The role of social media marketing in your business plan is important. But how do you determine what to do and how to do it?

Keep these things in mind:

DO work backward

Why is social media part of your marketing plan? Like all business planning, start at the end by defining what success looks like.

What metrics do you need to achieve for social media to be an integral part of your marketing program?

Examples of metrics include qualified leads, conversions, revenue and customer retention.

DO know your audience

The success of a social media program is dependent on the content you post and where it’s posted.

Posting information that your target audience values and connects with on an emotional level will result in engagement — comments, shares and likes. How do you find topics that your target audience cares about? Talk to them. Listen to the questions they’re asking your customer service representatives. Read what they’re commenting about on social media. See what photos they’re posting on Facebook and in LinkedIn groups.

DO understand your available internal resources

Who on your staff has the skill and experience to lead or execute your social media plans? Sure, there’s an opportunity to learn on the job, but it’s key to have an expert who understands the levers available and how to use them to result in a successful program.

DO understand what skills are needed

Developing and maintaining an effective social media program requires these skills:

  • Copywriting: This is the ability to write appealing posts that attract eyeballs. It’s about sharing content that readers connect with emotionally, want to know more about and want to share with their community. It’s about telling a captivating story.
  • Design: Research has found that social media posts with images receive more engagement. In addition, 43% of consumers want to see more videos in posts. Design matters.
  • Customer service: As the face of your company on social media, it’s important that your social media specialists understand that they are customer service representatives. They need the knowledge and skill to ask the right questions to facilitate engagement and answer questions about the product, company or industry, or at least know how to quickly find them.
  • Analysis: A great social media professional can track, monitor and evaluate the right metrics and then devise a plan to achieve better results next time.
  • Being customer-obsessed: The best marketers are ones who can view the world through the lens of their customer. They know a lot more about them than mere transactional buying information.

DO be true to your brand

The tone and feel of your posts must be true to your brand.

Brand authenticity is crucial to keeping and winning customers. An authentic brand is one that is transparent and consistent in its messaging and branding initiatives. It’s about gaining trust. Know what happens when customers don’t trust a brand? They often start looking for a brand they can trust.DON’T hire the social media agency your friend uses for her business

You need a creative partner that can demonstrate by case study example that they have the skills and experience to tackle your business situation — not your friend’s. You need to ask the tough questions like, “Do the people who created this amazing social media campaign that’s on your website still work for your firm?”

DON’T sacrifice quality for quantity

Neither your customers nor search engines are counting your posts. Instead, they are interested in content that is informative, engaging and full of value.DON’T stop testing and tracking

One of the benefits of digital marketing over traditional marketing (think TV ads, radio and billboards) is that you can quickly measure results. Equipped with real-time data and a channel that enables fast swapping of ads, marketers can conduct creative and messaging tests nonstop.

DON’T forget about mobile

According to Hootsuite’s 2021 Social Media Report, 98% of people access social media sites via a mobile device (and spend an average of four hours and 10 minutes on those devices every day). What does that mean for you? When you’re developing a social media campaign, ensure that your image, video and text formats are mobile-friendly.

DON’T buy fans or followers

People are savvy when it comes to social media. They can tell when you have paid followers or earned ones. Authenticity is key, so instead of buying fans or followers, post engaging content and let your community spread the word.

Developing and implementing a social media program that achieves your business goals isn’t easy. Follow these do’s and don’ts for a running start.

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