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’Tis the season for social media planning

11/20/17

If you think Christmas is coming up quickly, just wait until New Year’s arrives.

The time for planning social media strategies is today. Otherwise, you risk a reactive approach and, worse, spans of “radio silence” sprinkled throughout the year.

Whether you are taking the first steps with social media marketing or building upon an existing social media marketing plan, here’s how to enter 2018 with a solid strategy:

Your guide to managing social media strategies in 2018

Step 1: Evaluate your existing tactics and channels

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” While there’s some debate over the source of that quote, there’s no denying the truth behind it.

Instead of letting your social media marketing plan putter along on autopilot, take this opportunity to evaluate your tactics from the prior 365 days. Most social media programs have built-in analytics that will allow you to track the number of interactions for each post, tweet or video. If your engagement scores aren’t worth a lump of coal, it’s time to make a change.

Reference your website analytics report as well to see which social media channels and posts resulted in the most traffic to your bank website and, better yet, resulted in conversations.

Step 2: Adapt your social media marketing plan

Once you have gathered the data, it’s time to apply your findings to next year’s plan. Here is a handful of questions you should ask yourself for each of your social media channels:

  • If I have a high level of engagement, should I increase the frequency of posts?
  • What types of content get the most interaction? Can I increase those?
  • What types of content get the least interaction? Can I eliminate those?
  • If I have a low level of engagement, is it possible that posting at a different time of day could get better results?
  • If there isn’t a return on investment, would I be better off deleting this account altogether?
  • Are there other social media platforms that are more appropriate?

The No. 1 rule for social media marketing is to go where your audience is. Because technology is always changing — with new channels popping up throughout the year — you should review your options annually, at the very least.

Step 3: Create your social media calendar

At this point you should know which social media channels warrant your attention and be able to prioritize what types of content you will need for the year ahead. Now you can begin scheduling what will go out when.

Here are a few content/message types to consider:

  • Big company announcements
  • New product marketing / new services marketing
  • Special promotions
  • Events
  • Testimonials
  • How-to videos
  • Answers to FAQ
  • Holiday messages

Remember to repurpose items from your comprehensive content marketing plan. For example, if you have a monthly blog post scheduled, be sure to link to it from all appropriate social media channels.

Need to plug a hole? You can always share content posted by other accounts, such as announcements from the local Chamber of Commerce or major news in the financial sector.

And don’t forget to throw some new ideas into the mix. Experiment! Your social media calendar — in conjunction with your overall content marketing calendar — shouldn’t be set in stone. If something doesn’t work, change it as you go.

Unfortunately, you can’t tweak what doesn’t exist, which is why formulating a Plan A is so important.

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