How does your company view social media marketing (SMM)? Are you willing to commit, start small, and be patient with social media? Are your SMM plans integrated into your overall marketing strategy? Do you plan for the holidays? Developing an effective SMM plan includes understanding how to incorporate it into your all-around strategy to improve your brand. We'll explain how.

Executing any plan effectively can require a careful strategy. Take a look at the following steps to be sure that SMM isn't excluded from your comprehensive marketing plan:
  • Incorporate your SMM plan into your overall marketing strategy. Go through your overall strategy. What's missing? If social media marketing is the missing piece of the puzzle, find the piece that fits. How you're going to apply your strategy through your social media channel is essential to your marketing plan, despite what your boss may believe. As a rule of thumb, if you're not included in strategy meetings, make it a point to show upper management that you have valuable insight.
  • Social media should NEVER be an afterthought. If you've heard your boss mention social media as an afterthought, don't be alarmed -- just yet. To remind your boss how valuable social media can be to your company, make a messaging checklist. On this list, add all of the outlets your company uses for community outreach, and make sure that you add social media to the top of the list. By using this trick, you'll be able to ingrain social media into your boss's brain without being too aggressive.
  • Always adjust your marketing plan to include SMM. A plan may seem effective at first, but does it effectively use social media? Incorporating social media into your strategy will enhance your marketing campaigns, however, you should strive to incorporate a strategy for social media exclusively. Simply updating Facebook or tweeting will not grow your following on any of your social media channels.
Interested in what other MSPs are doing with social media? Logicalis Vice President of Marketing Lisa Dreher says that social media enables her company to share current experiences while giving people an inside look into what is happening, and Eze Castle Integration (ECI) Director of Marketing Mary Beth Hamilton says that managed services providers should focus on these three disciplines for positive results with social media marketing campaigns.