With billions of active users on social media, it’s still one of the best ways to reach a global audience and grow a loyal following in the process. Years ago, social media was much easier, as there were just a handful of networks to choose from — with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn being the most popular ones. Now that mobile usage is on the rise and social networks like Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest are gaining ground, it’s important to have a social media marketing plan in place to make sure you have all of your bases covered.
For most brands and businesses, their social media efforts start in the form of content creation. This is usually done through their website or blog, then adding social sharing buttons and making sure each new piece of content is then being shared to their social profile pages. While this is a viable solution, it’s still only scratching the surface.
To help with this process, today we are going to look at some of the most effective ways to start using social media marketing to not only send traffic back to your site but to also potentially go viral with your content. Implement these methods into your content creation and promotion efforts today, to see continue social media success tomorrow.
Create a Social Media Marketing Plan
As with any type of marketing or goals you’d like to accomplish, the process is much easier when you have a map or plan in place to follow. A perfect example of this can be seen in this social media marketing plan from Oberlo. It’s a simple download and only has four data points to be filled out, but once you start putting your expected goals and actions in place, that’s when you will start to see results.
Before downloading the template, take a look at their set of questions and goals, then think about how each of them will apply to your social media marketing efforts and which platforms you’d like to use.
- List of all the business goals
- List of all your marketing goals
- Are the goals SMART?
- How will you track these goals?
It’s important to think about each of these questions and how they will relate to your audience, content and social network of preference, as each will vary heavily. For example, Facebook is a perfect platform for reaching a demographic audience, then having the ability to server remarketing ads to them and potentially increasing leads and sales to your site. While on the flip side, Instagram is more about visual engagement and using hashtags.
YouTube Marketing Outside of YouTube
While YouTube might not be considered a social network in itself, it’s definitely one of the most active platforms on the internet today. With more than 4.1 million video views taking place every 60 seconds, it’s also a destination for traffic that simply can’t be overlooked. At the same time, when brands start to create video content that their audience enjoys, they will start to see increased views, subscriber counts and comments on their YouTube channels.
To find success with YouTube content creation and marketing, it’s all about creating engaging videos that make people want to watch the whole video, then rate and share afterward. Another great way to improve YouTube results is to create custom thumbnails for all of your videos. This is something many YouTubers will overlook, yet it can have a huge impact on the overall click through rates when videos are shown through search results or on the right column menu area.
Lastly, if your brand wants to make the most out of their YouTube efforts, it’s important to look beyond YouTube and realize that the site is also owned by Google. With that being said, Google is going to rank YouTube content pretty well in their search results. There are plenty of guides out there to better understand YouTube SEO, so be sure to invest some time and effort in this area, as its an extremely effective way to increase traffic and exposure to your videos and brand for free through organic search listings.
Instagram Marketing is All About Hashtags
Instagram is changing the social media marketing game and how individuals are connecting with brands around the world. With fewer people using their desktops and attention spans quickly dropping, Instagram has become the ultimate destination for younger audiences around the world. Through simple and quick photos and video uploads, it’s no longer about creating text and longform content but instead just great visuals. This is something many brands are having a huge problem with, while others are seeing better results than ever expected.
It’s also a challenge to see ROI from Instagram because the only link that you can reference, is the one that is shown on your main profile page. This is why most large accounts, brands or stars on Instagram will always say “check out the link in my profile” within each of their posts.
However, the gold of Instagram is actually within the use of hashtags and reaching as many users as possible based off the ones you use. Often times we will see more than ten hashtags being used in just one update. The more hashtags used, the more exposure you are likely to receive, but you also don’t want to go overboard in the process.
To create an effective Instagram marketing plan for your business, I recommend you take a look at this hashtags guide from Later.com, which also includes a wide range of examples and also excel sheets to show the best way to target and use the most active hashtags on Instagram.
Find Success with Social Media by Having a Plan in Place
Social media is going nowhere anytime soon, and as more mobile devices continue to make their way around the world, platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are just going to continue to surge in usage. As a brand, it’s important to not only have a social media marketing plan for today, but also one that will work in the coming months and years as well. Be sure to read through each of the resources and action plans mentions above to make sure your business and brand is on the right path.