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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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How to make a digital plan for your business


So I left my day Job a few weeks ago ready to set up and help business and brands get online,use the internet and Social Media to benefit their business. Part of this is setting up my new website that will be offering Social Media Training I wanted give you all a taste of what I am building as a thank you for reading. 

How to make a digital plan for your business





What is a Digital plan?
A digital plan is the plan for your business online, it should be the combined strategy for your business or Band incorporating Social media and your Website.

It’s important to have a plan before you start trying to market your brand online as if not it’s very easy to get lost in the sea of Social Media and websites. Before taking the first steps online it’s important to understand who your target audience is and where they are?

I will break down each step for you that I do with my clients so you can understand you to make your own plan.

Overview
What is Web 2.0?
A Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies.[3]



Web 2.0 changed the way we use the internet: Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones have now changed how your customers interact with your brand. When a customers now wants to buy a product they will google it and read reviews or post on Social media and ask their friends for advice and suggestion. Web 2.0 changed the experience to allow customer instant contact with brands and gives them the ability to make more informed decision. This is a big reason why it’s now very important to have a presence online so your customers can find you.

What are the Digital Channels?

Website
A Website is your home on the internet and for some companies this is there business, It’s important that you have your business online so people can find you. There are many important factors on a websites but the biggest 2 are the following
-          Easy to be found on google
-          Clear way to contact you

Email
Many people say the money is in the list, having a email list of your customers is a very powerful tool in your digital toolkit. With more users now with a smart phone your message goes directly to them where they are. If you then combine both useful information that gives your customers additional value and a sales message or product, this will leave you with a engaged customers that is looking forward to your next email.

Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google +, LinkedIn and Pinterest are some of the biggest Social Media platforms. They all allow you to communicate in different ways understanding these and where your customers are is key to your plan.


Video
With smartphone and better internet speed getting your message across in a video has never been easier. There are now many different video sharing site as well, all the major social platforms allow you to upload videos or share them.

Audio
Podcasts and audio clips are becoming more common with your customers being able to take your content and listen to it on the go.

What type of media is used?
What is the main type of user on the channel?


So now we understand what the main channels are its now important to understand who your customers and target audience are.

Who are your audience?
When you setup your brand did you have a target audience in mind? Are you selling fashion or maybe baby accessories?



For the full report

From my own observations

Twitter is great for B2B and making connections while driving traffic to blogs and sites.

Facebook is great for B2C and if you have a product to sell to domestic customers is great.
Pinterest – Lots of women use this platform and is a visual platform so if you have products add them here

LinkedIn – This is great for B2B talk business and answer questions and get involved in groups.

So once you know who your audience is then you can then start to plan where to go to engage with them.

Spying on your Competitor

It’s more than likely that there will already be competitors on the Internet and from them we can work out what is working best for them.

We need to pick out 2-3 competitors and answer the following questions for each platform

Twitter
-          How many follower
-          When was the last tweet
-          Do they talk to anyone?

Facebook
-          How many fans
-          When was the last post
-          Do they talk to anyone
 Pinterest
-          How many followers
-          How many boards
-          Do they get many comments?
-          Do they respond
Blogging
-          Do the blog?
-          How often?
-          Do they get many comments?
-          Do they get many shares?
Youtube
-          Do they have a channel?
-          Do they have many videos?
-          When did they upload the last one
-          Do they have many comments?
Email
-          Can you easily sign up to their mailing list?
-          What sort of email do you get back?
-          Was it any good?


You can keep going with different platforms and similar questions. But once you have done this for 2-3 of your competitors then you should also be able to see what is working for them. Social proof is one of the best ways to understand what is working.

Then Score each platform 1-6 in order of results for competitors Eg
Twitter – 5
Facebook – 2
Pinertrest -4
Blogging -3
Youtube – 6
Email – 1

Then simply add each platforms Scores together and this will then show you which platforms are going to be the best for your business. Take the top 3 from them and this is where we will start with making your plan.

Making the plan

We are going to start with the top 3 Channels that are working well for our competition. It’s important that we now set SMART targets as you want to know that the work put in is providing ROI.


What does SMART stand for?
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time Bound







So if we take Twitter as the example Platform:

We set the following

We want to gain 500 followers in 1 month.

Specific - 500 Followers
Measurable – 500 followers is easy to measure
Attainable – Is it actually achievable, yes if correct methods used
Relevant – Is this actually relevant – Yes as it’s important to build a following to increase reach
Time Sensitive – 1 month gives us an amount of time to reach this target.


So you need to set SMART targets for your top 3 platforms.

Then you need to break down those targets and decide how you will achieve them.

So for twitter we need to get 16 new followers a day so how will I achieve that.
I will Follow 30 People Each Day
I will do 5 Tweets and 10 RTs
I will do 2 #Hashtag networking events

Once you have all 3 of your platforms all you need to do is to go and do it.

Keeping track of your Targets

Once you have set your SMART targets then it’s important that you check on them, If you have set a 4 week target then check each week on how you are doing, have you achieved 25% of your target? If that great, If not then you need to ask some of the following questions

What worked?
What didn't work?
What else can I try?

Keep repeating this process every week and you will hit your target.
  
This is example and of one of the module I am developing to help people understand and use Social Media along with a 60 day course that will break it down into easy chunks.

Has this helped you gain a better understanding on how to plan? If so leave me a comment and share it with other that might benefit 

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Author: The Social Yeti
The Social Yeti is a happily married father of four. He helps businesses learn how to use social media to engage with their customers and increase their online presence. He's no Guru, but enjoys spending time in his cave, playing around with social media.Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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