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Last week we had the pleasure of speaking at the Hispanic Business Conference in Orlando, part of the Hispanic Business & Consumer Expo presented by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. We covered everything from social media platforms and tools to use, to what language businesses should use when reaching Latino consumers.
While you can easily track click-through rates from links, and see how many times social media posts are shared on individual social media platforms, as Christie Volastro from Walt Disney World said, it’s hard to track good buzz, good comments, and connecting with your audience. Ella Media focuses on connecting businesses with today's digital Latina and provides digital marketing and consulting services for large brands, small businesses, and social media savvy women. You want to create a social media marketing plan for your business, but you’re not sure where to begin. While this post speaks to small business owners and solo entrepreneurs, its strategies can easily be adopted for larger businesses, nonprofits and other groups.
You can also check out a sample social media marketing proposal I created for a client – opens in Adobe PDF.
Start creating your plan by asking yourself how much time and money you can reasonably devote to social media marketing each day. If you’re a solo entrepreneur who just wants to expand her reach, you may not need to spend more than 15 minutes a day on social media marketing. Before you start planning what to post, check out social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to see what your customers are already talking about.
You can also choose to monitor the web using Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Seesmic, or any of the new social media monitoring tools that keep popping up around the web. Fourth, figure out what you’re going to post on each social media account and how often.

The timing of your posts can greatly impact the effectiveness of your social media marketing.
Fifth, brainstorm all the possible situations that could happen on your social media account.
It helps to have a response mapped out for every situation, especially if you’re responsible for the social media marketing of a large company or group of people.
For more social media resources, check out this awesome online database of social media policies from companies around the globe. I have experimented with monitor tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck and have found that I waste more time using these tools then when I use the various traditional social media interfaces.
The panel we were a part of was Translating Social Media, moderated by Ian Suarez of the Chamber, and included the following co-presenters: Adly Santiago, Spanish Web Services Coordinator for The Orlando Magic, Ashley Cisneros, Co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, and Christie Volastro, VP of Digital Marketing for Walt Disney World. Larry Meador, CEO & Founder of evok advertising and Barb Sherer, Former President of the American Advertising Federation shared their thoughts on how businesses and small business owners can increase brand awareness. As we mentioned in our panel, sometimes you just have to get in there and play with the social media tools in order to realize where you should concentrate your efforts. You can find Ella Media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – we look forward to seeing you in our social media feed! As a marketing consultant, I’ve helped create social media marketing plans for everyone from Fortune 500 companies to mom and pop shops. You may want to choose one social media site to start, then move into others when you feel more comfortable. You should also consider setting up a Google Alert of your business name to monitor any mentions happening outside of your account.

That being said, I still struggle with the amount of time I am dedicating using social media.
To answer your question, I would focus your efforts on the mediums and audiences that have the most impact for you. You can imagine that the panel was full of information on social media best practices for reaching your desired audience, particularly when engaging Latino consumers. We did provide specific examples of using both languages in social media, plus how several of us currently reach our desired audiences or advise our clients to do so.
This can be as simple as downloading a few free eBooks, or as complicated as taking a week-long social media workshop. You may hire an assistant, and need to create an appendix to the social media plan that spells out who’s responsible for doing what.
Additionally, we fielded questions from the panel’s audience on how small business owners can learn to use social media, and how to track results. Whatever you choose, just make sure your social media marketing plan is sustainable over the long haul. That won’t be true for all businesses, but by tracking your results closely you can tell which methods give you the best results.

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