Must knows of a social media marketing plan

There are a lot of very capable professionals out there who don’t get the business their skills deserve because they can’t apply the rudiments of strategic marketing to their social media operations. Luckily, as business issues go, strategic marketing over social media is a relatively simple concept to get a grip on.

Define Your Core Marketing Metric

The business of marketing your company has a lot of moving parts and you don’t want to get too hung up on every little detail. You should decide early on which marketing metrics are most important to you and focus on them pretty exclusively. For some people this is the cost per sale or per lead. But you can also focus on website hits, brand awareness or a bevy of other indicators. Figure out which metric is most important to you, and use that as your bellwether. Your job is to run a business, not an analytics firm, so don’t take on more than you can handle.

Be Sociable On Social Media

The trick to marketing on social media is getting the right tone. The self-contained content of print or television advertising doesn’t apply here at all. Customers expect to be able to freely interact with you, and to get a response.

Keep a light tone and don’t be afraid of a little self-deprecatory humor. Your customers, now more than ever, know there are human beings behind company accounts. Feel free to let that show.

Furthermore, remember to talk about things other than your company! Engaging with things going on in the world (and using associated hashtags) can draw a wider audience and keep people engaged.

Personalize Your Marketing

With consumer analytics becoming infinitely more powerful and markets subdividing into ever-smaller niches, it’s important to lay claim to your segment of the market. Nothing helps this more than personal engagement and interaction.

• Offer gifts and rewards at regular intervals. Reward the people who frequent your Facebook page or read your Tweets with “exclusive” offer codes or discounts.

• Let your followers know before anyone else about upcoming product lines or service changes.

When you follow customer suggestions (as you often should) get back to them! Social media makes it easy to keep track of who told you what and lets you respond with ease.

Give Your Marketing a Predictable Pattern

• Create monthly events like contests or discounts.

• Perform weekly shoutouts to your biggest customers. Maybe even jokingly call out customers who are MIA.

• Create a regular “Inside Your Company” series showcasing the daily life of your workplace. People tend to find these surprisingly captivating.

• Create a truly informative and entertaining newsletter. Just make sure it isn’t meaningless spam.

Know Your Core Customers and be the OBVIOUS Choice For Their Business

• Are you currently the biggest name in your business? Great! Use your outsize clout to reach as many people as possible, and seize the advantage to strategically target your competitors. Meanwhile, pay attention to how your competitors are trying to differentiate from you and cut them off at the pass.

• Are you a small fry just trying to make a name for yourself? In this case you need to make the fullest use of all that the internet has to offer. Get busy on blogs, forums and other sites. Try to figure out your competitors’ weaknesses and offer a solution.

Always Be Learning About Your Customers

Once you know what your customers look like, you should always be refining and honing your “best customer profile.” Relevant keywords on all of your social media sites, postings on appropriate blogs and crafting of attractive branding messages all play into getting in front of these customers.

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