By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
The Holidays are one of the busiest seasons of the year! A lot of people spend a lot of money on big and small businesses. And, I'm sure that this year you want to be ahead of the season with the current Pandemic affecting a lot of our typical holiday shopping traditions. So, in this post, let us go over how to create your social media marketing plan for your small business or brand. We will also go over blogging tips to get you ready for blogmas and for sharing your holiday posts.
Social Media Marketing Plan for Small Business
As a small business owner, you might not know where to begin your social media marketing plan. If you have the budget, I suggest hiring a social media manager to take care of your plan, content and posting. If you would rather do-it-yourself, then keep reading. It is one thing to know how to use social media to promote your products and connect to your target audience, but it is another thing to understand how to properly utilize it for an effective and strategic social media marketing plan that will help you in boosting traffic to your website and/or to your brick-and-mortar location.
So, what is social media marketing? Well, social media marketing (SMM) is the process of utilizing social media platforms and websites to promote products, content and services. But, isn't it just about posting a lot of pictures and getting followers? Well, that's a part of it but it is not as easy as it sounds. It is not easy to get followers and it is even harder to get good engagement on your posts. Think about it, how long have you been on social media, how often do you post, how many followers do you have, and how much engagement do you get per post? If you don't know the answers to these questions, then you are not going to be able to create a strategic and effective plan for your business.
The first thing you should know is that your profiles need to be optimized for the platform that you are using. You should also know that you do not have to be on every single platform. It is best to select the platforms where your target audience spends most of their time which can be two to three. If you focus on a few, you will be able to spend more time and be more consistent than trying to keep up with half a dozen platforms. For more on selecting the right platform for your business or industry, take a look at our post on the Best Social Media Platforms for your Business. Now that you have selected the platforms, let us move on with creating your plan.
Target Audience & Social Media Audit
After you have done a little research and know which platforms you will focus on, you need to do some research on your target audience. Think about who you are trying to target. Is your business targeting middle age adults, teens, senior citizens, women, men, children, etc? These are your demographics. A good strategy to use besides just thinking about who you want to target, is taking a look at who your competitors target. Your competitors should be those in your community (physical and/or virtual) that target the same group with the same products and services. You should also research the industry in general to find out some demographics. For example, you might be an online clothing brand that targets women. Depending on what you sell, you might be targeting females ages 15-40 that want trendy fast-fashion at affordable prices. You will need to research their income to understand how much they might be willing to spend. Another thing you need to look at is psychographics. So, what is the difference between demographics and psychographic? Well, demographics focuses on statistical data on a population including age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, education, etc. Psychographics focus on the classification of individuals in a population according to their attitudes, aspirations, behaviors, and other psychological factors. You can use all of this data to divide your target audience into your primary, secondary and tertiary audience. For example, your primary audience can be kids and teens who do not typically purchase their own things. So, your secondary audience is parents and your tertiary might be uncles, aunts and grandparents.
Understanding your target audience might take some time and research. But, after you have identified your ideal target audience you can move on to your social media audit. The audit will consist of analyzing your own social media pages. You will look at your followers, content, engagement, and analytics. If you do not have social media accounts yet, then you should take a look at the social media accounts of your competitors. You will not have access to their analytics, but you can determine their followers, engagement rates and you can look at what content they share. This can also help you decide the type of content that you will share on your own pages. If you already have social media accounts and you are conducting an audit, you should take a look at what type of content performs best. Take a look at your engagement rate, your followers' demographics, the times that they are active on social media and so on. This can help you determine the best posting and content strategy moving forward. For more help with analytics, visit our posts onunderstanding social media analytics for small business.
Social Media Marketing Plan
To create your own strategic and effective plan, you need to first decide your SMART Goals and Objectives. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. For example, to gain 300 new Twitter followers by December. An objective is what you aim to achieve. Your goals can be overall business goals whereas your objectives can be specific to the campaign. Goals are the outcomes you intend to achieve whereas objectives are the actions that will help you achieve your goals. After deciding your goals and objectives, you can move on to your tactics and strategies. This is set of words which people typically confuse. Tactics are the steps/actions you will take to achieve your strategy. For more information on tactics and strategies, you can take a look at our Beginners Guide to a PR Plan.
One of your strategies when creating a social media plan will be to use social media platforms to share information or content about your business, brand and products. One of your tactics will be creating a content calendar. The content calendar will help you plan out when you will be posting what and on which platforms. This will also help you determine when you will be creating new content and when you will be curating content or sharing older content. This is particularly helpful for blogs and online based businesses. You can use a content calendar to plan when you will be promoting what products and services ahead of the Holiday season. A content calendar will also help you in creating your overall Holiday campaign.
Let's do a quick review before moving on to blogging tips. First, research your market and competitors. Second, research your target audience. Third, conduct a social media audit. Fourth, set your SMART goals. Fifth, set your objectives. Sixth, set your strategies and tactics. Seventh, create the materials for your tactics. And, if you are not a small business owner, you can always share these tips and support your favorite small businesses in so many ways. Read this post from Rach Talks Business for some great ways you can support your favorite small businesses!
Holiday Blogging Tips
Blogging during the Holidays is different because you will be busy. It is the time of year where you can make the most money from affiliate marketing sales, sponsorships and other monetization tactics. There are a lot of bloggers that offer great tips and even sell their guides to affiliate marketing for beginners. Some have a list of blogging resources that are perfect for beginners like this post from Rach Talks Business on the Best Blogging Resources to Transform your Blog. For this post, we will go over some of the tips I think will help you the most during the Holidays:
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