 4th quarter."

In addition to using this method for establishing your goals, you want to also always evaluate how everything went when the time is over, and then for your next campaign toss out what did not work, and recommit and double down on what did work. This will ensure that each marketing campaign you embark on will be an improvement on the former. As you've likely hard before, rinse and repeat for best results.

Identify Tactics That Help Reach Your Goals

Once you have written down your goals, it's time to identify how you're going to achieve them. The means by which you achieve a goal are called tactics. For instance, you might decide to increase blog posting by 50%, social media interaction by 40%, and double down on page SEO. All of these tactics will increase the likelihood of your achieving your goals.

Tactics have to support your overall strategy to be effective. To identify tactics you'll need to:

* Identify Resources -- What is your budget in terms of dollars, time, and other assets that you have to help you reach your goals?

* Determine Approach -- In the case of social media marketing strategy your approach will be to invest more resources into social media, but do you plan to invest more time in engagement, content creation, improved SEO, or all of the above? It needs to be planned out and focused.

* Understand Context -- It's imperative that you understand how everything is interconnected to make your social media marketing work. How does blogging effect social media engagement, for instance?

Develop a Social Media Marketing Calendar

Based on your goals, and time line it's important to now create a social media marketing calendar. You'll need a separate calendar for each social media you plan to use for your social media marketing campaign. If you've planned to just focus on one or two, that's fine, but create a separate calendar for each one.

You can use a tool like Google Calendar to create a separate calendar for each social media account, but that you can integrate together so that you can see a clear outline of everything needed to be done across all accounts. Plus, it's easy to just look at one social media account at a time to see what to do without a cluttered calendar.

Start with due dates. In your calendar start with a due date and work backwards towards today with action items to complete on any given day to work toward your goals. If you've determined you need to create 20 blog posts a month about a specific topic, you can do it one of two ways. You can arrange to create all 20 blog posts at once by a qualified writer, and then schedule them for delivery, or you can do them yourself.

But, you'll need to write down the titles, keywords, and subject matter either way so that you can stay on course with your blog posts. Using the Google Calendar to put notes into each date is a very useful way to make use of the technology. You'll be able to look at any given day, and then just do what it says to do on that day. You'll have all the information at your fingertips.

Identify holidays & special days. While you're in the calendar you can easily identity holidays and other special days where you won't be working. This is a good way to better keep track of your work schedule than just playing it by ear. Plus, you'll be able to ensure that your content that you'll be delivering near that holiday or other special days is relevant. You can give each holiday a special theme and make sure that your content matches the mood of your audience.

Delegate

Your marketing calendar is as good of a place as any to delegate work. If you have a Virtual Assistant or other people who work with you, you can invite them to the calendar, and assign them a special color code so that they know that is what they are supposed to do. You can also use a project management system like Basecamp.com to help you manage other people on projects by uploading to-do lists and more.

Use Technology Fully

WordPress offers many options that help you make publishing content easy. For instance, you can schedule posts, integrate automatic updates with various social media accounts, and more. Using technology fully will give you more time to devote elsewhere. However, don't automate so much that you forget the most important aspect of social media is the fact that it's social. For instance, automate sharing, but still go in and make comments on your own. Automate scheduled posts but check for comments regularly.

A social media marketing calendar will help you control your activities better. Calendars are all part of planning, and planning helps you get to your destination. You wouldn't take a trip across the country without a map or GPS, don't try to embark on social media marketing without a plan either. A plan will make you more successful, save time, and help guide you.

Create Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Just like with any other marketing campaign you'll identify your target audience, know where to reach them, as well as develop your message and information that you share based on your goals. You'll have more than one campaign based on your goals. Perhaps your goal is to "Increase sales by 20 percent of xyz product by the end of the 4th quarter."

Identify Tactics

You'll need to identify the tactics you'll use to increase sales such as getting more newsletter sign ups, more likes on Facebook, more Twitter followers, and perhaps more engagement on Pinterest. Your campaign will consist of getting more sign ups, or likes, or follows, then in addition, what you'll do with those likes, followers, and sign ups.

Do Your Due Diligence

Then you'll create a separate campaign for each of the parts of the goal. You might determine, based on statistical analysis of your current sales and resources that a way to increase sales by 20 percent is to increase newsletter subscribers by 100 percent. If that's the case, then you need to create a campaign to increase newsletter subscribers.

Choose Your Methods

You can do this in a variety of ways from online advertising, to an intense content marketing plan using just content and social media. Identify how you'll do it, and then write down the steps to do it into your marketing calendar creating a separate campaign for each part of a goal.

Read Part Six in our series, Create a Content Repository