Putting It All Together

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Putting It All Together

Putting It All Together

“Strategy and timing are the Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is the Catskills.”

~Al Ries

At this point, it’s pretty clear: social media needs to start playing a role in your overall marketing strategy. And you need to create a good social media strategy if you want to get great results.

Here’s something else: even if you do NOT engage in social media, you’re sending a message loud and clear.

What message?

A message that you’re not current with the times. A message that you don’t find your customers’ and prospects’ preferred communication channel to be all that important. A message that says, “Go ahead and do business with my competitors, because I really don’t have the time to interact with you.”

Of course you certainly wouldn’t intend to send that type of message. You certainly wouldn’t think it, and for darn sure you wouldn’t say anything like that. But that’s beside the point, because this is the message your customers hear.

The good news is that you’re not going to have this problem. That’s because you’ve been reading through this guide, so you now know a whole lot more about social media marketing than the average business owner. And you’re just about ready to create and unroll your social media strategy.

That’s what this chapter is going to show you how to do. We’ll take all these pieces and parts you’ve been learning about in this guide, and we’ll put them together into one solid strategy that you can use to grow your business.

Let’s jump in. Here’s a step-by-step plan for you, which you can implement using the information you already learned in this guide…

Step 1: Define Your Goals

As you learned right in the beginning of this guide, your very first step is to decide what you want your social media presence to do for you. For example, do you want to:

  • Drive traffic to specific links?
  • Build your brand?
  • Generate leads?
  • Boost conversions?
  • Create sales?

Those are just a few of the ways you can use social media. Check the chapter at the beginning to refresh your mind on many of the other ways.

What you’re going to do is decide what is your PRIMARY goal on social media. This is the one goal that’s more important to you than all the others. This primary goal is going to drive your entire social media strategy. Every piece of content you post is going to serve as a step towards your goal.

Of course that doesn’t mean you need to create just one goal. You certainly can and should lay out your secondary goals as well. Then when you create your strategy or create a piece of content, you can check that it’s a step towards your primary goal, and also check if it supports your secondary goal.

You’ll get an example of this in Step 5 of this planner. But first, let’s work through the next steps…

Step 2: Profile Your Audience

Next, you need to really take a close look at your audience to determine who they are and what they want. Again, please refer to the market research section of this guide for more information about how to complete this step.

This step will help you do two things:

  1. It will help you figure out what kind of content to post, as your research will tell you what people in your niche want.

  1. It will help you determine the best social media platform, as you can compare your audience demographics to the platform demographics.

Which brings us to the next point…

Step 3: Determine the Best Platform

There are a lot of social media platforms currently online, and new ones are springing up all the time. If you use the shotgun approach, you’re just going to end up wasting bullets (AKA time and money). So instead, you’ll want to take a more methodical approach.

As you discovered earlier, there are seven main social media platforms for you to consider using. These popular platforms include: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest.

Your mission is to determine the following:

  1. On which platforms is your audience most likely to congregate? (This is where you compare your audience demographics with the information about the platforms.)

  1. Of the platforms where your audience congregates, which platforms will help you best achieve your goals? (This is where you look at how the platform works, and whether it is best designed for branding, driving traffic and so on.)

Remember, you’re just going to select perhaps two platforms, and focus on those two platforms for starters. 

Next up…

Step 4: Choose Your Tools

Next, you’re going to decide what types of tools you want to use. You’ll want to take some time to figure out what your needs are in terms of content creation, design, automation, tracking and so on.

Then spend time going through the links provided in this guide to determine the best tools for your needs. It’s a good idea to select your tools early on for these two reasons:

  1. You can start using them immediately, so you can get your social media strategy off to a good start.

  1. It’s often easier and saves time to set up the tools at the same time as you set up your social media accounts.

Next step…

Step 5: Create a Content Plan

Next, you need to create your content plan. There are two parts of this plan to consider:

Part 1: The kind of content you’ll create and post.

Part 2: When you’ll post content.

Let’s look at these issues separately…

Part 1: What kind of content will you post?

First, you need to decide what types of content you’ll be posting. We’ve talked about some of the issues earlier in this guide. Here are the main points to keep in mind:

  • Figure out what your market wants. Your market research will help you determine this. Analyze other peoples’ social media content to determine what sort of content (both the topic and the format) seem to be the most popular in your niche.

  • Understand that certain types of content get better engagement. Earlier you learned that graphics do better than text, and videos often do better than both graphics and text. You also learned about the ideal length of content. You’ll need to test these things out for yourself.

In addition to choosing the type of content that’s most likely to get a good response, you also need to create content that supports both your primary and secondary goals.

Let me give you an example…

Let’s suppose your primary goal is to generate leads, and one of your secondary goals is to build brand awareness.

So let’s suppose you put out a short “how to” video. In order to generate leads, you’ll need to make sure your video possesses these characteristics:

  • It’s extremely informative, and solves a part of your prospect’s problem.
  • It’s short and entertaining to hold attention.
  • It offers something novel. Not only does this help drive people to your website to see what else you can offer (which supports your primary goal), it also creates a viral effect (which supports your secondary goal as you build brand authority).
  • It includes a link and a call to action at the end of the video to drive people to your lead page. (This is your primary goal.)
  • It’s branded in a way that people know who put the video out after they’ve watched it for just a couple seconds. (This supports your secondary goal.)
  • It’s part of an intriguing video series. (This supports your secondary goal.)

