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In this video I’ll be taking you through the basics of creating a social media action plan. This will help you make sure that you and your business are making the best possible use of social media, Let’s get started.

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Hello and welcome to another 123-reg Swift 6. This week I’m going to be talking about how you can create a social media action plan.Most businesses recognise that social media is a great opportunity for them in terms of marketing, in terms of connecting with their customers but many are immobilised by what they should do. There is simply too much choice out there and there’s lots of conflicting advice.The thing is – if you can create a plan about what you can do, that really helps you have a journey, a route to follow in order to help you get the most out of social media. So, take time upfront before diving in to create a social media action plan and it would save you lots of time and probably money in the long run.

The first thing that you should do is to create smart goals for your social media that are aligned to business drivers. For example, if you have a business driver about getting more new customers (let’s face it, what business doesn’t?) then create a goal for your social media marketing about increasing new customer sales by x amount. If you have a business driver around customer support or improving customer support, then create a goal that’s about reducing that customer support by x amount. So align those goals with particular business drivers.

The second thing you need to do is to decide which social channels are right for your business. You need to understand how each social channel will help you achieve your goals. For example, if you have a goal about improving customer service then the channel that you need to choose for that is probably going to be Twitter. If you have a goal around reaching new customers then a channel that you should focus on is your blog in conjunction with maybe Facebook so that people will share the content that you create on your blog. So, make sure that you decide which channels are right for your business before you dive in.

The third thing you need to do is to identify what your audience are interested in. You created your business in order to solve a problem, to answer a customer’s question. Can you break down the customers’ problems into any smaller parts? Can you understand what related topics they might be interested in? If you can identify what your audience are interested in, then it’s going to be a lot easier to understand what kind of content you want to share on social media.

The forth thing that you need to do is make sure that you follow the right stories and the right websites and cover any news that’s coming up within your market. For example, what are the industry trends that you need to be aware of and keep up with? Which keywords would you search on at Google and therefore what keywords should you search on for social media that will really give you a good handle on what people are talking about in terms of social.

Try to build a list of influential people on social media and within your industry, those people who seem to have lots of followers and who are gaining lots of interactions with the updates that they’re making. Make sure that you follow them too and understand what they’re talking about.

The fifth thing that you need to do is to create a schedule and this schedule will show you what and when you should be posting. Track interesting content from your own blog, track interesting content from these influential websites that you’re following and put it all into a calendar. Then you can promote all of that content via social media in a regular way. So it’s not something that you can set up at the start and then leave but create this calendar so that you are regularly making updates, some of which are from your site, some of which are from third parties.

By the way, some people get stuck thinking that they can only talk about their brand and share stuff that they’ve made. That’s just not the case. It’s really valuable to share other people’s content too because just by sharing it you will be positioning yourself as an expert and you will be associating yourself with that content. People who are following you, who get referred to really good bits of content, no matter where they’re hosted, will appreciate the fact that you know what you’re talking about and can offer them some good advice.

The sixth thing that you need to do is to decide how you’re going to measure your efforts on social media. For each of your marketing goals choose a social metric that will indicate success and then decide what tools you need in order to measure that success. Let’s say for example that you have a goal around increasing awareness for your brand. The social media metric that you can focus on would be the number of people who are reached with each status update or each Tweet that you make.

In order to measure that you’re going to need to use Facebook and Twitter analytics, you’re going to need to look into the Analytics page within each of those channels. Another example – if you have a goal around reducing the amount of customer support, then the social media metric will be the number of issues that you manage to deal with on social media. The tool that you’ll need in order to measure what happens with your support will probably be your CRM system or your support platform in conjunction, of course, with the tool that you’re using in order to respond to issues.

Ok, that was the 123-reg Swift 6 – How to create a social media action plan, and I’ll see you next time.

Further reading

You can learn more about aligning your business goals with your social media efforts in this extended webinar.

You can discover how to tell which social media networks your business should be using with this guide.

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