Whether you’re starting social media marketing from scratch or taking it over from someone else, here’s an 11-item checklist to guide you through the process.
1. Make sure profiles are up-to-date and correct.
If you’re creating new profiles, use the most current marketing language and the right contact information. Don’t forget to include the same keywords and phrases you use on your website. Your social media profiles are an extension of your company, and they should represent it as well as your site does.
2. Update graphics and videos.
Once your profiles are loaded with the right words, start working on images. Your logo should be featured prominently on all of your profiles, but it isn’t the only graphic you can use. Facebook and Twitter both have multiple places for images, so you can keep your logo as your profile photo while being more creative with the cover photo. Video content pulled from YouTube or Instagram also needs to be compelling and relevant.
3. Check your page permissions.
Turnover is inevitable in any industry, so you probably have old staff members or contractors that have access to your pages. Even if the split was completely amicable, you need to remove them so that only the people currently managing your social media sites have access.
4. Change passwords.
Some outlets, like Twitter, don’t allow you to create admins. For those sites, you should update the passwords when you take over the company’s social media marketing. Use a password with lowercase and capital letters, numbers and symbols to be more secure.
5. Visit competitors’ pages.
Check out your competitors on social media to get ideas of what to post (without plagiarizing, obviously!). Their pages can also give you goals for how many followers you could achieve.
6. Identify your target social media customers.
You probably already have a persona or two set for your target customers. Take those demographics – age, gender, occupation, income level, education, etc. – and define your target audience especially for social media. Then, you can gear your content toward these people. You can also find individuals who fit your target demographic and follow them from the company’s social media pages.
7. Review your purpose and goals for social media marketing.
Once you’ve seen your competitors’ pages and defined your target audience, you can create specific goals for social media marketing. Include how often you want to post on each outlet and set difficult, but achievable goals for growing your followers.
8. Create content to share.
Social media marketing isn’t very useful if you don’t have anything to say. Before you get started, upload a few blog posts or write relevant case studies or white papers. The more valuable information you can share with your target audience, the quicker your following will grow. You can also share relevant news articles and tips, but having some of your own content will position you as a thought-leader in the industry.
9. Create an editorial calendar.
Put the content you’re ready to share into an editorial calendar. This will help keep you organized and make sure you meet your goals for how often you want to post. You can use a site like Hootsuite to schedule posts, so you don’t have to post manually throughout the day and night, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for breaking industry news so that you can post that as well.
10. Monitor and respond to mentions and inbound messages.
An important part of any social media marketing strategy is engaging with your followers. Check daily for mentions or inbound messages and respond promptly. Also, monitor relevant hashtags and like, retweet and comment on other user’s posts.
11. Examine possible new platforms.
Social media marketing is changing every day, so you’ll want to stay up to date on social media news to make sure you’re getting the most out of the platforms. Also, check to see if new platforms become popular. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn may be a great place to start, but you could also benefit from posting to Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat and more, depending on your industry.
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