Make a social media plan

It’s not going away. Social media is here to stay. It’s not just something used by teenagers. It’s an extremely useful marketing tool for your business. If you haven’t even started using social media yet, then why not read our blog post on why you should be using it.

“I’ve read that”. OK then – I’m assuming that you’re thinking “where do I start?”. Well let’s start with a plan …

Choose the right networks.

It’s worth sitting down and having a look over the different social networks and seeing which ones will work best for your business. You don’t have to be on all of them. Just because Joe Bloggs from down the road has a LinkedIn profile, doesn’t mean that you should.

You should also take into account the time that you are going to be able to invest into social media. Setting up an account for every platform out there may be great, but are you going to be able to keep them all up to date? An outdated profile will look worse than none at all.

Each different social media platform also has a different etiquette and jargon to go with them. Are you going to be able to take all this on? It’s better to start small, perhaps start with one social media platform – perhaps Twitter or Facebook – but most importantly one that you think will work for the type of content you want to share, and one that will reach your customer base.

How often to post.

This may take a little trial and error so I would recommend using an analytics tool, Hootsuite or Buffer are great tools for scheduling and reviewing social media posts. To start with we would recommend that you post at least once a day. Varying what time of day you post would be recommended, and see what responses you get at these different times. Between 1-4pm in the afternoon is a good time to post or perhaps you want to catch people on their lunch break.

Different social media platforms have different ‘best times to post’. CoSchedule looked at 20 different studies and created a great info graphic on the best times to post for each platform. We’ve summed this up for you in our article “the best time to post on social media”.

What to post

This again is worth monitoring to see what types of posts get the most engagement. Things to talk about on social media include:

  • Services you offer.
  • Work you’ve completed– links to case studies or pictures.
  • Ask questions relevant to your business – e.g. How can you improve?
  • Relevant quotes.
  • Re-post/tweet others users social media items that are relevant to your customer base.
  • Link to blog posts relevant to your customers or industry.
  • Thoughts or ideas about your company or relevant issues of the day.
  • Videos – perhaps behind the scenes or “how to’s”.
  • Meet the team snippets.

The above are just a few examples of what you can publish on social media. Have a look at your competitor’s social media profiles and see what they are doing, what gets the most engagement, would that work for you?

Visuals – using visuals on social media is a must, whether it’s an image, info-graphic or a video. Not only do they help catch the eye but they can say so much more than the character limit you are stuck to.

Variation – You can publish the same post on different networks but make sure that you vary the phrasing and perhaps the associated image, no-one wants to hear exactly the same thing over and over again.

Consistency – Make sure you keep your brand names, and hash tags consistent across all networks, if you have more than one person working on social media make sure they are working together and use the same tone of voice for you brand. Set guidelines for them to work to.

Frequency – Make sure you are consistent at the frequency of posts, if you can manage at least one a day that’s great, but if not 100 one day and 1 two months later doesn’t look good. If time is of the essence consider using a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer where you can schedule posts.

Be yourself – Don’t be afraid to be yourself. It’s your business and customers don’t want to hear jargon and buzzwords. They want to know about you, how you do business and who you are, helping you to build trust and a good working relationship with your customer base.