Everyone talks about social media nowadays as a part of their company’s marketing strategy. But there are so many companies still not doing it in the right way. Some companies think that social media marketing is only for businesses that are marketing product or services online to their customers through the Internet. Least they know that actually social media is not only limited to online businesses but also can be applied to offline businesses.

Social media marketing can be a very powerful marketing medium for a company’s growth and success. But it can also be a disaster if you do not know why you’re doing it and how to do it correctly. This article will outline social media marketing blueprint that any businesses or companies can use to in order to have a successful social media marketing plan.

Step 1: Do pre-planning

Pre-planning essentially means that you should brainstorm and plan your business’s goals before you blindly enter social media platform and being labeled as a spammer. You must know what goals you are trying to achieve for your business using social media.

Step 2: Deciding Your Business Goals

There are 3 main purposes that you could use social media for. First, is to generate and increase financial revenue for your business. Financial purposes can be in terms of revenue, expenses and leads.
There are many big companies that were able to increase their revenue by leveraging the power of social media. These big companies are such as McDonald, Starbucks, Apple etc. Some companies are able to generate more leads for their companies via their online marketing campaigns. This is because when you expand the presence of your company to the online world, more people become aware of your product and services.
Second is getting more customers for your existing product or services and build a community based on that. Third is to build brand awareness for your new product or services. Creating a brand awareness using social media is faster using word of mouth marketing.

Step 3: Listen to the Conversation

Define the method that you are going to listen what the crowds are saying. Traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore. If you want to be successful, you have to listen to what people are saying about your industry, your brand and your company. There are few design mechanisms that you can choose to follow to know what people are interested in and what they are looking for. These design mechanisms are such as industry trends, keywords or search terms, big influencers in your industry and your competitors.
You can look at what are the current trends in your industry to understand better the needs of your target audience and take advantage of the current and hot trends that are increasing over time. Look for what people are searching in the search engine and build a list of keywords that they are using. Follow big influencers in your industry and learn their strategy. See and listen what your competitors are doing and what could be their strengths and weaknesses.

Step 4: Get the tools that you need

Pick your monitoring tools to measure and listen to the crowd. These tools are such as creating a corporate blog, social networking sites and content sharing. There are many companies set up corporate blogs to get their ideas out to their customers. Example is Johnson & Johnson Company. Basically, you could train your employees to write content for your corporate blog or outsource them to good writers. But for a long term strategy, training your employees is better as they understand the internal operations of your company.
Create a business fan page on Facebook and start engaging with your fans by posting some good information to create customer’s loyalty. Ask your fans to follow you on Twitter and LinkedIn. Content sharing is powerful to develop market leadership in your industry. You should post videos to your company’s YouTube channels, upload photos to Flickr and so much more.

Step 5: Measure your Marketing Goals

Measurement is important to know how successful your marketing strategy is. Most companies do not measure their strategy to assess their strengths and weaknesses. This measurement could includes things such as how many leads your company is generating online, how much increase in your company’s revenue, how your company is able to increase your brand awareness and so on.

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