Historically, online marketing was a fairly one-sided approach. Businesses pushed ideas out and consumers passively received them, but that landscape has shifted. The internet has become extremely interactive and social media has created a new style of communication and there are now billions of conversations happening online. People are discussing popular news articles, sharing photos of their pets and even engaging with brands and it all feels relatively natural to the consumer. It's just part of how the web operates. All of these conversations, however, present exciting opportunities for marketers. We can join in on a conversation to drive brand awareness or create our own conversations and empower our customers to do the marketing for us.
Done right, social media has the potential to transform your business. However, it'll require a good strategy, some creativity and a little bit of luck. Done wrong, and social media might bring unwanted attention which could potentially harm your business or your brand image. Typically when we talk about social media we're talking about the organic natural approach to distributing content, but it's more than just sharing updates, because people share so much information on social media, we can buy some of the most targeted advertisements available on the web.Looking to sell a product to a new mom? Facebook has a targeting option for that.
Want to offer help when a customer is complaining about your brand? Twitter has a search feature for that. For many brands, social media will be a must have component of their digital marketing strategy. Your social media might feature the major networks or it could be as simple as a blog, a customer forum or a small NESH bookmarking site.
Your social media plan will simply expand on the marketing plan we designed at the start of this course. I'll show you what I mean in just a minute, but first I want to clarify a few things. How much time can your team spend on social networks? You want to plan on at least an hour a day. You've got to remember that you need to write copy, design or find images to support your message and then evaluate results so you can improve the strategy. Next, think about what resources you have available. Are you doing this yourself? Can you train someone on your team to help you?Will you hire a freelancer? Once you factor in the time requirement, you might decide it's worth to pull in some more help.
Finally, pencil out your budget. What are you planning to spend? Even if you're not doing any paid advertising, make sure you still factor the time you or your team will be spending. Calculate the hourly rate and then include that as part of your spend.
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