Below is a basic social media marketing plan. I created this graphic based on my solar system method of marketing plan development. This plan is geared toward photographers. You can make your plan more complex if you wish, but this one is a good starting point.
Your social media plan begins with your website (green). You can drive all the traffic you wish, but if you don’t have a quality website that converts your prospects, you are wasting time and money. Your website is your online portfolio or brochure.
Nearby is your blog (dark green). Your blog is your personality. This is where you share ideas, personal projects, industry insights, outtakes and answer commonly asked questions. A blog is excellent for search engine optimization, making it easier for people to find you. Many photography buyers look to blogs to help them make decisions on whether the photographer will be a good fit for their project.
How often should you post? No matter what you do, be consistent. My recommendation is once a week or more. Remember the more you post the more effective you blog will be, but don’t over commit yourself.
In this plan I only recommend one inner planet (orange). In this case YouTube is my recommendation. Use YouTube to create behind-the-scenes videos and demonstrations of you what you do best.
Your outer planets (purple) in this marketing plan are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I would start with one, Facebook being the best option, and build from there. Use your Facebook account to connect with friends, family and associates. Occasionally share some of you latest work or outtakes. Some photographers offer an image of the day.
Retail photographers can consider sharing a free low resolution image on Facebook with their clients to develop a following and share your good work with their friends and family.
LinkedIn is the standard social media address for business. Connect with clients or find new opportunities using its powerful research functions. For example, you can use the search box to find the people who you want to know in specific companies.
Twitter is a media stream. It’s an excellent resource for the latest industry news. I find it amazing who you can connect with and develop relationships with at a high level. You can also easily drive traffic to your blog, YouTube or website using Twitter.
Your goal is to engage people and develop a community using your outer planets (purple). Then you gradually drive followers, prospects and referrals through your solar system. For example, you could tweet your behind-the-scenes video from YouTube that may encourage people to visit your website and hire you.
Generally people in your community don’t want to be sold to, they already like you. You are generally best served educating the people in your community on how to refer you for best results.
Social media is a long-term relationship marketing plan. Developing good relationships doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. The minimum time you should consider running your plan before making a full evaluation of its effectiveness is six-months. My recommendation is a year.
This is the first in a series of plans I will be sharing.