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              Social Media Marketing Plan: The Basics

              Social Media Marketing Plan: 4 Basic Steps

              How to develop a social media marketing plan that works for you

              You’ve tweeted and made status updates and blogged, but now it’s time to get serious with a social media marketing plan. Get down to business and get social.

              1. Social Media Marketing Plan: Research

              It’s practically a no-brainer to say that social media will help your business. But that’s not really helpful, is it? To really know for sure, do a little bit of research to identify the strengths and weaknesses of social media in your industry.

              • Identify trends in your industry. What platforms are your customers using?
              • Do a competitive analysis. See what others are doing well.
              • See if social media has impacted the businesses that you’re competing with.

              Lastly, evaluate what you’re doing in the social world to see what areas you could capitalize on for improvements.

              What you should come away knowing: Your target audience and the social media they use.

              2. Social Media Marketing Plan: Strategize

              Now that you know who you’re targeting and where they gather online, get to the practical matters, the creative direction, and the specific tactics you’re going to use.

              • Identify the social media platforms you want to concentrate on such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube
              • Make an outline of the content you want to deliver and subjects to cover, including concerns and interests of your audience with relevant keywords
              • Develop a schedule for the frequency you want to post and creative ideas to reach your target such as promotions

              Lastly, have an idea of the kinds of goals you want to achieve. Do you want more followers? Do you want more sales? Do you want more engagement? Know this and drive your plan toward it.

              What you should come away knowing: Your timeline and plan to reach your goals.

              3. Social Media Marketing Plan: Implement & Analyze

              Next, you want to put your plan into practice. If you’re not a solo operation, you may want to designate an employee to manage your social media marketing plan implementation. Either way, be sure to:

              • Follow your schedule. If you slip, just get back on track.
              • Give yourself time to build towards your goals.
              • Analyze your results: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.

              Unless you post a video or comment that goes viral, just do like everyone else does and work the plan and plan for what works.

              What you should come away knowing: A plan is only as good as its results. Change it if necessary.

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              4. Social Media Marketing Plan: Modify

              Here is where the real fun comes in. With the feedback you get, you will be able to more easily reach your target.

              • Use all the tools at your disposal to see what your visitors are doing
              • Modify your social media marketing plan
              • Move forward with the new plan until your data points you in a new direction

              No one has a plan that is perfect right out of the gate. There are a lot of x-factors in social media marketing, and all plans change over time. The good news is that social media marketing plans are built to allow you to go with the flow.

              What you should come away knowing: Social media marketing plans take research, strategy, implementation, analysis, and modification.

              Social Media Marketing Plan: The Basics Infographic

              Jon Whitbeck

              As a web designer and developer, I have managed, built, launched, and maintained websites that meet my clients' objectives. I develop dynamic websites with content management systems based on the latest design trends. My background as an educator and instructor helps me create user-friendly interfaces and teach my clients how to update their own sites.