Blog about marketing, communications, content, and social media
Every time when we decide to launch social media accounts for ourselves or for our companies and organizations, the first question we ask is about our future social media strategy. That is not enough just to open accounts, profiles or fan pages in social networks. We should clearly understand how we can utilize them with maximum outcome.
Often people are confused between strategies and strategic plans for the social Web. That’s really uneasy to differentiate those terms due to vast amount of controversial advice from experts. As for me the difference is functional:
Social media marketing strategy is needed for every network we utilize, and strategies are key elements of the plan, in particular its social media marketing mix section. At the same time, social media marketing strategic plan is the final comprehensive project which accumulates all our visions, approaches, goals and objectives, as well as tactics of our social marketing campaign.
The overall process of designing of the above mentioned plan is quite simple and has the following steps:
1) First element is research & analysis section. It consists of several types of analysis – market analysis, SWOT, consumer analysis, competitor analysis, keyword analysis, etc. In certain situations this section can have other types of analysis, depending on the type of business and its online goal.
2) Some of you will be surprised that SMM plan consists of not only social strategies, but also an online PR strategy, as an integral part. We, as online marketers need to develop our online PR strategy every time we are going to launch our campaign simply due to communication nature of the social networking. People talk and build relationships in the social media, so it’s crucial to figure out how we will talk and engage them.
3) Third element of the plan is a social media marketing mix. Like in traditional marketing where we have a standard marketing mix of 4 P’s: product, price, place & promotion, in SMM we also have to deal with a mix. This is a mix of networks – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other niche sites at our disposal. Sure, such a mix is a careful selection of only relevant networks for the campaign goal – for better reach of the target audiences.
4) Fourth element of the strategic plan consists of an integration plan & an automation plan. I put two plans together under one element because they are actually closely interrelated and mutually dependent. Under social media integration we usually understand the model of how our websites, blogs and social accounts are intertwined online and within the social Web, as well as how and where we share our content. Social media automation means using build-in and online tools for content dissemination and scheduling updates, in particular Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc.
5) Fifth element is an optimization plan for our website and blog. The primary sources of our content should have been optimized to allow visitors to join us in the social Web and share our content which they could find remarkable and worth greater exposure. Usually this 5th element has also a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
6) Monitoring & evaluation section needs to be added at the end of the project.
I will appreciate your suggestions and additions, if I missed some important elements of the social media strategic plan. And at the end – some inspiration in my infographics.