Whilst viral videos and inescapable memes make it seem as though social media produces overnight success, most companies will tell you that it’s a slow, steady build. Creating a long-term social media plan is an essential aspect of the online promotional process – as you need structure and foresight to successfully implement a social campaign. Here we explain how to plan ahead for the future – with some simple tips and tricks even the busiest business owners can make time for.
Think about what you want to get out of social media
What does social media need to do for you? Perhaps your other marketing methods already deliver on a large scale, and you simply want a presence. For other businesses social media could be a primary source of income. Whatever you decide to use social media for, recognise it as a powerful marketing tool, and don’t underestimate the possible outcomes you could achieve.
Consider networks and techniques in line with your objectives
Not all networks are created equal – and their relevance depends on the type of business you’re running, and what you wish to achieve. It’s best to concentrate your efforts on a couple of networks in particular, to avoid spreading resources thinly or wasting time on a platform that isn’t right for you. Once you know how you’d like social media to benefit your business, consider which networks will help you to get there, and why.
Start with short-term objectives and build
It’s well known that to achieve a large goal, many smaller things must be accomplished. The same classic advice applies to social media – start small, and build. Set milestones for yourself – like 100 followers in a month, or one post per day to begin with. Then each month add more. You’ll soon reach your initial target of 1,000 followers, or ten sales per month via Instagram.
Plan ahead as far as possible
In our last social media post we discussed the importance of using calendars and pre-created content, scheduling in advance to avoid long periods of absence or frantically written, low quality posts. It’s a good idea to not only plan for the month ahead – but for the month after that too, taking into account internal happenings and external events, such as seasonal holidays and festivals.
Analyse positives and negatives, and adjust accordingly
Analysis is key when it comes to any sort of marketing – but social media is increasingly measurable. This provides you with an excellent opportunity to really tap into the mindsets of your followers, and give them what they want to increase engagement and exposure. Each network has its own version of analytics – and they vary from platform to platform. On Instagram, check out the locations and optimal time ranges – this will help you to run successful local campaigns, and reach people at the right time.
Keep following our Beginners’ Guide to the Web for more handy tips and tricks. Next week we explore Display Advertising, and share expert insights to help you to get started.