Think critically and honestly, using these strategies to max out your marketing goals
Consider the time you actually have to devote to social media, not what you wish you had.
BY ELIZABETH BREEDLOVE
Social media campaigns can be a great way to promote your invention, so long as you have a strong campaign in place.
Making an impact on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram isn’t something you can “set and forget”; it takes intentional, regular activity if you want to find success.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Establishing a thoughtful plan is key to finding social media success without the stress.
Here are seven steps for creating and implementing an effective social media marketing campaign.
Step 1: Consider what you can dedicate to social media marketing.
Managing social platforms requires a variety of resources, so think critically about what you have to offer to your social platforms:
- Time: How much time do you have to devote to social media per day? Per week? Consider the time you actually have, not what you wish you had. The idea is to set a reasonable goal for the amount of time you’ll spend managing these accounts so that you can decide how to use that time.
- Money: Do you have room in your budget to cover expenses such as social media management software or social media advertisements? If so, how much can you spend? If not, are you willing to perhaps devote a little extra time to organic, manual management instead?
- Expertise: What experience do you have with social media or with marketing that you can draw from to create and implement your social media marketing campaign? What are your strengths, and how can you use them as you market your product using social media?
Step 2: Consider who your target market is and where they spend time online.
If you’re actively trying to create, market and sell your invention, you likely already have the first part figured out. Once you know your target market, examine where your audience spends time online. Are they primarily on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn? YouTube? Figuring out where those who like products like yours spend time online will help you zero in on where to focus your efforts, and what social networks to ignore.
Step 3: Consider how you want to use social media.
There are many different ways to use social media, so think critically about what works best given your skills, time, budget and where your audience spends their time.
Are paid advertisements the best approach to social media marketing for your invention? Do you want to use social media to build a community around your invention? Do you want your social platforms to serve as a customer service avenue for your business?
Note that you don’t have to choose just one of these; you can use your social media profiles to run ads, build a community and handle customer service issues. However, before you can create an actual plan, you must first consider how you want to use social media to support your product or new business.
Step 4: Set your goals.
At this point, you’re ready to set your social media goals. Remember to set SMART goals—those that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. This is important because it ensures that you are setting the types of goals that can be successfully executed. For example, instead of setting the goal to “get more Twitter followers,” set a goal to “get 100 Twitter followers in the next 30 days.” This is a goal that is clearly defined and has a clear ending point.
Step 5: Develop a plan for your social media marketing campaign.
By now, you likely have a fairly good idea of how you need to use social media to hit your goals, market your invention and make your business a success. This is your chance to fully build out your idea and create an actual, specific plan for how you’ll use social media for your invention. This plan should include details such as:
- What social networks you’ll use
- What types of content you’ll post
- Where you’ll source your content (photoshoot, stock photography, designed graphics, etc.)
- When and how often you’ll post
- Who will handle posting
- Who will handle responding to comments and messages
- How often you’ll check comments and messages
- What software, if any, you’ll use to schedule posts, research hashtags or analyze performance
Step 6: Set benchmarks or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help you reach your goal.
Benchmarks or KPIs can be thought of as mini-goals that help you monitor your progress for your primary goal. For example, let’s say your goal is to sell 12 units of your invention through social media in the first month. A benchmark or KPI might be to sell three units per week attributable to social media. You’ll use these benchmarks and KPIs periodically to keep you on track as you implement your campaign, and to help you stay focused on meeting your goals.
Step 7: Analyze your progress and make changes regularly.
Establishing a social media plan and implementing a campaign isn’t enough if you want to hit your social media goals; you must also analyze what you’ve done and course correct as needed.
For example, using the previous example, suppose you are two weeks into your campaign and you have only sold two units each week through social media. This is indicative that something needs to change.
Perhaps you need to post more frequently. Maybe you’re focusing on the wrong social networks. Maybe your customer service efforts are lacking and you need to respond to comments and messages in a more timely manner. Take a hard look at what you’re doing, what’s working and what isn’t, and then decide what you can improve.
In other words, don’t be afraid to shift your efforts mid-campaign if that’s what it takes to reach your goal. If you want to sell three products per week, for example, and you’ve gotten two sales from Facebook but not from Twitter, it may be a good idea to focus more on Facebook and less on Twitter.