New social media can be a great addition to your marketing activities whether you sell a product or provide a service, and whether your primary target is consumers or other businesses. Taking time to prepare and then formulating a plan before you begin, is time well spent.
To achieve optimum results, certain core marketing components must be in place before launching your social media presence. These elements empower you to strategically choose the best channels in the social media space and position you to create an actionable, measurable plan for achieving overall marketing objectives.
Begin with an updated marketing plan that outlines your long term and short term goals for the business:
- Overall marketing objectives have been defined and focus has been narrowed through specific measurable goals.
- Brand is defined.Core values are defined: what you are, what you aren’t.
- Brand messaging and promise is defined and documented for easy reference and consistency.
- Target audience is clearly defined.
- Who is the primary target? The answer is usually the ones who represent that 20% of your customer base who generate 80% of your business.
- Who are your secondary targets?
- Competitive marketplace has been studied to determine the company’s current position in the space, and reconciled with where the company’s desired position is going forward.
- How do you differentiate yourself?
- What are you (or do you want to be) known for?
- Key seasonal opportunities have been identified and plotted on a marketing calendar along with specific plans for timely relevant marketing tasks.
- Process of converting prospects to customers has been analyzed and documented.
Think about how much a house painter’s end result is improved by the effort made to prepare the walls before pulling out a brush and bucket. Cleaning dust and grime, scraping away peeling paint, and taping off edges ensures that new paint will endure, that lines will be neat, and the new paint job will be beautiful.
Have you ever planted a garden? If so, then you know choosing the proper plant varieties for your climate and clearing your garden of weeds and stones before planting improves your chances of healthy plants – plants that produce more flowers, fruits and vegetables.
And so it is with social media marketing. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. Success requires patience, and willingness to plan and prepare. Make sure you have those basic marketing components in place. When you do, you are ready to begin creating a strategy for integrating social media that will have a positive impact on your bottom line.