You have a rough idea of what you’d like to achieve in your business and you know more or less some of the tactics and strategies with social media and digital marketing that will help you get there.
So now you’re wondering, ‘do I really need to spend more time with working on a plan for my social media and digital marketing? Or can I just jump straight in, see what happens and go from there?’
It’s a good question… And I can see why you might ask that.
I’ll start of by saying, I can completely see the attraction in NOT having a plan.
If like me, you’re a very “action-orientated” person, you just want to jump in and work things out as you go along.
Now, there are definitely some advantages to this. For starters, taking SOME action is definitely better than taking no action at all. Even if you make mistakes, by taking action, you’ll at least learn from those mistakes and improve as time goes on.
But.. that’s also exactly the reason why you need a plan in the first place.
Because a goal without a plan is just a wish.
It may or may not happen.
With a plan, you can reverse engineer the exact results you want to achieve and then take action and make it happen.
This will increase your chances of success.
And it will keep you focused and help you avoid distractions along the way.
THE FIRST STEP TO CREATING A PLAN
If you’re interested in getting results from social media in your business, then one of the first things I recommend you do is to take a step back and look at your business from a distance.
Ask yourself ‘Why am I using social media in the first place? What do I really want to achieve? What are my business goals in the next 3, 6 and 12 months? And how does social media marketing fit in with the rest of my marketing activities?”
Action steps: List out your sales targets for the next 3, 6 and 12 months. Then reverse engineer how you can achieve that.
For example, let’s imagine you want to generate $10,000 in 3 months. That’s your short term goal.
Now, you can reverse engineer how to do that, by asking yourself the following kind of questions:
To generate $10K in 3 months, how many clients will I need to do that?
If you sell a service for $5,000 then all you need is 2 clients.
What do I need to do to win 2 clients?
You’ll need to have more sales calls.
What do I need to do to have more sales calls?
You’ll need more leads.
What do I need to do to generate more leads?
You’ll need an attractive free content offer and a way to get in front of them.
What is the best way I can do that?
You’ll need to run a targeted lead generation campaign using social media.
And so on…
By asking questions like that and reverse engineering your goals, you can actually map out exactly what you want to achieve and have a much clearer idea on how to get there.
THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN
Now that you know what your goals are and you have a rough idea of the numbers and things you’ll need to do to get there, you have a pretty good foundation to your plan.
Now it’s time to start building on that foundation.
There are two things I focus on with my clients when it comes to helping them create an effective social media plan.
Lead generation and Lead Conversion.
In other words, how to get potential clients to raise their hand and say their interested in working with you and how to then get those potential clients to trust you enough to buy.
YOUR LEAD GENERATION PLAN
To figure out how to generate leads, you’ll need to know who you’re targeting and what can you help those in your target audience with.
YOUR NICHE / TARGET AUDIENCE
Try to be as specific as possible when targeting people.
A good formula to follow is:
I help [niche] to [get the specific results they want] by [what you do].
So for example, in my business, one of my niche’s are other web design agencies. So I would say something like:
I help web design agencies to generate at least 5-10 more leads and sales appointments each month by using social media
Top tip: You can actually see the content I use to target lead generation agencies.
And don’t worry about focusing on one specific niche.
You’re only targeting one niche in your marketing campaign but it doesn’t mean you have to be exclusive only to that niche forever (unless you want to of course!)
For example, although I target web design agencies, that’s only one of the niche’s I work with. I have other marketing campaigns targeting other niche’s as well.
So just because you focus on one niche to begin with, doesn’t mean you’re marrying that niche and that’s all you will do forever for the rest of your life.
You can start off with one niche, get really good at helping them and either keep improving or expand into a different niche.
WHY IS HAVING A NICHE IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN SO IMPORTANT?
Having a niche makes everything else you do in your marketing and lead generation campaigns so much easier.
If you target everyone, you will get no one.
So I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to choose a specific niche before you begin a social media lead generation campaign.
Action step: Write down your niche, who they are, what are they interested in and what are their challenges and desires. You may need to speak to more people in your niche or do research if you’re not sure yet.
GIVE YOUR NICHE WHAT THEY WANT
If you know your niche well enough, you’re going to know and understand their pain points and what they need help with. Then you can provide a solution to their problems through free content.
