Planning: the Key to Social Media Marketing Success

            One main lesson I’ve learned through my studies of Social Media Marketing is that the success of any social media marketing campaign relies heavily on organization and planning. Creating a social media presence is extremely important in order for a modern company to thrive. But simply being present on social media isn’t enough. According to Lyfe Marketing, “Having a social media presence without an active social media marketing strategy can be just as catastrophic for your business as having no plan at all.” The way a company presents itself and communicates on social media creates its image, which directly influences consumer impressions. That’s why it’s so important to develop a thorough plan for social media management.

“Having a social media presence without an active social media marketing strategy can be just as catastrophic for your business as having no plan at all.”

Why is Social Media Marketing Strategy Important and How to Create One (lyfemarketing.com)

Creating high-quality goals is one of the most important steps in organizing a social media strategy. Without specific intentions, marketing efforts would be aimless and most likely ineffective. Developing and documenting goals is key to a successful marketing campaign. The SMART guidelines for strategic objectives are a useful tool to ensure your social media plan is up to snuff. According to the SMART guidelines, a quality objective should be Significant, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-Based. By drafting meaningful, reasonable goals, the company is able to get its entire team on the same page and operate as a cohesive team to implement their social media strategy. Cohesiveness is an essential quality in social media marketing. Everyone on the team must understand the company’s overall objectives, the specific SMART goals of the social media campaign, the “voice” the company wishes to project, and the responsibilities of each team member.   

Social media marketing – A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners – Appy Pie

Another important take-away is that social media is a unique marketing channel because of its speedy flow of information and natural interactivity. Social media sites operate in real time, which means communications are constantly evolving at a rapid pace. Marketers must keep a close eye on their company’s social media accounts and stay on top of posting and responding to comments. For example, a negative comment on a company’s Facebook page can get out of hand very quickly, which is why it is important to respond quickly. In addition to the speed of response, the quality of the response is important, too. All content that a company posts to social media should have a human tone and reflect the voice the company wants to project to the public. A poor response can be even more detrimental to the company’s image than not responding at all. Melbourne IT lays out some interesting guidelines for responding to negative comments, as shown in the visual below.

            Responding to negative comments on social media | Melbourne IT Blog (melbourneit-aws.com)

            These are just a few of the lessons that stood out to me during this class as important take-aways, although there are many, many more. Through the readings and assignments in this course, I have learned that there is certainly much more to Social Media Marketing than initially meets the eye. It is not enough to simply create a social media profile and start posting. To make the most of the potential benefits, a company has to carefully plan a marketing strategy and implement it with equal care. Social media is a constantly evolving marketing network that I think will continue to keep us on our toes for a long time to come.

            Some questions I’m left wondering about are: How do we anticipate Social Media to evolve in the coming years? How might we need to adjust marketing strategies as a result of these changes? Social media has come such a long way and gone through many different metamorphoses since it first became popular, and it will doubtless continue to change in meaningful and significant ways. As motivational speaker Erik Qualman says, “The power of social media is that it forces necessary change.” I look forward to observing these probable changes and participating in social media marketing in a professional capacity.