Have you ever planned a big trip? I’m talking about a longer-than-a-weekend vacation or a major relocation trip. It takes a good tactical plan to make the trip enjoyable and worry-free.
Back in the mid ’80s, I had the opportunity to spend 21 days traveling by myself through Italy. I’d been working on an Italian cruise ship, met some great Italians and I learned the language — sort of. (Being fluent in Spanish, I picked up Italian fairly easily, but I ended up creating “Spantalian”! But I was understood and that’s what matters.)
So, the strategy was to stay on a certain budget, research where I wanted to go in Italy and where I should stay.
Question — how do I get around? Rent a car or rail pass? I figured there was less chance, traveling alone, to get lost if I took the train. I got an Ital-Rail Pass — just hop on a train anywhere at any time. I’d fly into Rome, then go north to Milan for the day, then take the train to Bologna and spend the first night there. Then it was Florence, Pisa, Rome for 3 days, then south to Naples. From Naples I’d take day trips to the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
With my camera and guidebook in hand I took off from Puerto Rico to New York to Rome. It was a red-eye. There was a storm in Rome so the plane was diverted to Turin, but the airline arranged for a bus to the Rome airport. That was an extra, rather nice, unplanned tour. Things happen.
However, I didn’t have tactical plan regarding hotel reservations.
With my American Express card I could go to any AmEx kiosk, in every train station, where I could book a hotel. I took my chances. That worked until I got to Florence. Turns out it was not just the weekend, but there was an art festival. The line at the Amex Booth was long! I wasted 2 hours there!
My next stop was Pisa. No problem there, but I was concerned about Rome. So I booked my hotel before I left Pisa.
In both Florence and Pisa, I was impressed by the people on scooters who zipped around the traffic. In Rome, I thought, “that’s a good way to get around!” So, I rented a moped — bad idea #1. The guy asked me if I wanted a helmet, I declined — bad idea #2. Well, as you can imagine, I almost killed myself trying get around like the locals — “when in Rome…”
Anyway, my trip was a great experience and an inspiration for my first novel.
What does this have to do with having a social media marketing tactical plan?
Just because you know how to post on social media doesn’t mean you know how to effectively market on social media.
The first steps to effective and successful social media marketing campaigns are:
- Clearly identify your target market(s)
- Create persona(s)
- Research your target markets and get to know them
- Set SMART goals for your business and marketing
- Develop a strategic plan to meet those goals
- Put together a tactical plan to implement the strategy…
The Tactical Plan outlines what to do where, for how long, using what tools and how often.
The first 5 steps really determine the tactics. Skip them at your own peril.
Next you have to answer these questions:
- Which networks will be your primary networks and which will be secondary?
- How often am I going to post in which networks?
- What’s my marketing message in each?
- What graphics will I use? Do I have the right sizes for each network?
- How often am I going to create new content?
- How am I going to create the new content? Am I a good writer? I can do videos, but how do I edit them? Podcasting? How do I create graphics? (Hint: Use the free tool Canva.com they have all the templates.)
- Which hashtags should I use? Create my own? Which are trendy? How many should I use on each network?
- What’s the right call-to-action to get people to download the freebie or the offer to generate leads?
- How do I then turn those leads into sales? (Hint: Marketing Automation)
- What tools do I use to monitor responses, mentions, replies, comments, retweets, etc.
- Where do I find quality, relevant content to share on the social networks that’s of interest to my target market? Don’t just share your stuff!
- Do I know the lingo? Hanging out in some of these networks is like traveling to a foreign country! You want to relate to the natives, not stand out as a newbie!
- How do I learn how to do all this? (Hint: 1:1 training and coaching!)
It’s OK, if you’ve made some mistakes attempting social media marketing on your own. Hey, I lived to enjoy my trip to Italy! But for the next big trip, I’ll have a better tactical plan.