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Integrate social media into your marketing plan

Posted on June 25th, 2015

Over the past couple of months we have gone over how to get started with social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and how to customize your posts for each.  Hopefully you’ve started using your social media platforms to get the word out about your business and drive traffic to your website.

With these new skills in your tool belt it’s time to work on pulling it all together to create an overall marketing plan that integrates social media.

Planning takes time

It does take some take to create a plan.  But once you do, it will actually make your life a little easier, and the quality of your marketing efforts will improve.  People can tell when you’re winging it, and they can also tell when your social media posts are consistent.

By creating social media accounts with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn you’ve already jumped over the first hurdle.  You’ve shown that you’re ready to learn some new tricks – this is half the battle.  Now you have to make a plan and stick to it – most of the time.

Consistency (and a contradiction)

Do you take care of your social media accounts, or is it one of your employees?  Maybe it’s several employees.  Whoever is responsible, it’s important to be consistent.  Looking at some Twitter accounts you can find businesses that post regularly for a couple of weeks, then nothing for a month, then back to regular posts.  Does this sound like you?

One way to prevent this from happening is to draft a social media calendar.  Plan out a month, or even better, six months with campaigns or ideas to help remove the anxiety of not knowing what to post on a daily basis.  For example, you know that your business will be having your annual summer clearout sale.  You can create a schedule that starts in May with teasers about the upcoming sale in July.  Build your own buzz.

Now I’m going to contradict myself.

Don’t plan everything!  One of the greatest opportunities that social media affords is its ability to help us build relationships.  You don’t use a spreadsheet to plan your conversations with your friends for six months.  Same with social media.

You need to be able to react to a customer’s posts or a breaking development in your industry.  If everything you post is scheduled it can come across as canned.

So, make a plan as an outline for what you want to accomplish, but be nimble.  Engage with others when the opportunities arise.  This is the social part of social media.