4 minute read

JF19 - Social Media

social media

By Dalana Morse

Why your business needs a social media marketing plan

Social media is the talk of the marketing town, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Almost every business is jumping on the bandwagon and scrambling to boost their social presence.

But why is there so much buzz around the topic?

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Traditionally, the social arena has something of a reputation for being, at best, awash with videos of cute cats or amusing babies, or at worst a playground for fake news pushers and unethical scammers. While there's an element of truth in both these stereotypes, a quick look at the traffic numbers shows why social media attracts so much marketing attention:

• Facebook has more than a billion daily users, out of a total of 1.8 billion active members

• WhatsApp and YouTube claim a billion active users each

• Tumblr and Instagram both report close to half a billion regular users

• There are 150 million Pinterest users, of whom 87 percent have made a purchase prompted by marketing activity on the platform

• Even Twitter, often identified as the platform most struggling to gain traction, boasts more than 300 million active users

that your brand needs more social media exposure, following these guidelines will help you reap the benefits while avoiding the dangers.

Define your aims

Embarking on social media marketing simply because it's the flavor of the month is a recipe for failure. Playing the social game requires commitment, the ability to adapt quickly and a clear vision of the end you're working toward. Without a defined aim, social media activities can quickly become unfocused, draining resources that could be better employed elsewhere.

Find your market

The different social media platforms have distinct demographics and require tailored approaches. Trying to cover every base is likely to result in spreading your efforts too thinly. It's far better to determine which platform most of your target market can

A properly executed social media marketing campaign can have remarkably effective results and provide a solid branding foundation for future promotion to build upon.

While these statistics may be astonishing, they don’t even take into consideration the smaller players with more tightly focused user demographics. No matter how you look at it, there’s a massive market full of untapped potential out there.

So, if you're not already in the game, what are you waiting for?

Word of mouth is a key factor in any social marketing campaign. You must leverage the ability of users to share content and spread a carefully crafted message. Done well, this can provide huge benefits and wide brand exposure for relatively little cost. Careful planning is essential. If you've decided

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social media

be found on, and devote your resources to a tightly focused campaign that plays to that platform's strengths. Wider campaigns targeting other platforms can come later, once the social marketing concept has proved its worth.

Develop material in advance

Unlike a one-shot advertising campaign, social media marketing requires a long-term outlook. It's essential to have plenty of content in reserve so that you're never short of material. If your campaign loses momentum because the content well has run dry, any results gained during your first flush of enthusiasm can easily be lost, and bringing a dormant account back to life can be even more difficult than starting afresh.

Measure your results

The success of social media marketing is by nature harder to measure than that of other, more direct types of promotion. Concepts such as brand visibility, authority, and reputation are rather

Playing the social game requires commitment, the ability to adapt quickly and a clear vision of the end you’re working toward.

nebulous, but this doesn't mean you should conduct your campaigns in the dark. While the ultimate goal will probably be to improve your business's bottom line, you need to establish ways of measuring results along the way.

To start with, choose as many metrics to monitor as you can think of—followers, shares, likes, referrals or raw traffic numbers. Over time, you can refine your measurements as you begin to determine which metrics correlate most closely with profit.

Plan to win the game

A properly executed social media marketing campaign can have remarkably effective results and provide a solid branding foundation for future promotion to build upon. However, a half-baked strategy can easily prove worse than no activity at all.

Make sure you enter into the game with a clear plan of action, and you'll be halfway toward success right from the start.

Dalana Morse is the founder of DAM Media and Design, a boutique design and digital marketing firm located in Fort Worth, Texas. Dalana is a seasoned professional with a diverse background in marketing, web and media design, digital and social media marketing, and search engine optimization. Having served in marketing leadership roles for close to a decade, her experience spans both B2B and B2C industries including multifamily and single family real estate, electrical and utility technologies, and visual branding agencies. For more information, visit dalanamorse.com or dammediaanddesign.com

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