Social media is ever-changing and before you know it the “kids” are into some new platform, chatting about some new trend. So how do you stay in touch and relevant?

Sadly there are no 5 easy steps or other quick fix that would magically make things happen.

So, what do you do? Luckily it’s not very hard and no one is in any mortal danger, so don’t be scared!

Generally, you fall into one of the following categories: You either have no idea where to start with a social media strategy and are searching for the magic potion to make it worth your time, or you have put in the time, but aren’t seeing the results you so desperately want. So follow these tips and we’ll get you on the right path!

But why is a social media presence so important anyway?

This is where your target market spend the majority of their time! Social media can NOT be ignored! “According to the latest research, people in the U.S. check their Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts a staggering 17 times a day, meaning at least once every waking hour, if not more.

See 150% or more return on your marketing investment! Social media is just as important as every other part of your business. Forbes reported a whopping 95% return on investment, with nearly 30% of those polled seeing more than 150%! What if you had a strategy that kept you in that 150% or more category all of the time?

Generate hundreds of potential new leads every month. This has to be built into your business plan. Even if you went to a new networking event every single day, would it be possible to introduce yourself to thousands, if not tens of thousands of new people every month? Social media is one of the few ways to get your message spread far and wide, without you having to do all the leg work.

Convert leads to sales even faster than before! Social media allows your audience of potential customers to get to know you. Over time that builds likability and eventually trust. Trust is ultimately what turns a blind lead into a hot lead, ready to buy. If you aren’t spending your time online you are leaving money on the table . . . period.

So where do you start?

Firstly, you need to get to know your market. Who are they and on which platforms do they spend their time? Not sure what the answer is? Why not try a survey?

Then you need some goals. What are you trying to achieve? Give yourself some real numbers to measure your success against. Maybe it is actual sales referred from a social network, or maybe you start even smaller and just commit to a certain number of posts in a month.

Perhaps try the S.M.A.R.T. framework when setting your goals. This means that each objective should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Thirdly, conduct a social media audit. Prior to creating your social media marketing plan, you need to assess your current social media use and how it’s working. This means figuring out who is currently connecting with you via social, which social media sites your target market uses, and how your social media presence compares to your competitors’.

Fourth, we suggest a solid brainstorm. Dump all your ideas out on paper. Start developing a content calendar over the next month. And as the weeks roll by, look at them individually and in much more detail.

Then, create or improve your social media accounts. Choose which networks best meet your social media goals. If you don’t already have social media profiles on each network you focus on, build them from the ground up with your broader goals and audience in mind. If you do have existing accounts, it’s time to update and refine them to get the best possible results.

So, now that have done your groundwork, it is time to make your brand shine!

Find some inspiration to make your campaign interesting and which engage your audience. Not sure how to do it yourself? Go and see what top brands like Coca-Cola do.

Here at Social Tulips, we create social media calendars for our clients. This is great for content creation and you avoid repeating the same thing over and over. Your social media content calendar lists the dates and times you intend to publish your posts. It’s the perfect place to plan all of your social media activities—from images and link sharing to blog posts and videos—encompassing both your day-to-day posting and content for social media campaigns.

Awesome! So now that things are happening, it is time to evaluate, measure and tweak if need be.

To find out what adjustments need to be made to your social media marketing strategy, you should rely on constant testing. Build testing capabilities into every action you take on social networks. For example, you could:
Track the number of clicks your links get on a particular platform using URL shorteners or track page visits driven by social media with Google Analytics.

This should be done on a weekly and monthly basis. Record and analyze your successes and failures, and then adjust your social media marketing plan in response.

This is hard work and takes dedication, but if you stick to your strategy your will succeed in the end!

This piece was written by Social Tulips Media Marketing and this is a paid for advertorial. 

For more information regarding social media, marketing and branding contact Social Tulips to assist you.