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Do you remember when you first started thinking about how important social media marketing is?

People’s minds work in different ways, but it’s likely that you had an image in your head about how your campaign would look if it were laid out on a large piece of paper.

In fact, this is a perfect method of planning a social media marketing campaign.

Deconstructing each major segment of your social media marketing campaign will highlight areas that require front-end loaded investment, ongoing routine activities and periodic measurement and analysis.

Compare it to reporting in business or analysis in finance. It’s effective to visualise data in other formats than text, such as graphs or charts, so that trends, opportunities or threats can be more easily identified.

Most of the time spent planning a social media marketing campaign is really spent looking at each segment of your campaign map and thinking through how it’s applicable to your business and audience. This branches into frameworks and guidelines, while remaining focused at your campaign level objectives.

So basically, a social media marketing document or plan is just an in-depth, text-based format of your mind map. It just takes a lot longer to write and expands on all the finer details.

In larger, more complex organisational structures it’s important, if not essential, to document everything formally.

But for other dynamic small and medium-sized businesses, visualising a social media marketing campaign as a flow chart or mind map is usually more than enough to achieve the planning objective.

It should be much more important to SMBs that everything to do with the social media marketing campaign is clearly understood by everyone involved, rather than having a formal document to reference.

A Basic Social Media Marketing System

For the purpose of this article, I have created a basic layout of how a system that integrates social media marketing could look.

It’s always important to take a step back and realise how social media could be integrated into your existing model, or how a new system could be built to include it.

Social media marketing campaign

It’s also important to realise that, even though social media marketing is the focal point of this article, other forms of marketing have been included in the system.

This is because you cannot execute social media marketing in a vacuum. Other channels such as search engines and email marketing should be used alongside social media to deliver upon the campaign objectives.

Trying to execute social media marketing in a vacuum would be illogical and very limiting. Plus, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket.

What Does A Typical Social Media Marketing Campaign Look Like?

I get asked this question all the time, but I answer it in the same way as when asked “How long is a piece of string?

What do you want it to look like?

You have to always set up campaigns that focus around meeting objectives.

A social media marketing campaign that is designed to attract new leads to a local gym will look much different to a campaign that is built around delivering fast-paced and responsive customer service to it’s customers.

Below is a detailed view of what the social media marketing components of the marketing system might look like.

Social-Media-Marketing-Campaigns-Visual-Map

You have to remember that no specifics or assumptions have been taken into account when providing this generic overview.

In this example, the overall campaign objective of conversion has multiple entry points from the various web properties and social domains.

The positioning of each contact point could be designed to create the one desired action that would move traffic through the funnel and towards conversion.

The clarity of each call-to-action throughout the funnel is critical to ensure traffic reaches the conversion and goes from prospect, to lead, to sale.

In some situations, it could in fact be very effective to replicate this exact framework. In others, copying it could fail miserably.

Hopefully though, it provides some good food for thought into how you should be thinking about creating social media campaigns around meeting your own business objectives.

Over To You

Please DO try this at home (or at the office)!

Have a go at creating visual social media plans using whiteboards, post-it notes or pen and paper. This is especially useful if you have to explain your ideas to someone else.

Thinking about the overall social media campaign and the system which facilitates it, is a strategic task that should not be overlooked.

This type of planning enables campaigns to be built that will remain focused on steering actions towards objectives.

What happens during implementation and execution though is another matter altogether!

Did you plan your social media campaigns using a similar approach?

Do you think this way of thinking could be used to benefit existing social media campaigns?