Social media is the lifeblood of Internet marketing. While you want to position yourself to be found in Google, one of the most important things you can do is pay attention to your social media marketing for your business.

In order to be truly successful, though, you need a plan. Solid social media marketing doesn’t just happen. Here are 7 actions to take as you put together your social media marketing plan:

1. Audit Your Social Media Presence

The first step is figuring out where you stand right now. Look at your social media presence and see what has been happening with your profiles. Are you spending too much time with a platform that doesn’t provide benefit to you or your customers? Is there a platform you should be using that you aren’t? Pay attention to where your clients are, and use those platforms.

Don’t forget to take note of what your profiles look like at each site, as well as make sure you have all of your passwords and know who is authorized to post on various accounts.

2. Don’t Let Scheduled Posts Get in the Way of Engagement

There are plenty of apps out there that will allow you to schedule your social media posts ahead of time. You can use these apps to boost your productivity and avoid devoting valuable personnel hours to social media all day. However, you can’t let scheduled posts replace true engagement. While you don’t want to spend all of your time managing your social media, you do want to spend some time engaging with clients. Monitor social media for what you might be missing, and prepare to respond appropriately.

3. Look at the Data

You might be surprised at what social media data can tell you about the interests of your clients and consumers. You can learn about what they want, what they are talking about and how to better serve them. As you put together your social media marketing plan, pay attention to the data. The right data can help you better target your customers and make your campaign more effective in the long run. You can also use analytics to set your marketing budget, putting resources where they will be most effective.

4. Understand Hashtag Use

Hashtags are popular for social media marketing. However, it helps to understand how to use hashtags appropriately. You don’t need to hashtag each word of your post, and you also don’t need to come up with hashtags that are phrases. Instead, learn how to use hashtags in a way that is helpful and useful to your target audience. They can be a good way to measure engagement and effectiveness, as well as grab attention. But you need to incorporate them effectively.

5. Create Consistent Profiles Across Platforms

One of the main reasons to conduct a social media audit ahead of a social media marketing campaign is so that you can create consistent profiles across your platforms. You want your profile to be consistent, whether someone finds you on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. Make sure that you use a brand voice and create a familiar look across your social accounts so that people can find you easily, and know what to expect.

6. Consider Outsourcing Social Media

If you are concerned about your expertise and ability to manage your own social media marketing, consider outsourcing. There are a number of companies that can do the work for you, including managing engagement and monitoring what’s being said about you. While you don’t want to avoid social media altogether (you should check in every so often), you can reduce the time you spend on it, and reduce the chance of strategy mistakes, if you hire someone else to manage your campaign.

7. Realize that Sometimes ROI Can’t Be Quantified

Finally, understand that your ROI can’t always be quantified in neat dollar terms when you engage in social media marketing. Sometimes the benefits come in the form of increased visibility, better brand loyalty and other intangibles. While you can see increased traffic to your site as a result of a social media marketing campaign, you might not always see direct dollar conversions. Sometimes the good effects don’t completely show until months later.

A good social presence is practically a must in today’s online business environment. If you want your business to succeed, you need to keep that in mind.

I'm Max and I love helping businesses we work with to expand their businesses online. I help with invoicing, time tracking and overall business needs for business owners. If you need help contact me today.

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