Everyday marketers struggle to come up with ways to add social media into their marketing plan. But does it really have to be that trying? Instead of shoving merely a few aspects of social media into the overall strategy, why not build a plan that transforms marketing practices?
Social media can then function as a more effective channel within the bigger picture and better help in forging bonds with customers.
We live in an age where social media is turning out to be a game changer by exerting influence over its users. Marketers, therefore, cannot afford to overlook this platform. In fact, social media can be used most successfully when it is holistically integrated within the marketing plan.
Doing so can prove to be extremely beneficial to traders because this kind of strategy would resonate with human tendencies. Even today, most people prefer to buy face-to-face from brick-and-mortar shops. Their most trusted source of information, however, is other people. This is where social media comes into the picture.
It can work as a tool to reach potential customers, influence them, gain their trust, promote their product, and keep in touch with the existing customer base.
Making different marketing gimmicks work coherently requires a customer-centric thought process and spontaneity.
This post presents a few tips on how a tradesman can incorporate social media in his or her marketing plan and use the wide reach of the medium to drive sales.
Do Your Research
Good research is an absolute prerequisite to great work thereafter. Going back to the basics and researching everything you need to know about the optimal use of social media within specific structures would entail a study of similar marketing strategies carried out successfully in the past.
One of the first things you want to figure out is the most frequently used platforms by your target audience. Sure, Facebook and Twitter are extremely popular, and you can always tap those, but there’s scope beyond them as well.
Your potential customers are logged in across several social networks, communities, music websites, virtual events, blogs, video and photo sharing sites, and customer feedback forums as we speak trying out various recommendations being made on them.
Do the necessary research to figure out which social media platforms are most in line with your marketing plan.
Assign Budget and Resources
It makes sense to allocate stipulated resources and budget from your marketing plan to the social media strategy. After all, it will generate revenue for you. In order to budget accurately, you will need to make a comprehensive list of the tools you will employ (email marketing, CRM, social media monitoring, etc.) to see it through.
Alongside each tool, mention the annual projected cost for a better understanding of how it will affect your overall marketing budget in the long term. Alternatively, you could establish the budget first and then work out the tools according to how they fit in – whatever works for your marketing plan.
Play by the Rules
Once you’ve understood the various social media platforms you may be interested in using for your marketing efforts, you need to start planning your social media marketing strategy accordingly.
You may have figured out that each of these platforms operates in a different context and you will have to work on customizing your advertising and marketing tactics in a way that it resonates with each websites’ audience. It is, therefore, important to keep your eyes and ears open and play by each domain’s respective rules.
A good marketing strategy is one which makes life easier for the customers. Companies regularly keep their social media pages efficient with useful, pertinent, and updated information. Most of the time, the routine of posting information is predetermined, unless there is a breaking news or a flash sale announcement.
Your marketing plan must include a schedule for such activities in order to stay consistent and relevant in the mind of your audience/followers. This is a great way to get them hooked on to your page as they log in to view the latest content.
Support with Content
Social media and content are interdependent. Without great content, social media would be pointless and without social media, no one would know about your content. Hence, it makes sense to use them together for best results.
Depending on the platform you use, figure out the type of content you would be posting, the time of posting and the frequency of posting it. Further, you will also have to make sure that the form of your content (video, images, text) and the context of the platform work in harmony and are in keeping with the voice of your company.
If and when you make online faux pas, be honest about it. Instead of trying to hide it, acknowledge and rectify it. That way you will earn the audience’s trust and respect.
Such mistakes happen more frequently than you would know. Chances are some of your followers may already have seen the error, but don’t panic. If you delete it, it will irk them even more and may result in a loss of faith.
Instead post an update apologizing for the mistake, with an explanation for it. Including humour to lighten things up may also help sometimes.
Learn from your mistakes and be open and truthful about them. This will make your brand more likeable and trustworthy to your audience.
Are You There Yet?
It is important to continually measure the success of your marketing plan to determine whether your efforts are paying off. Go back to your goals and see how far along you have come in achieving them. If something isn’t working out, pause and ponder about the reasons. You may have to tweak your strategies from time to time to make them more effective.
Numbers are important – whether they are in the form of ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘followers’ or profit. Keep referring to them and optimize your marketing plan for more traction.
Marketing success doesn’t just happen. It requires careful planning, execution, and constant reviewing. While it isn’t very difficult to integrate social media into a marketing plan, what is important is to stay alert and ensure that the numbers grow.