“For most solopreneurs and small businesses, social media is a huge waste of time…not because it isn’t an effective mode of advertising, but because most business owners are doing it wrong.” — Forbes contributor Pia Silva.

Social media has helped millions of companies, large and small, reach their customers and expand their market. It’s praised as one of the cheapest ways to market.

But none of that makes any difference if your efforts aren’t paying off for your business. Were all those other entrepreneurs just lucky? Are they social media experts?

Maybe. But we think the reason your social media efforts might not be paying off yet might be something else entirely: you’re too focused on finding the time to get posts out, and not focused enough of the big picture.

What you need is a social media marketing plan so you can ensure you’re doing the right kind of social media marketing for your brand.

What’s in a Plan?

We know. You already have a business plan. Maybe you have a marketing plan, too. But if you’re not breaking down and examining your goals and strategies within social media, you could be wasting tons of time and money on actions that aren’t helping your brand. My team and I create social media plans that speak to your target market and reach them.  Here’s an example of the questions that we help our clients understand prior to creating their social media plan.

  • Where is my audience? Your audience isn’t active on every network, so focus on their favorites to increase your engagement without stressing yourself out.
  • What works for my business? Not all social networks are created equal. Some emphasize short, clever writings (Twitter) while others emphasize videos (YouTube) or images (Instagram). Find a medium (and a network) that jives with your business.
  • What is my budget? Whether it’s time, money, or both that you lack, you’ll have to make decisions about with types of campaigns will be most beneficial to your company right now. Focus on the reaching your ideal customers first. Then, use that momentum to add other types of customers to your audience as well.
  • What are my goals? Depending on what kind of business you have, setting up your page with “Buy Now” buttons might be critical to your success, while another business might see better results by getting users to read a few blog posts before making a purchase. Strike a balance between creating posts that offer quick, easy purchases or more informative posts that play the long game.

Refining and Revisiting Your Social Media Marketing Plan

Your plan is not set in stone. In fact, it needs to be updated at least quarterly. Why? Because social networks are living, dynamic things. Public opinion, technology, politics, economics, and more all affect how well your strategies work. Plus, there’s no magic formula that works for every business, all the time. Social media marketing is like a giant experiment. Sure, you can study up on the latest platforms and recommendations from the experts, but there’s no substitute for implementing a campaign and learning from the results.

Did you like this blog post? Are you ready to get started on your social media plan.  Download the 4 questions to ask before you start your social media plan guide.