Although I am sure there are many different templates and techniques that Social Media Marketers use when creating social media plans for their clients, I strongly believe from years of social media marketing experience that any well-planned and effective social media campaign starts with the following five essential ingredients, to ensure that it is as successful as possible. And thus, that the client receives a great ROI from the Social Media Marketer who they have recently hired to manage and plan their social media campaign or manage their businesses social media accounts in general.
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Prior to meeting with the client that you are supposed to create a social media marketing plan for, a great habit to begin (if you have not already done so) is to do some preliminary research on your client’s current social media accounts, such as, Facebook, Twitter, etc.; so that you can get a good idea of the types of social media campaign messages, techniques they have used in the past and how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends they currently have. This way you show your client right from the start that you are a professional Digital Marketer and that you are serious about helping them develop an effective social media campaign that will garner great results for their business, including increased brand awareness, social reach, sales leads and sales.
Asking and preparing key questions related to developing a professional and strategic social media plan is crucial, since in order for you to write a detailed and professional social media marketing plan for your client, you will need to know as much about their business as possible so that the social media work you complete for them is as successful as possible and reaches the key goals that the client intends to reach, such as increased brand awareness via social media likes, follows, shares, mentions, retweets and engagement on their businesses main social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Instagram. Furthermore, do not be afraid to ask difficult questions during the initial meeting with your client. For instance, you can ask them questions such as, What social media marketing techniques and strategies have you employed in the past? What are your main objectives for this social media campaign? Have you ever used Facebook advertising in the past, or if not, would you consider using Facebook advertising to increase your brand awareness, sales leads and sales for your business website?
Aiming to keep your client’s key social media campaign messages to a maximum of three key messages per social media campaign will not only make it easier for you to remember these key messages, but also will make it more memorable in the hearts and minds of your client’s target audience. For instance, from May to July of 2013 I helped create a social media marketing campaign for a local Non-Profit organization based in London, Canada and for this campaign (i.e. Conversation Club), which was a social media campaign primarily devised to increase awareness about the Conversation Club for Newcomer Canadians and post-secondary volunteers. And moreover, to increase volunteer enrollment in the Conversation Club by post-secondary graduates. So me and the Marketing Coordinator decided to stick to two main social media campaign messages, since the main target audience was only post-secondary volunteers and Newcomer Canadians. The key social media campaign messages included:
Using a variety of social media campaign messaging tactics, including posting viral videos, info-graphics, facts, and inspirational quotes to your client’s social media accounts is essential in keeping your client’s key target audience interested and engaged. For instance, as part of Non-Profit organization Charity Water’s social media campaign for World Water Day, on March 22 2013, they used this call to action (shown below) to get people in India to support their campaign, which seemed to be quite effective with this tweet alone receiving 164 retweets and 21 favourites.
Another great way for Digital Marketers and Social Media Marketers in particular to impress their clients, is to create a detailed and custom-tailored social media mock up campaign schedule. The social media campaign schedule should be at least fifteen days long, so that your client can get a good idea of the caliber of creative and targeted social media messages that you are capable of creating for their social media campaign. And not only will it likely impress the client’s that you are working with on creating a social media campaign, but it will save you and your client a great deal of planning and discussion time later on when you might not have the time to come up with new social media messages for all of your client’s social media accounts. That said, I highly recommend that you use this social media campaign schedule as sort of a rough road map when you are working on your client’s social media campaign, as it is likely that you or your client might want to modify some of the campaign messages to better grab the attention of your client’s key target audience.
Although it would seem to many that there is not much planning or thinking involved in creating a successful social media campaign; the truth is that an effective and professional social media campaign takes quite a bit of planning, knowledge and research to ensure that your client’s main social media marketing campaign objectives and expectations are either met or better yet, exceeded. And one excellent way to better ensure that your client’s social media campaign objectives are met or exceeded is to create a well-planned, targeted and concise social media marketing plan and campaign schedule.