Social Media Marketing: Planning makes Perfect

Building and maintaining an effective social media presence isn’t easy – it requires a large investment of both time and resources. Many larger companies may be able to afford extra resources, but a small business doesn’t have the time or money to spare on social media marketing (SMM) that isn’t generating a serious return on investment. To avoid this costly waste, make sure your brand has a solid plan in place before jumping into the world of SMM.

Too Quickly
The problem of social media marketing is compounded when companies attempt to handle too much too fast; trying to take on the social media world on your first day is not an advisable long-term strategy. When brands rush to take advantage of social media, they send a message that comes across as off-brand, inconsistent, and floundering. Off-brand posting happens when there is no clear social media style guide to follow, and lacking a style guide is common among brands that enter the social media world unprepared. Inconsistent posting will also take a toll on your social media presence – going full-on for the first month with multiple posts per day, only to let it all fall apart in the second month presents a brand image that lacks consistency and trustworthiness. Many companies will end up feeling overwhelmed by the demand of maintaining a consistent and on-brand social media presence without the guiding hand of a solid strategy in place. This overwhelming feeling can lead to burn-out and the dead social media pages doing nothing to attract new business.

Too Much
The problem of being overwhelmed isn’t only related to the pace of social media adoption – it also applies to the number of platforms targeted. Attempting to target Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Google+ all at the same time is a receipt for disaster! That’s a full load for even a seasoned social media marketer – much more so for a small business owner attempting to promote his business. Going after all these platforms at once is a classic example of aiming at everything and hitting nothing – a lot resources will be spent but at the end of the day, there won’t be a significant impact from any of the targeted platforms. Setting such a lofty goal is an easy way to discourage either yourself or your marketing team – ultimately leading companies to prematurely abandon SMM.

Slow and Methodical
There are two keys to avoiding these costly mistakes: a slow-and-steady approach and a detailed plan. Building a social media audience is a marathon not a sprint, and your approach ought to reflect that mentality. Attempting to take over the entire social media universe on your first day isn’t practical (and will end up doing more harm than good). So, when it comes to building your social media presence take it slow and steady – building brand recognition now for sales in the future. And build according to a detailed SMM plan:

  1. Plan – decide on who you want to reach (audience) and how you want to reach them (channel), explore your competitors’ efforts, identify market influencers, and turn that into a detailed plan of attack.
  2. Build – Get your brand in front of customers through curation, content creation, interaction, and involvement. Build an audience that is receptive to your core message before you jump hard into the sales.
  3. Campaign – Once you have an audience, it is time to harness the power of social media to the benefit of your company. Use your new-found social media presence to push and collaborate on promotions, sales, services, and products.

Marketing Professionals
Even with these SMM tips in mind, it is still a big job to find, engage, and convert customers through social media. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the task, consider turning to a professional marketing firm to help guide you in the process. Whether that means just coming up with an initial strategy or a full-service strategy/content creation/analytics campaign on your behalf, Fusion Group USA is equipped with the knowledge and passion to create lasting, effective social media marketing plans. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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