This article has been contributed by Lauren Adley.
Social networks became a mandatory marketing tool a long time ago, but they keep evolving and forcing marketers to figure out new ways to approach potential customers. Given the fact that Facebook, Instagram, and similar platforms have almost four billion users, it is clear that every brand should do its best to impress the audience with high-quality content.
But this is by no means an easy task. According to one report, almost 80% of small businesses in the U.S. use social media for marketing, sales, and customer service. The competition is extremely agile and proactive, so it’s up to you to follow the latest trends and outperform your closest niche rivals.
Related: Create quality content, streamline and track success with the best social media tools.
We would like to help you do that by showing you seven ways to create a killer social media marketing plan for 2020. Let’s take a look!
7 Ways to Create a Killer Social Media Plan
1. Rethink Your Channels
We guess your business is already active online, so the first tip is to think about the social channels you’re using once again. Why is this step so important?
The reason is simple – there are dozens of social platforms currently available online, but each one attracts a different type of audience. If you are not using the right networks, you might be losing a lot of potential followers.
In order to do that, you must know your target audience and create a profile of your typical customer. Who is the person you’re targeting through social media networks? Is it a middle-aged male accountant or a 16-year old high school girl? The answer to this question is critical because the two buyer personas use different channels and demand totally different social media marketing strategies.
This is why you need to learn as much as possible about your target follower, including features such as age, location, gender, personal interests, online behavior, values, and beliefs. Most of these details are easy to learn through social media and website analytics.
Now, let’s go through the largest networks we guess you might be using already:
- Facebook: This is the only must-have platform with over two billion users who differ by style, age, interests, and many other features. It is suitable for all types of businesses because it attracts a wide range of consumers.
- Instagram: The biggest image and video-sharing platform is ideal for product-oriented companies targeting younger audiences. Nearly 70% of Instagram users are 34 or younger, so it’s clear where to go if you are searching for young people.
- YouTube: If you sell services that require a fair share of explaining, then YouTube videos could be the easiest way to inspire users to engage. This fits perfectly with the stat showing that YouTube users have watched a staggering 50 thousand years of product review videos to date.
- LinkedIn: This platform works well for B2B organizations and high-level customers.
After everything we’ve stated here, it is obvious that different types of businesses need different social networks. If you are targeting younger audiences, do you really need that LinkedIn account? Rethink your channels and stick to two or three of them only.
2. Rethink Your Goals
Does your social media marketing strategy have a clear purpose? Can you name and quantify your objectives? If not, you better create a full list of SMART goals for 2020:
- Specific: The first tip is to create an entire set of highly specific goals. One of the biggest mistakes a social media marketer can make is to set objectives which are too broad. In such circumstances, it is impossible to determine whether your strategy is working or not. Therefore, let your goals include something very specific such as growing the number of followers by 20%.
- Measurable: This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. You need to make social media marketing goals easy to quantify and measure. That way, you can track progress by seeing the numbers grow or decline.
- Attainable: Objectives have to be realistic. Think about it for a moment and you will probably learn that you can’t grow your followers by 100%. Such an objective is almost impossible to achieve, particularly if you already have a solid fan base, so make sure to stick to more realistic achievements.
- Relevant: Of course, a social media marketing plan should revolve around goals which are relevant to your business and your bottom line.
- Time-bound: Set the timeframe in which you would like to achieve these goals. Some things can be done relatively quickly while others demand more time, so be patient and allow your plan to start working. You can expect to see the first results in one month, three months, six months, or even a year, but we don’t recommend you go beyond annual goals.
3. Analyze the Existing Content
Your social channels should be content-rich already, so you’ll have more than enough materials to analyze all posts. You need to do that in order to figure out how your fans react to different types of content. It will give you valuable feedback that you will use to improve and upgrade your content strategy for 2020.
Jake Gardner, a content creator at a custom assignment writing service, says marketers are often struggling to identify the best formats for their channels: “If your infographics have the highest number of likes, shares, and comments, it means that the target audience loves visual content so you should indulge them by creating more of the similar posts. The same logic applies to any other content format.”
Generally speaking, social media users prefer visual content over textual posts because the former is easier to consume and digest. The human brain is able to process visual information much faster than plain text, so you should be able to attract more fans using videos and images.
Of course, don’t forget that social platforms give businesses the opportunity to act more freely. This basically means that you can play and get creative with all sorts of alternative formats such as GIFs, illustrations, animations, graphics, charts, and so on.