So you get the point. Whenever you create a piece of content, be sure it supports your primary goal and, whenever possible, your secondary goals as well.

TIP: Be sure to post a variety of content. Not only does this keep your viewers engaged, but it also gives you a feel as to what type of content they respond to the best.

TIP: Be careful about promos. If you do too many, you’re going to turn off your followers. If you do too few, your followers might feel like they’re not getting any “special perks” (such as special discounts) in exchange for following you.

Now the second part of your content planning strategy…

Part 2: When will you post content?

As mentioned earlier in the guide, you need to determine the best time to post content for your audience. You’ll want to track shares, likes and comments in order to figure out which days and which times create the desired response.

For example, at some times of the day (such as early morning), you might have people checking their phone and social media accounts when they first wake up. They might only have time to just tap a quick “like” on your content.

Meanwhile, you may find that at other times of the day they not only like it, but they have time to share it or comment on it too. Perhaps this happens during the generally good period of Tuesday between 10:00am and 1:00pm.

These are just examples. Your mileage may vary depending on your audience and the type of content you’re creating. That’s why you need to track these things to determine for yourself the best time to post.

Once you’ve figured this out, then you need to plan your content strategy in very specific terms. In other words, what will you post and when will you post it?

First, you need to plan your overall strategy. Specifically, how often will you post on your social media accounts? For example:

  • Multiple times per day?
  • Daily?
  • Every other day?
  • Weekly?

Here’s how to determine a schedule that’s right for you:

  • First, look at your primary and secondary goals, and determine which content publishing schedule would best support those goals. 

NOTE: you should devote time daily to your social media strategy, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to post on every platform every day. 

For example, let’s suppose you’re posting on Pinterest and Facebook. You may post on Facebook daily to drive traffic and generate leads, as it’s likely your target market spends a lot of time on Facebook. Meanwhile, you may decide to only post on Pinterest once or twice a week to retain some “top of mind” awareness.

  • Secondly, look at what your competitors are doing on social media. Try to reverse-engineer what’s working. Look at how often they post, what sort of interaction they’re getting on those posts, and how popular their page is overall. This will help you devise your own strategy.

Based on the information you collected above, you can now design your own custom content-posting schedule. You’ll want to use a calendar app (or pen and paper if you’re feeling like doing it old school), and actually create a detailed daily, weekly and monthly plans for your content-posting strategy.

Go back to your goals for a moment, and then figure out what “sub-goals” you need to achieve in order to meet your goals for your social media campaign. Remember, your sub-goals should be supportive stepping stones to your main goals. 

These sub-goals might include getting a certain number of “shares” on a piece of content, getting X number of new followers each week, and so on.

Now based on these goals, you can start designing your monthly content strategy. In other words, what do you need to do EACH month in order to hit your goals? 

Once you know what you’re going to do each month, then you can break these tasks up into weekly and daily to-do lists. You can plan the following:

  • Exactly what type of content you’ll create each week to support your goals.

  • Exactly how and when you’ll create content. (Do it yourself on Monday mornings? Outsource the task to someone else?)

  • Exactly when you’ll post this content. (E.G., Daily at 10:00am, with the viral content going out on Tuesdays.)

  • Exactly how you’ll post this content. (E.G., will you be using automation tools to make it easier?)

Once you have your plan, then be sure to schedule time on your calendar each day (or each week) to create and post content according to your plan.

Next step…

Step 6: Grow Your Platforms

In the previous step you devised your content strategy. Now in this step you need to devise your plan for growing your platforms. That is, how will you expand your networks on each of your active platforms?

You’ve already received plenty of ideas inside this guide. Now what you need to do is start implementing these ideas. 

Some of these ideas you do just once, such as adding a link to your receipts. Other ideas you’ll do on a regular basis, such as inviting social media followers on one platform to follow you on another, blogging about your platforms, telling your newsletter subscribers, creating viral content to get more exposure, and so on. 

Point is, you need to plan your strategy by detailing what steps you’ll take every day, week and month to grow your platforms. Then add these tasks to your planner and to-do lists.

And finally…

Step 7: Track, Test and Tweak

You’ve created both a content strategy and a strategy for growing your platforms. Now what you need to do is make sure your strategies are working. That’s why you’ll need to track, test and tweak everything to be sure you’re hitting your targets. Check the resources section to get your hands on some tools that will let you track and analyze your results easily.

You Ready?

You’ve got a plan in hand. You’ve got the complete details of how to implement your plan inside this guide. So now it’s time to take action.

Not tomorrow.

Not next week.

Not “later” or any other vague point in the future.

Start right now while everything is fresh in your mind and you’re excited about what your social media strategy can do for you. I’m talking generating leads… growing your lists… boosting your conversions… driving sales… building brand awareness… and so much more.

All of these benefits and more are yours for the taking. Your social media strategy can make it happen. So roll up your sleeves, lay down your plans and get ready for some great results!