Imagine you signed up to run a marathon in 6 months. You told all your friends about it. You bought new running shoes. You were really excited about it, but you didn't set a goal for yourself, and you didn't create a training plan. You just ran when you felt like running and didn't when you didn't feel like it. How do you think you'd do on race day? Do you think you'd be properly prepared? Do you think your race would astound all of the people you bragged about signing up to?
You needed a goal. You needed a plan to get you to that finish line.
Social media marketing is like that. You shouldn't just open a new Twitter account and hope for the best. You need a goal, you need to define who you want to talk to, and you need a plan.
Don't sweat. I'm here to help! Let's create a Twitter plan for your brand — right here, right now.
You have to start with a goal. What are you trying to accomplish with Twitter? You can have more than one goal, and your goals can change throughout the year. Here are some ideas:
- Position our brand as an industry leader/expert
- Generate brand awareness
- Amplify brand news
- Recruit top talent
- Showcase company culture
- Make people laugh
- Inspire people
- Drive sales
- Drive relevant people to your website
- Promote your new product/offering
- Get people to sign up for your webinar
2. Target Audience
Who are you trying to sell to or communicate with? Write it down.
- Demographics — Is your target audience a certain gender/age group/ethnicity?
- Interests/Industry — If you are B2B, you likely want to communicate with people in your industry. If you are B2C, you want to communicate with people interested in your industry.
- Potential employees
- Thought Leaders
What are the buzzwords in your industry right now? What is your brand's key message? Write down a few keywords and a key message -- it could just be a sentence.
What is the voice of the brand? If you are a B2B brand in the pharma industry, your brand's voice will likely sound different than a B2C brand that sells to teens.
- Polished, professional, knowledgeable
- Playful, casual, fun
- Tongue-in-cheek, witty, smart
- Academic, poised, dry
- Comical, colloquial, girly
5. Types of Content
Don't be a boring robot and post the same type of content over and over. Vary it up, and be a part of the conversation (share other people's content)! This could be thought leadership pieces, job listings, company culture, industry news, product launches, funny quotes, etc. What will your posts look like? Will you try to add an image for every post? If so, where will you find these images?
You may also want to write down the latest standard for optimal image sizing here.
What are the optimal times for you to post? Figuring this out might require some guess & check. If you are a B2B company, you probably want your schedule to be within business hours. If you are B2C, before work, during the lunch hour, and after work might be better times.
How many times do you want to post per week or per day? I'd recommend aiming for at least 1 tweet per day, M-F. But knowing that posting on Twitter is like throwing content down a river and hoping that someone on the shore sees it when it passes them by, you probably will want to increase that frequency over time.
What are the tools you plan to use to help your Twitter plan go smoothly? I like using Buffer for scheduling, CrowdFire for identifying unfollowers, TweetDeck for active listening to hashtags, and Google Sheets for my content plan and tracking growth.
9. Follower Strategy
You need a plan to get people to pay attention to you. Sometimes, you luck into people finding you on their own, but if you want exponential growth, it will need to be more strategic. Here are some ideas for gaining followers:
- Creating and using a list of relevant hashtags
- Liking, retweeting, and replying
- Following relevant accounts and then a few days later, unfollowing those that didn't follow you back
This is important for getting the most exposure for each tweet. Create some categories for yourself of relevant, well-used, specific hashtags (i.e., product categories, specific event hashtags, online community hashtags). This list should be ever-evolving.
How and what do you plan to track to measure your success and growth? How often do you want to update your tracking document? For example, you might create a spreadsheet that you update each month that tracks the following:
- # of total followers
- # of new followers
- # unfollowed this month
- # of tweets shared
- # of times you were retweeted
- # of replies
I hope this helps you feel energized with your social media strategy. Happy tweeting!