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When starting out with social media, you probably feel both overwhelmed and thrilled. You may know what you want to do and why or you could be pondering your next steps. However, as you watch others climb the social media ladder, the best method of success means to gather ideas to assist in getting yourself there.

It always helps to have a plan. Your plan can become a road trip. Follow this cohesive plan to begin your social media marketing plan.


Step 1: Pick your social networks:

No need to rush to use them all, but you should think about which ones make a difference for you and your audience.

Consider the following:

  • Resources: Think of what you have to work with, in terms of skills or personnel. Do you have those resources? Social networks such as Twitter or Facebook highlight quality content. Visual networks such as Instagram or Pinterest need images and videos.
  • Audience: You need to determine which places your potential customers spend time. Determine the social network that best fits that.
  • Time: Assume you will spend an hour minimum per social network. From there, select your network. As you get moving you can use tools like Buffer to help your time management.

Each social media network is unique and contains their own styles, audiences, and best practices. It may all be social media, but Facebook is quite different from Twitter. Remember: only pick the ones that make a difference for you and your audience. To determine this, look for surveys produced by places like Pew Research. They can give you a breakdown of each social media’s demographics.

Step 2: Complete your profile:

By having a complete profile, you maintain professionalism, comprehensive branding, and let your visitors know that you are serious.

Profiles require two sections:

  • Visual: Work towards uniformity and awareness with visuals (think profile and cover photo). Also, be sure that they are consistent and familiar across each medium.
  • Text: Create your bio using these six simple rules:
    • Cater keywords towards your audience
    • Your audience needs to know, “What’s in it for me?”
    • Remain friendly and personal
    • Show your worth – “What have I done” not “Who am I”
    • Use fresh language, not buzzwords
    • Frequent revisits

Step 3: While, it can be tempting to start sharing immediately, you need to determine one last item before you do so.

Discover your tone and voice to create more focus and purpose to everything you create online. One way to do this is to create marketing personas and fine-tune the greater points for your customer base and mission statement.

It works fine to do this, but to get started, the process is far easier. Think:

  • Use adjectives to describe what your company’s personality is not.
  • How would your customers view your company?
  • If your brand was human, what would their personality be?
  • If your brand was human, how does their relationship with the consumer work?
  • Do other companies share your personality?

Keep this in mind: Your mission statement is your voice; the application of your mission is your tone. Create a voice to delight your customers, and they will be happy to share love for you.

Step 4: Posting Strategy: How frequent are your posts? What needs to be posted?

What’s ideal to post in a day? The answer is – it depends. All of this depends on your own audience and what your niche is. What works for you may not work for me, but until you try, you can never know.

Try the following to start:

  • What needs posting? Remember – videos help with engagement. Videos tend to receive more shares, views, and likes over all other posts. BY A LOT. Facebook receives nearly double the number of views over images. Videos on Twitter will be six times more likely to be retweeted.
  • Best strategy? Use the 4:1 strategy. Once you know what works, you can set the different types of updates consistently. A great system that works is this: 1) Use your basic six types of updates – links, reshares, plain-text updates, quotes, videos, and images. 2) Select a staple update: one type should make up most of your shares. 3) Make it a 4:1 when sharing: after four staple updates, post another type to add variety.
  • How frequent to post? Remember – If your updates are being liked, post more.
    • Twitter: three or ten per day
    • Instagram Stories: 8 to 16 stories, twice a week
    • Instagram: Once or twice per day
    • Facebook: Once or twice per day
    • LinkedIn: Once or twice per day
    • Pinterest: Five to ten times per day
    • Snapchat: 5 to 20 times per week
  • When to post? For people beginning in the world of social media, who have no background consider the following post times:
    • Facebook: 1-4 PM or 2-5 PM
    • Twitter: 1-3 PM
    • LinkedIn: 7-830 AM or 5-6 PM
    • Instagram: 5-6 PM
    • Pinterest: 2-4 PM or 8-11 PM
  • It helps to experiment with times to see if any work better for your area. Once you establish your posting, use the data you have collected and determine what times work best for your brands.

Step 5: Analysis and Testing: By posting more, you will have an idea of the timing, content, and frequency that works for you.

For proper analysis, use an analytics tool. Many social networks built the basics into their site, but it is easier to seek the information from a dashboard. These tools include everything you might need, including breakdowns of specific posts.

The best way to gain insight onto the stats that work best would be to analyze their performance. You need to:

  • Set benchmarks: Once you have shared for about a month, look over your stats and determine an average for clicks, likes, comments, and shares on each post. This creates benchmarks from that point on. You can always revisit later as you gain ground.
  • Run tests: Don’t be afraid to test just about everything. See if your live videos gain more views over your non-live ones. Determine if the length of the video makes a difference. Listen for other strategies and give them a test.
  • Check stats: As you test, check your stats and compare to your benchmarks. If they work well, keep them. If not, try something new.
  • Make changes: Check back frequently and make the adjustments as necessary.

Step 6: Automation and Changes

After you have gained an understanding and success with steps 1 to 5, you will have your system. To maintain this system, you need to remain with your updates and keep engaged in your community.

To begin, automate posting for your social media content. Certain tools allow the creation of content and can be done at once. It also allows to be placed in a queue that gets sent on a schedule of your choice. Remember automation is your key to consistent, exceptional sharing every day.

However, automation isn’t it. You need engagement as well. When people talk to you, be sure to answer. Take time in your day to respond to conversations that are occurring on your social media. These conversations are with references, friends, colleagues, and even potential clients. You cannot ignore something this important.

Another way to keep up with the conversation is to find a tool that will collect all comments and/or mentions from posts and keep them in one place. It will help you reply quickly to your followers.

Advice to the Newbies of Social Media: Creating your social media marketing plan allows for easy diving into your social media. If social media seems more exciting and terrifying, create a plan.

With a blueprint, it will be easier to see what is ahead:

  1. Select networks
  2. Fill in information
  3. Find once
  4. Select strategy
  5. Analyze and test
  6. Automation and Engagement

With these steps, social media is no longer terrifying. So get started!

Geoffrey Purkis

Geoffrey is the Founder and CEO of Seattle Web Search. He’s a web developer and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert located in Seattle, Washington with extensive experience in the field. Geoffrey specializes in helping his clients find the right combination of web, search, social, and video content to get the best results from their online marketing efforts.

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