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developing an online marketing plan

Developing an Online Marketing Strategy: Looking at Each Platform Holistically

By Christopher Smith, account manager, Sha-Izwe Communications

Part 2 of 5

In part two of our series “Developing an Online Marketing Strategy”, we are going to look at the various platforms individually and holistically.

Marketing can be quite daunting when we have so many platforms that need to be running concurrently and functioning effectively. From Google Ads to Pinterest, and Instagram to Twitter, within each platform itself there are segments which further complicate things. Here I will be outlining some tips to make sure each platform is running as efficiently as possible.

Each platform needs to be treated as a unique entity

Social Media Platforms

When talking about running efficiently, some people think it’s about doing a post which is delivered across all the platforms. This is not advised for a few reasons. Each platform needs to be treated as a unique entity. For example, the Twitter text needs to be short and to the point, Facebook posts do well with more detail, Instagram does not use URLs and often certain content won’t work. Using Instagram to publish event posters will not perform as well as lively/action photographs.

Developing a social media calendar will enable you to look at your social media content from all angles. A calendar will enable you to look at posts and ask: why is this post relevant and what is its purpose, and does it align with the company’s message and strategy? Once you’ve developed the calendar content, put it in a scheduling tool such as Buffer. This will enable the content to be posted at the optimal time.

You can download my social media calendar template here You will see, it has columns for the type of post. This must align with your strategy.

social media content calendar

For example, if your strategy is to communicate; Events; Vibrancy; Projects; Professionalism; Health etc, you will find a place to add this type of post in the correct column so as not to forget about it or to avoid doing too many posts on a particular topic.

Some of our clients often say that they don’t need all the platforms. We tend to disagree because it will help with your Google search results page. Owning that space stops a competitor registering your username. If you Google your company name you will see most of your social networks pop up in the search results page, which is what you want. Easy access to all your digital platforms is essential.

Marketing on Google

Google offers Google Ads, Google+ and Google My Business. These platforms are extremely valuable and I recommend opening accounts for your business on all these including Google Ads. You can always run a campaign on one or all of these platforms later.

Google My Business is a great way for people searching for your company to find your listing in the Google Maps directory. Some of our clients receive the majority of their business through this listing.

I hope this article gives insight into each platform and why it is important to treat each platform individually and holistically. The question is: Does your business use all the social media networks and Google platforms?