December tends to reign in a flurry of activity as marketers and their teams scramble to assemble some sort of plan for the coming year. While some will succeed, others will fail miserably. Although we’d love to ensure you fall into the former category by focusing on every area of marketing, there’s one area that appears to need some work: social media marketing.
It’s time not only to do social media marketing right, but it’s also time to do it better. With that said, here are five ways to prepare for the year ahead.
Writing a Social Media Plan That Makes Sense for Your Business
Writing a social media plan is only something big businesses do, right? After all, they’re the ones with the time and resources to create these “useless” documents few people ever really follow. You’re the one who barely has the ability to produce enough social media content, let alone focus on unnecessary paperwork.
Besides, your “let’s play it by ear” strategy seems to be working. You can’t really tell what impact you’re having because you’re not measuring anything, but your follower and fan numbers are on the rise so that must be a good thing.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Although your reasons for not writing a social media plan may seem valid, adopting a forward-thinking strategy and content plan can help you solve many of the issues you’re using as excuses. Whether you’re a one-man band or part of a large team, make certain you have a written plan to help you remain focused and accountable. It doesn’t have to be long or complex, but it must make sense for your business.
Being Effective In the Implementation of Your Plan
What good is your plan if you let it gather dust in the attention-deficient recesses of some marketing file you only glance at once a year?
The hard truth is this: we’re entering 2014. It’s time to be effective or be left behind. Pull out your plan if you have one, blow off the cobwebs so it looks as grand as when you first typed it up, and then get excited about implementing it the right way. Your social media marketing strategy is designed to guide you, so let it. If you don’t, you really have wasted time and resources your business can ill afford to lose.
If you look at most viral social media posts, there’s one thing they have in common: creativity. They’re created by people who think outside of the box and take risks in their content development strategies.
In an environment where every brand is vying for the attention of the masses, the successful ones are those who show character, embrace unusual thinking, and break with convention. The only rules you need to follow are those of being a responsible social media citizen. Outside of that, there’s no law that states your content has to conform to specific guidelines in terms of structure or appearance.
Going Big or Going Home
Keeping the buzz alive on social media platforms is a hard thing to do. People move from one trend to the next at what seems like lightning speed, so it has become increasingly important for brands to develop concepts that produce enough buzz and brand awareness for a campaign to be deemed successful. Although you’ll want to publish a consistent flow of content, you should also plan one or two big ideas that give your target audience something they desire—something that’ll keep them engaged, and something that’ll generate valuable leads for your business.
Opening the Door for Spontaneity
If you’ve wrapped so much red tape around your social media marketing strategy that all content has to make an extensive journey through the upper echelons of your organization for approval first, you’re missing some great opportunities to be innovative and timely. Some of the best and most viral posts this year came from brands who took advantage of topical events. Things happen too fast to dally about with ridiculous review processes, so let your team of social media content geniuses be spontaneous and jump on the latest happenings for the benefit of your brand. As long as you have a social media policy in place and trustworthy individuals at the helm who think before they post, your brand should be in good hands.
The bottom line: if you prepare properly, you have a good chance to make 2014 a year that surpasses all others in terms of your social media ROI. Most businesses can’t afford to play around anymore. Can yours?
How are you preparing your social media marketing in 2014? Let us know in the comment section below!