Do whatever it takes to impress the audience as long as it doesn’t interfere with the authority of your brand. The content creation playground is big enough for everyone, so you have to make use of it adequately.
4. Build a Unique Style
Speaking of content creation, it is necessary to emphasize the value of building your own special style. Perhaps it sounds a little too obvious, but it is true that your style of writing or design makes a big part of social media marketing. How come?
Well, every audience group has highly specific needs or preferences, so your posts should fit these requirements. We strongly recommend you to build a unique style and make your content memorable. It will help you to stand out from the bunch of copycats and grow the base of loyal followers slowly but steadily. Once again, it all starts with audience analysis because you need to answer their inputs.
Do it by adding a simple tweak to standard content formats in order to distinguish your business from all other brands. For example, you could try to use humor if none of your competitors are doing it. If it goes well with the overall brand image, it might as well become a strong comparative advantage that gives your business that much-needed dose of improvement.
5. Keep It Consistent
Social media users love posting content every single day. For instance, they post over 350 million photos daily on Facebook alone! The numbers are huge and the only way to leave your mark is by being consistent and publishing fresh content each day.
There is no general rule to follow here, but you should certainly try to publish at least one post daily on every network. The only exception to the rule is LinkedIn because it gathers serious business professionals who don’t expect to see new posts from you too frequently. A new post once a week should be more than enough for LinkedIn, while all other platforms demand more frequent announcements.
Our suggestion is to create a content calendar using online scheduling tools. A common solution among marketers is Google Calendar, a user-friendly platform that you can use to schedule posts, add notifications, plan events, etc. Such a tool makes it easier to monitor regular activities, but you can also use it to plan special posts for holidays, seasonal events, birthdays, and so on.
Besides that, scheduling helps you to prepare on time for low seasons when you don’t have enough events or news to write about. That way, you can plan content well in advance, create a whole bunch of evergreen posts, and use them later as needed.
6. Inspire User-Generated Content (UGC)
No matter how great your planning might be, creating content consistently will always be a challenging and time-consuming task. Sometimes you’ll have to deal with creative droughts, while other periods will catch you off guard because you just don’t have enough time to work on new social media posts.
In such circumstances, you can solve part of the problem by delegating at least a small portion of work to other people. How come? Well, you can do it by encouraging users to create their own brand-related posts. UGC helps you to minimize workload, but it also gives a great contribution to the overall credibility of the brand.
Namely, studies show that 85% of consumers find visual UGC more influential than brand photos or videos. Customers tend to trust other consumers, so you can expect to win over a new wave of social followers with the UGC tactic.
Contests represent the easiest way to inspire UGC. After all, people love competing and winning special prizes – no matter how big or small. You should take advantage of this tactic and invite fans to share interesting brand-focused content in exchange for small incentives or public acknowledgment.
This is an excellent opportunity to boost content creation but also a chance to earn new fans. Namely, studies prove that the average business acquires 34% of new social media followers through UGC campaigns. Not bad, right?
7. Keep Testing and Experimenting
The last piece of advice on our list is to keep testing and experimenting in 2020. Social media marketing is not inert but very dynamic and versatile, so don’t forget to brainstorm alternative options from time to time.
Of course, another important suggestion is to measure the results of your campaigns in accordance with the goals set in your strategy. If everything goes as planned, you can go on in the same fashion. But if evaluations reveal that the strategy is not giving the expected results, you will notice it quickly and have more than enough time to react and enhance your social media marketing activities.
For instance, you might notice that the number of social followers grew by 10% in six months while your goal was 20%. In this case, you should analyze what went wrong with the plan:
- Did you publish enough posts?
- Did you publish enough high-quality posts?
- Perhaps your goal was not realistic?
No matter what the problem might be, your job is to research and identify it. That way, you can move on and improve the social media marketing plan.
Social platforms give you an excellent opportunity to build relationships with your customers and turn them into loyal consumers, but it requires a lot of work and strategic planning. After all, everybody is using social media these days and the only way to outdo competitors is by keeping your marketing activities fresh and exciting.
In this post, we discussed seven ways to create a killer social media marketing plan for 2020. Remember our tips and make sure to use them – they could help you make some serious social marketing progress next year!
About the author: Lauren Adley is a writer and editor at assignment help. She is dedicated to her family, work and friends. She is keen on reading, playing the guitar and traveling. She is interested in educational, marketing and blogging issues. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.