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Howdy ho, my SEO friends! I’m still on vacay up here in wonderful, lovely Provincetown, Massachusetts, taking a well-earned break from teaching SEO classes at Search Engine Academy. Juli Monroe, social media and networking coach extraordinaire at 1 To 1 Discovery has graciously agreed to write a couple articles for us about a social media marketing plan. Take it away, Juli!

Why Have a Social Media Marketing Plan?

Lots of people dive into social media without first taking the time to develop a plan. Someone says “You need a Facebook page,” and they set up a page.

No single social media platform is right for every business. There are many pros and cons of social media that a business needs to consider before making a decision. Here are a few points to examine while creating your social media marketing plan.

Does my business need social media?

While I believe every business needs a web presence, not every business needs social media. First you have to do your market research to be certain your target market engages in social media and is interested in interacting with a business like yours. You also need to consider your time. It doesn’t do any good to set up a profile and then abandon it because no one in your company has time to maintain it.

What do I want to accomplish with social media?

Assuming you’ve determined social media makes sense for your business, you need clear goals. Knowing why you’re on social media and what you want to accomplish will guide you to the correct platforms and will give you an idea of how much time you’ll need to devote to the platform(s) you choose. Your plan should also contain specific, measurable benchmarks. A plan with no clear way to evaluate it is useless.

What platform(s) should I engage in?

Without considering the two points above, you can’t answer this question. Here are some quick bits of information about some of the major platforms that can help guide your decision:

Facebook:

  • Good for engaging with an existing audience
  • Difficult to reach out to a new audience
  • Highly image and video oriented
  • Guidelines and rules change frequently

Twitter:

  • Time consuming
  • Easy to reach out to a new audience
  • Ideal for sharing links
  • Less ideal for image and video, though that is changing

Pinterest:

  • Made for images
  • Ideal for product businesses, especially food and craft-related businesses
  • Difficult to use for service-related businesses
  • Be aware of  image copyright issues in the Terms of Service

See how your goals, expectations and type of business directly impact what platform(s) you might want to engage in?

Before setting up a social media platform, or adding a new one to an existing plan, I suggest consulting with a professional. Make certain, though, that the company you hire has a broad knowledge of platforms and doesn’t have a bias toward just one or two.

Again, thank YOU, Juli Monroe! SEO peeps, what say you about this article? Leave us comments below!

Keep it between the ditches and be well!

All the very best to you,