Determining Your Social Media Marketing Plan: Part 1

Hello fellow PR readers! I want to start with an apology for my lack of PR blog posts the past two months. Sadly, life got in the way and I was unable to write. However, I am back and full of new PR knowledge to share and even learn from you guys! So expect many more posts to follow for the upcoming summer months.

Today’s topic is only part one in a four part series of social media marketing. Today I am going to focus on social media and how to determine the best sites that will help your business. Social media marketing (SMM) is when business chose to market their company through the use of social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as a way to reach their target audience or goals. As SMM becomes the large base for business advertising, it might be hard to determine which social media channels can provide the best option.

Here are some key ideas to keep in mind when choosing social media channels for your marketing campaigns.

1. Goals
What’s your desired outcome from using social media? Is your goal to reach a larger audience, educate the public, a call to action, or generate conversations? Determine very clearly the goals and this will help you to chose the best social media channels to help achieve them.

2. Target Audience

Who do you want to target during your SMM? Are they young adults, women between the ages of 28-34, or the general population? Try to be as specific as possible because the more you know about your goals, the easier it will be to determine which networking sites can better reach your audience. There are many studies available that offer information about networking site and their users. The studies can offer the users: age, gender, income, or location. Try researching these sites once you know your target audience.

3. Content
By determining the type of content you want to share, you can research the social platforms that can best spread your message. For instance, a fashion magazine may choose to use Pinterest or Instagram because those sites offer the best ways to share and post images online. However, if a restaurant wants to inform their audience about proper ways to prepare meals, Facebook or a blog site may best fit their needs. Clearly determine the desired content and decide the best way to inform your target audience (through posts, photos, videos, etc.).

4. Competitors
No matter your type of business, there is always competition. Have you researched which social media sites your competition is using? Do some research on your competitors and see which sites they utilize and how much they engage with their audience. This can help give you an idea of which sites you may want to use.

5. Available Resources

Determine early on how much time the company can commit to social media. Remember quality over quantity is always best. Having one very engaging and active networking site is better than have five sites that are never maintained. By determining the amount of available resources (time available, employees, etc.) can help you decide which social media sites to chose.

Just to recap sit down with the PR/Social Media teams to clearly outline the goals and desires you want the SMM to accomplish. By understanding the purpose of your company’s social marketing can help you best determine the networking sites. Some research may be needed before completely understanding the goals, but once the goals are set, it will make the rest of the marketing campaign easier to navigate.

Well I hope you enjoyed part one of my social media series and I look forward to keep sharing! Check out next week’s part two post! I will talk more in depth about some popular social media sites that could help your SMM plan. Please comment your opinions on the five steps I listed and if you think PR pros should be keeping anything else in mind when creating their SMM plan!

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