To your market, your social media accounts and posts may seem casual, spur-of-the-moment and even unplanned. While you may want your audience to see your posts this way, behind-the-scenes preparation should be one of your top priorities.
Why Preparation is Key
If you want your accounts to look updated, fresh and current, why should you prepare in advance? It’s possible to have a strategic plan without sacrificing that casual feeling, and by doing this you’ll get much more out of social media.
While some social media posts can be unplanned, most of them should support your overall marketing plans and goals. They should promote content strategically to help you drive traffic to your website, promote special products and raise brand awareness.
Your posts should also be specifically designed to attract your target market and should include content that has been proven to be successful with your audience. You can’t accomplish all this without any preparation.
In fact, businesses that don’t prepare for social media marketing usually find their accounts are drifting around aimlessly, without much purpose and without bringing any marketing results.
Preparation Made Easy
Social media preparation does take time, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, by adopting just a few steps you can take your social media from unplanned to strategic and make your marketing much more effective.
Define Each Network’s Target Market
First, make a list of all of your social media accounts and which markets you are likely to reach with them. These markets may be your general target market or they may be subcategories. For example, you may target college students and with Pinterest you may decide you can reach female college students on a budget who are looking for do-it-yourself ideas.
Plan to Attract and Fill a Need
Now, looking at each market, decide how you can attract the right audience and fill some need, so people will see your accounts as valuable. This entails deciding what kind of content to share, what pages from your website you will direct people to and what kinds of pictures and other forms of media you will use on each account.
Set up a Content Calendar
With these things in mind, you can set up a content calendar that will guide you through the next week or month or even a longer stretch of time. This calendar should be designed to target your audiences and should include the content you chose in step two. It should outline exactly when you will share various types of content, what you will promote and which pieces of content you will share or what each post will say.
During this process, you should also incorporate your social media marketing into other marketing efforts, like branding and content marketing. This way, all of your efforts will be cohesive and support each other, resulting in a stronger overall marketing strategy.
Social media planning is a process that will pay off when you start to attract new customers, brand advocates and even current customers. As you do this, you’ll gain a valuable online audience and even benefit as others share your content, which can help you build an online presence and reach an even bigger audience.