In my previous post I outlined Step #1 of creating a social media strategy: The Assessment. This time around I will go into the process for implementing the plan.
Step #2: Implementation
The implementation portion of your social media strategy is all about focusing on the nitty-gritty details and day-to-day tasks.
Create a Content Calendar
It is extremely easy to lose focus and, to put it bluntly, blow off your social media marketing. Even great plans and intentions can turn into sheer failure when one or two weeks of inactivity turns into months of neglect.
Social media marketing is like a houseplant. It needs sun, water and a little talking to…on a regular, scheduled basis. Otherwise, the day comes when you walk into the room and notice all the leaves are on the floor.
Having a calendar keeps you and your team on track. It makes you accountable and serves as a guide. Think of it as not only an actionable calendar, but an editorial one as well. The more information and detail you include, the better you can measure effectiveness.
Here are a few things I suggest you incorporate into yours:
- The theme or purpose of your content.
- Who will create the content (i.e., blog author or, perhaps from a third-party site/provider).
- How the content will be delivered (i.e., blog, video, photo, etc.)
- When and where will it be shared.
Have a Promotion and Growth Plan
There are a ton of ways to promote your content and all that you are doing on your social media platforms. But all of them are useless unless you have a plan built in for growth.
Not everything you post is going to be instantly viral. I would even venture to say the things you value the most, such as real brand-building, informative content, may even appear to fall flat. That’s okay!
The goal in social media is to resonate with and build an audience. It is from there that you can engage. In other words, it’s better to have 10 friends, even if only two of them seem to pay attention to you when you tell them about your day, than two friends who aren’t listening.
Your growth plan, therefore, must take into account content that is viral, fun, silly and in most cases, seemingly pointless. Intermingled in all that nonsense, which people love, is the relevant, focused and informative material that will truly build your brand and generate sales. But, I caution, too much serious stuff is toxic. Think of the friend analogy again. No one wants a friend who is a Debbie Downer and is serious all the time.
Here are a couple tips for implementing a growth and promotion plan:
- Integrate social media on your website with plugins, links, buttons and icons.
- Include these buttons and links in your company’s email strategy (including employee signature blocks) on your letterhead and business cards.
- Have contests and promotions or offer rewards that drive people to your social platforms.
- Create virality by posting photos of mundane things (your lunch, someone’s shoes and other silly things) or fun videos. Bonus points if you can merge fun and informative.
- Showcase your expertise and build a reputation by offering webinars and training programs, interviewing experts and guest blogging. Don’t be offended if those things aren’t as viral as the video of your cat chasing a shadow on the wall.
- Always include humor and lightheartedness in your social voice.
- Never stop promoting your social networks.
- Never give up.
Identify Sales Opportunities
I realize I have made it sound nearly impossible to put social media to good (business) use, but there couldn’t be anything further from the truth.
While the primary goal is always about making and building relationship, and creating a loyal following, the opportunity to sell most definitely exists.
Once you’ve built those solid, genuine relationships online, you’ll have people who are ready to eat from your hand. But, like any wild animal, they will only eat from your hand occasionally and when the offered snack is truly enticing.
Therefore, your implementation strategy should definitely include an action plan that allows you to capture and nurture leads.
Just make sure what you are offering as bait doesn’t come across as bait (too pushy) or is too frequent. And, monitor your followers. If they start to un-friend you or disengage it’s time for another kitty cat video.
Next time around I will talk more about Monitoring and Measuring.