The free content you create could be a guide, a video, a webinar or even a live event.
The important thing at this stage is that the content solves a problem your niche has.
In return for the free content, those in your niche will need to give you their contact details (name and email) to receive future follow up marketing emails from you.
If the content matches your target audience well, you won’t have any problems in getting people to hand over their contact information and consent to receive communications from you.
Action step: Brainstorm some content title ideas that you think people in your niche will be interested in. Then pick 1 or 2 that you can use as a test on social media.
CHOOSE A CHANNEL TO REACH OUT TO THOSE IN YOUR NICHE
Now that you know who you’re targeting and what they need help with, the final step to generating leads is getting in front of them.
To do this, you can use social media (either organic or paid methods) to get your message in front of your potential clients.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to start using every social media channel. In fact, it’s actually better to focus on only one or two social media channels to begin with when it comes to lead generation. You can always add more later if you want to.
YOUR LEAD CONVERSION PLAN
Now that you have a strategy to generate leads, the next step is to have a strategy to convert these leads into clients. In short, this involves following up with your leads on a regular basis and building up enough trust so that they buy from you.
Here are some of the most effective ways you can do this:
Once you generate a new lead who shows interest in your content, don’t expect them to pick up the phone and get a quote from you straight away (although that can and has happened before for some of our clients, it’s rare).
You need to build up more trust first.
You can do this by regularly sending your leads your latest and best content via email.
Action steps: When you generate a new leads, create an automatic email sequence that emails them more content. After a few more email follow ups providing free content, then ask them if they would like to schedule a call to learn more. Regardless of whether they say yes or no at this stage, still keep following up and nurturing your leads via email. It can sometimes takes months or even years for you to build up enough trust to the point that your leads are ready, able and willing to buy from you.
SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES
Most of the leads you generate will also connect with you and follow/like your page on that same social media channel. So one way you can very easily stay in touch is through posting daily social media updates so people remember who you are, what you do and how you can help them.
This is a really simple way to always stay at the top of your prospects mind.
Top tip: You can also use powerful features like ‘social media retargeting’ to get in front of your existing leads and people that visit your website through Google, word of mouth, referrals, etc
Action steps: Make sure you’re connecting with your leads on other social media channels (such as LinkedIn) and that you’re posting social media updates on these channels regularly.
If you’re not creating content on a regular basis, what will you follow up and say to people via email or social media updates?
The truth is, without content, there won’t be much you can say that will be interesting or beneficial to your leads.
Content allows you to build trust with your prospects in a way that isn’t very salesy and in a way that provides immense value.
So creating more content on a regular basis that you can continue to share with your leads via your email marketing, social media posts and even your website is essential.
Action steps: Make sure you’re creating content on a regular basis. At least once a month. Preferably much more.
REVIEW YOUR PLAN
Congratulations! If you’ve got this far, now you know exactly what to include as part of your social media plan and you can start taking action to implement it.
I recommend at this stage you review all your answers and make sure everything makes sense.
Here is a quick summary of the questions you’ll need to be able to answer for your social media plan:
- What are your goals in the next 3, 6 and 12 months?
- How many sales do you want to generate?
- How many sales meetings will you need to reach your sales goals?
- How many new leads will you need to get enough sales meetings?
- How many people will you need to reach to generate enough leads?
Even if you don’t know the answers to all those questions right now, that’s ok!
It’s good that you just start thinking about it and as you implement the next two stages of the plan (lead gen and lead conversion), you’ll be able to fill in any missing data points that you don’t yet have.
Your social media lead generation strategy
- Who are you targeting? (your niche)
- What content will you use to target them? (your free content offer)
- What social media channel(s) will you use to reach those in your target audience?
Your lead conversion strategy
- How are you going to follow up with leads regularly? (Email, Messenger, Retargeting, etc)
- What kind of content will you share to post on social media regularly?
- What kind of content will you create and how often?
By answering those questions, you can start to map out a successful social media plan for your business.
If you need help with any of this, this is pretty much what we do day in and day out as part of our ‘done-for-you’ lead generation services. If you’re interested in learning more or getting some one-to-one help with creating your social media plan, just reach out.
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.