5 Step Social Media Plan That Works for Any Business

social media strategy for start up businesses“Are you on Facebook all day?”  

That’s the question most of my friends ask me when I tell them that I work as a Social Media Specialist.

Although it’s partially true, I’m certainly not on Facebook looking at who got pregnant or engaged. If only it was that easy!

I simply laugh and tell them that Social Media is so much more than that. It’s not only about posting relevant content all day, but also about brainstorming and researching creative ways to give a brand exposure and maximum visibility.

As you probably already know, Social Media Marketing is a fairly new platform, but it’s one that is destined to continue to grow.

With that said, you may ask yourself the following question…

“How do I know if my business is ready to engage in these efforts?”

The answer is simple.

You have to start somewhere.

If you already have a decent following and a highly visual product, you should consider a more proactive approach to Social Media.

On the other hand, if you’re just starting out, your Social Media efforts might be limited, but should never be non-existent in today’s competitive market.

In this article, I will cover a simple hands-on strategy that is intended to work with any following and almost any industry.

A Social Media strategy should be clear and should always have an end goal.

This 5 step plan is designed to highlight the end product or the ROI you can expect after launching your campaign.

The Ultimate 5 Step Plan of Action

Consider these 5 steps when crafting a Social Media Strategy:

During the 1st week, you should start by setting up your accounts. The set-up process consists of integrating all your Social Media platforms together on Facebook with a set of iframe applications such as the ones provided by Involver. These applications are free and easy to install. Another option is to use Pagemodo to craft a custom home page that mimics your site’s homepage. You also have the opportunity to craft custom giveaway and offer pages. When integrating these applications, descriptions, titles and images should be optimized for SEO value.

The goal of this set-up is to be able to bring your audience together in one place, therefore adding more authority in one single spot. This will also increase visibility on all your Social Media sites.

During the 2nd week, significant industry related research should be conducted.  This includes in-depth competitive research, trending industry research, current industry news research and creative research. Each of these detailed searches has a purpose.  You want to make sure you cover each angle of your industry. If your competition is doing well on Social Media, there’s a reason.  The best way to go about it is to find that source and customize it to make it bigger and better.

The ultimate goal of this detailed research strategy is to be able to take popular or trending content and promote it in creative ways with the purpose of driving traffic and increase engagement on your Social Media Sites. Think of it as Social Media bait as opposed to link bait. Most, if not all of your significant traffic and popularity will come from your ability to create innovative ways to promote your product on Social Media. Posting interesting content does not do it anymore. Generating good ideas does.

The next 3 weeks should be dedicated to engaging with your current audience and conducting custom surveys with platforms like Surveymonkey.com to obtain customer feedback. Consider questions such as:

What are they interested in? What would they like to see? How do they like to communicate? Etc.  Promote these surveys with E-mail Marketing, with Facebook promoted posts as well as by creating Google+ Communities and LinkedIn Groups for that specific purpose.

This feedback will help you craft and post the right content that’s going to increase your post “views” and “likes”. This feedback will also open the door for your next key step: Creating a relevant contest.

On the 4th week, you should begin conducting research in order to launch the first contest. Now that you have your customers’ feedback on what they would like to see, it’s time to start brainstorming and researching a topic that will give your Social Media sites a significant boost in following and likes.  It depends on your contest strategy, but it almost always integrates Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Use a custom contest program like Statigram.  This interface works beautifully with Instagram and allows you to create contest landing pages. This program also files your contest landing page in their public directory for increased visibility.

In addition, a contest must be accompanied with a promotional strategy. This can include techniques to promote it on your website with creative banners and buttons, with e-mail marketing and/or with traditional Marketing techniques such as flyers, events and posters.

 The goal for a contest creation is to be able to reach the maximum number of people in a short time span. If the contest is successful, your brand will be associated with that success, and your company will be able to leverage from that popularity in future contests to come. Not to mention … it’s fun!

 Now that your following has increased, you goal is to make that new audience, your future clients. It’s the perfect time to start researching and crafting clever giveaway and offer options that will directly get your audience acquainted with your products. These giveaways and offers will be promoted in the same Social Media sites as the contest. You may also use your website homepage to do so. Other ways to promote these giveaways includes: integrating the giveaway options in your confirmation e-mail after a purchase, using Facebook Custom Ads or simply by including an extra landing page on your website with a creative call-to-action. All of these methods will come into play as your following grows in order to ensure the best chance for business.

Keep in mind that this is just a single part of our Social Media Strategy. Social Media goes hand-in-hand with Public Relations efforts that include promoting events on Social Media sites, reaching out to guest bloggers for participation as well as working closely with industry related schools and educational entities. Your possibilities are endless.

This 5-step plan is designed to help you reach your desired following on top Social Media sites as well as receive the recognition your company deserves.  It also allows you to acquire the visibility necessary to build future clients. Although you may not see Social Media as a sales tool just yet, it’s slowly shifting in that direction, as users spend more and more time getting hooked on these social sites. It’s only natural for sales to gradually shift in this direction, and if you’re smart, you’ll shift with it. Contact Optimum 7 today to implement this five step plan in your Social Media strategy. We can help!

February 8, 2013

Written by Lucia Sastre

Lucia is an SEO Specialist with a true passion for Social Media and Public Relations. She has dedicated her efforts to researching and implementing new Marketing techniques for innovative technological trends. Prior to her induction to Optimum7 she successfully served in the Marketing Campaigns at Telefonica, Coastal Construction Company and Cleveland Clinic Hospital. She has also written for several newspapers including the South Florida Times, the Beacon Newspaper and the Examiner. Lucia graduated from Florida International University with a Degree in Mass Communications and a Minor in Art. With a passion for cultures and languages, she also completed four years of French at the University of Iowa. Lucia is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but spent most of her life living in the United States, Mexico and South America. In her spare time, she is a freelance photographer, teaches tennis and enjoys the outdoors.

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