Did your 2015 social media marketing efforts achieve the goals you set at the beginning of the year?

You did set goals...right? ;)

If you didn't - you're not alone. A large number of business owners post on Facebook and Twitter without really knowing what they want to achieve. Now is a perfect time to take an hour or so and plan for 2016. Here are a couple pointers to get you started.

1 - List your business goals. More sales? Grow your membership? Create awareness? 

Plan now for 2016

2 - Identify your target market. Be as specific as possible.  Male and/or female? Age? Income level? Hobbies? Based in Halton Hills? Or worldwide? Business owner or consumer?

3 - Pick the right social media platform. I recommend sticking with just one. Anymore than that can be overwhelming and time consuming. Facebook is good for Business to Consumer, and LinkedIn is best for Business to Business.

4 - Decide on content. Go back and look at the goals you set in step one. Don't be too self-promoting or you'll find your fans blocking or unfollowing you. I recommend that one of every three posts on Facebook be self promoting.  The other two posts can be industry related stories. Example: If you're a car dealership, one post about a car for sale and the other posts could be about emergency car kits or what to look for when shopping for tires. 

5 - Posting frequency. Five to seven posts a week work well for most businesses. Don't make back-to-back posts. Facebook views this as spamming and will limit your reach. You can use the edit feature and have posts go "live" at a later time/date.

6 - Plan to use the built in analytics.  All social media platforms offer free analytics. At least once a month, review these to see how your posts are being received; are you reaching your target market? Use the information to tweak your posts and ensure that you are reaching your goals.

Still feel overwhelmed? Consider hiring a social media professional. It's money well spent and frees you up to run your business.