As a business/startup owner or even a social media marketer, one of the most daunting and time-consuming tasks is to create a social media marketing plan that delivers the business goals. However, it is also one of the essential tasks to make sure the team achieves all the business milestones.
Ignoring social media and treating it as optional is a self-imposed suicide mission for your business since more than half of the world’s population uses social media.
What Is a Social Media Marketing Plan?
Social media marketing plan is a set of activities that you put together to achieve your quarterly or yearly goals. It summarizes all that you plan to do or the outcomes you want to accomplish at the end!
For example, at Social Champ, our social media marketing goals are;
- Increase reach
- More engagement
- Convert visitors into leads
Similarly, an ecommerce store or one that sells a service instead of a product might have a different set of goals. There is no single social media marketing plan that fits all. However, there are a few steps that one could follow to create a working plan for the brand.
Why Should You Have a Social Media Marketing Plan in Place?
Having a plan before executing tasks is always a good idea, whether you are hosting a party or planning a trip to outer space.
Similarly, having a social media plan in place has the following benefits;
- A social media marketing plan or strategy helps everyone work towards a shared goal.
- It helps decrease discrepancies in a team; since everyone knows what the end objective is, everyone will work towards it.
- A social media marketing plan makes it easy for the team to measure how far they have come at the end of a quarter.
- It also helps streamline tasks and set priorities.
A social media marketing plan helps increase brand awareness by highlighting the strategies, approaches, and networks.
Featured Article: 10 Steps to Create an Epic Social Media Campaign
6 Steps to Creating a Kickass Social Media Marketing Plan
Creating a social media marketing plan from scratch might seem like a lot of work, but the exercise can yield excellent results if done systematically. Building from the ground up, here are the six significant steps that you need to take.
Using this guide, you can also tweak and adjust your already using social media marketing plan!
Set Social Media Marketing Goals
Before anything else happens, you need to set the goals and objectives that you want to achieve. This would make all the other steps a breeze, and you have clear expectations about how well your plan works out.
Most of the time, all businesses want to increase their sales through social media. However, they cannot just go and directly ask people to buy their products. They need a strategy that spans over multiple elements to convert a visitor into a paying customer.
Let’s take the example of an ecommerce business.
Sara is a t-shirt shop owner with a pretty nice following on social media. She aims to increase brand awareness and drive people to her website.
She can upload pictures on her Instagram with the link to her shop using the Shopping tab. This is not directly pushing people to her website; instead, she can nudge them in the right direction.
While setting goals, always remember that you need to align your short-term and long-term social media goals with your overall business objectives. This way, all teams are working towards a shared aim.
Once you know your goals and objectives, set measurable metrics that will help you keep a tab on the progress toward the end goal. Try to keep these metrics simple so that you can easily convert them into charts and graphs!
Research Your Target Audience
If you are an already established business, the chances are that you already know who your target audience is. So if you are just tweaking your social media marketing plan, you can skip this step.
However, if you create a plan to launch a new product or make your very first strategy, try to figure out your audience.
Check out your competitors to see who they are targeting and what they lack in their research. Fill those gaps, run small research groups, and talk to people on the internet to identify who needs your product.
Once you have enough data, curate a rough target persona. It would mature as you start experimenting with social media.
Identify and Select Target Social Media Networks
The next step is pretty essential but requires a lot of effort on your end. Each social media network has its audience and “best practices.” There is an overlap in terms of features, but they all have a pretty solid primary use case.
Here is the breakdown of the popular options:
- Facebook is one of the most popular networks with a user base of 2.8 billion users. The highest number of users are between the age of 24 to 35 and are millennials. Facebook ads are beneficial for businesses.
- Instagram is the hub of Gen-Z and has incredible visual features. From stories to short reels, to longer IGTV videos, to the shopping tab, and unique stickers, Instagram has it all. If you are more inclined towards using graphical content in your campaigns, Instagram is your best friend! You can also run ads on Instagram.
- TikTok and influencer marketing go hand in hand. If your social media marketing plans involve many influencers and star-studded videos, TikTok is the way to go!
- LinkedIn is more formal but should not be ignored. Many B2B companies gain a lot of business through the network as it provides all the essential information about a company.
- Twitter is also super important as the content is constantly changing on the platform. Create a presence on Twitter and try to tweet as often as you could. Moreover, if you are a startup owner, try to engage with people on Twitter and re-tweet influencers who can be of use to you in the future!
- Pinterest is also a fantastic platform, primarily if your business focuses on mid-age women!
It is best to use different social media networks and not just rely on one to get your plan across. This would give your brand more exposure and allow you to capture a broader range of audiences.
Once you identify the mix of social media profiles you are using, start optimizing them or creating them if you don’t already have them.
Here are a few optimization pointers:
- Upload the same display and cover photos to all profiles.
- Update the bio and add a link to your website.
- Clearly define what you do through the profile.
- Invite all your employees and friends to like and follow the page.
- Tailor your voice to suit your audience.
- Keep a consistent tone on all social media profiles.
- Be a human; no one likes a bot.
- Try to answer what you are doing for your target audience.
- Keep it fresh, light, and happy!
Revisit and make changes to your profile often!
Create a Post Schedule and Calendar
Having a posting schedule and sticking to it is one of the most crucial parts of a social media marketing plan. If you have nothing to post on social media, what good is your plan anyway?
You should ideally have a plan of what you will post through the first month. What you can do here is a quick Google search on the best posting frequency for the social channels you are targeting. Or you could just experiment with our research! Now, use a social media marketing calendar or a simple Excel sheet and jot down all the ideas. Send them to your designer and ask them to make pretty visuals to make it more appealing.
And, you are almost done!
Stop Stressing, Start Planning!
Social Champ helps you automate all your social media marketing processes so that you can put on your thinking hat and create creative content!
Test, Analyze, Adjust, and Optimize
This is the moment of truth!
In this step, you will take your social media marketing plan live. In the first couple of weeks, execute your plan to the T and jot down the results in a sheet. Analyze the results and check out how well you are doing.
Ideally, it is best to use a social media management tool that can help you monitor platform-centric analytics. Create reports and see how well your plan is doing.
It is completely okay if the plan doesn’t perform as well as you want it to in the first go. You will get many chances to get it right. Test, analyze, adjust, and optimize the plan!
Automate and Engage
The final part of a social media marketing plan involves you having help and a process!
You cannot humanly handle posting, scheduling, and tracking on your own. This is where a kickass social media marketing tool comes into play.
Tools like Social Champ enable you to create and design content, schedule it, create a calendar, and track the analytics. It helps you fully automate the process so that you can focus on all the other tasks!
Lastly, don’t forget to engage in posts and create a human connection with your audience!
Once you have a plan in front of you, the rest of the steps get easy!
Happy planning, folks!