The social media landscape is constantly shifting, so staying on top of the latest trends can be challenging. Researching how to implement these trends into your existing marketing strategy is even more daunting.
It means that it’s crucial to get this right because it will make or break your campaign. You’re tired of selling products and services like everyone else.
You want to take your business to social media. We thought so, but there’s a catch. You don’t know which networks to use, what tactics you should employ, or where to begin.
What is a Social Media Marketing Plan?
A social media marketing plan is a comprehensive document detailing a company’s social media strategy, including how it will use social media to achieve its business goals. A good plan also describes the tactics your company will use and how it will measure its success in using social media. These strategies and tactics are sometimes called “best practices” or “best engagement practices.”
Every business should have a social media marketing plan based on internal and external factors. For example, the frequency and types of posts you publish on Facebook may differ if your audience is teenagers versus senior citizens. The platforms you choose to present your content on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) may vary if you sell children’s clothing versus construction equipment.
Creating a basic social media marketing plan can be easily tweaked to suit your industry.
Is Social Media Marketing Plan Necessary?
Using social media to market your business, like the ones from the digital marketing examples presented online, is a great way to grow your business. Whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur or a seasoned pro, there are always new angles to explore on the internet. Social media is one of the essential communication channels for your customers, so it’s vital that you’re setting up accounts and being consistent with them. You want to control your social media presence and need to make sure that you’re consistently posting quality material that will engage your customer base and bring them back for more. Check out this Guide To Developing a Social Media Marketing Plan – Your Quick Start Guide for some excellent tips on how to get started today.
Refine Your Social Media Goals
To follow through on your social media marketing plan, you’ll need to have goals in mind. What are you trying to achieve? Have you set long-term goals or short-term goals? How will you reach those goals? When will this project be done? Asking yourself these questions can help clarify your intentions.
The best way to measure success is by setting smart and specific goals. Here are some examples:
- Reach 1000 people with a Facebook video ad by September 1st.
- Post five times per week on Instagram and get 20 likes per post by June 30th.
- Get 15 email signups from a blog post by Christmas Eve.
Before you begin any projects, make sure that your goals are clear and specific, that they’re achievable, and that they’ll be finished in a reasonable amount of time. Once you’ve defined them, write them down so that you can review them often.
Decide which channels are relevant to your business.
Your blog is a great place to get started, and you’ll probably have more blog posts than you know what to do. But it’s time to move on.
There are many blogging resources out there that can take your blog from “meh” to “blow me away.” Many non-blogging resources can give you a nudge in the right direction—either because they are free or don’t require you to spend hours hunched over a keyboard.
Who Will do the Work?
If you are a one-person show, you will have to do all the work yourself. It’s improbable that your friends and family members will be willing to pitch in, at least not without getting paid.
As a starting point, we’ll use the following numbers:
These tasks would roughly take two hours each during the week. On top of that, you’d also want to spend some time on weekends promoting your business.
If you decide to hire someone or outsource specific tasks, make sure that you create a checklist for them or assign them separated parts of the project. The person in charge of many different jobs is likely to run into problems sooner rather than later.
That will slow down their work and cause more significant problems down the road, so don’t try this (such as not knowing whether they should post something on Facebook or Twitter).
Set Up a Social Media Calendar & Editorial Guidelines
Setting up a social media marketing plan can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re doing it independently. You might be dumbfounded by all of the different platforms you can use and where you should be posting your content. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
We will talk about one part of developing your social media marketing plan: making an editorial calendar and social media calendar for your business. We’ll start with the idea of an editorial calendar and then detail how to set up a social media calendar.
Create an Inventory of Existing Content & New Content Ideas
As you start constructing your social media marketing plan, the first thing you should do is look at all of your existing content. You’ll need to create an inventory of all kinds of content that exists—from your blog posts and website pages to product descriptions and press releases. Having this information in one place will help you better understand how you’re currently using social media for marketing and what types of content are missing from your strategy!
It’s helpful if you categorize each piece of content by the following categories:
- Quality: Is it high quality or low quality? The low rate refers not to the writing itself but rather to the format and originality: is it just a repost of another blog post, or did you make an infographic?
- Design: Does it have audio-visual elements? Is it text-heavy or image-heavy? Knowing what content performs well on social media can help guide your future strategies.
- Past performance: Have any posts performed exceptionally well in engagement (likes, comments, shares) or conversions (such as form submissions)? It may be different per channel—for example, Twitter may drive more engagements than Facebook—and is also likely to change over time. Keeping track here will help you save a finger on the pulse when determining whether certain types of posts warrant continued investment.
- Future potential: Looking ahead, how could this post perform if given extra attention? For example: “This is a text-heavy Facebook post about current events that haven’t gotten much engagement; however, if we add an image and rework the headline, we think it could perform well.” Making a note here can help you use your social media editorial calendar more sustainably over time.
Start Creating Great Content
Social media marketing is important to many businesses today, and if you’re not already doing it, your business probably isn’t making the most of its potential. Companies are no longer just relying on selling their products; now, they’re selling their brand.
If a prospective customer likes, shares, or interacts with content from your company on social media, then the chances are that person will want to buy from you. That’s why it’s vital that you have a plan for developing great content that your target customers will appreciate.
So let’s learn more about what makes up a solid social media marketing plan, shall we?
To get started with social media marketing, it is essential that you have a solid plan.
Many companies spend time and resources on social media but never learn what works for them and how to get the most out of the intelligence they are gathering.
In other words, if you’re spinning your wheels, it’s time to stop. You need a roadmap to know where you’re going, or at least can figure out where to start.
Andrea Gibbs is a Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, where she helps create content for their clients’ blogs and websites. She is currently a blog contributor at Brand With Care, where she writes about design, marketing, branding, and social media.