January is the perfect time to think about your business goals and what you want to achieve with your social media this year. Many small businesses know they need to be more active on their social profiles but perhaps aren’t sure what to do or where to start. Here are a few simple steps you can take to create your own social media plan:
Complete a social media audit
You can’t create a social media strategy if you don’t know where you are at right now. The first step of creating your social media strategy is to look at your current social media profiles and pages. To help you get started, you can use these checklists for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn created by Andrea Vahl. The most important thing is to ensure your profiles are completely filled out and optimized for SEO using your keywords. Social media sites are indexed by Google so by optimizing your profiles, you have more chance of getting found by your target audience.
What are your objectives?
As with anything you have to set your goals and objectives so you can keep track of how well your pages are performing. Always tie these objectives into your main business objectives.
Focus on leads you generate and/or traffic coming to your website rather than only likes and retweets. You can set up goals in Google Analytics to help you track these.
You also want to use the SMART method of creating objectives and goals – which means they should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Update your accounts
With your audit complete and your objectives set, go to each of your profiles and update them to align with your brand. It is a good idea to do this at the beginning of the year when you set your annual business goals and then you can update your social media profiles at the same time. You can update your About section to make it more relevant and create new profile and cover/header photos to showcase your brand in the new year.
Create an editorial/content calendar
The more your plan your social media in advance, the less stressed about it you will be. Create a Google Doc or spreadsheet with your social media accounts and what days and times you want to post. Check your analytics to see what times and days your audience are online and post then. You can also look at analytics to see what kind of content is resonating with your fans and adjust what you post accordingly. Images and video are extremely popular at the moment so your 2015 strategy will no doubt include a lot of visuals.
Once you have your calendar planned out for the week or month, schedule all your posts in advance. It will save time if you batch it like this, then spend a few minutes a day engaging with your fans and sharing others content.
Be sure to check in with your social media plan on a regular basis and update your objectives as you achieve them and create new cover photos of new products and services you are offering.