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Social Media Marketing Plan: Develop a Strategy That Works

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan That Works

Currently, there are more than three billion social media users around the world. This gigantic figure means that brands have had to join these platforms in order to engage and communicate with their consumers. Some of them have found the transition to social media easy, while others struggled in the beginning. After all, there are countless social media networks out there, and they had to find a voice for each and every one of them.

Now, if you’re starting from square one, social media management might be a bit overwhelming. There are times when you know what you want to do, but the execution part ends up being difficult. This doesn’t mean that you should disregard social media and find other ways to connect with your customers. Quite the contrary, these networks should be your top priority, especially because internet users spend an average of 2.5 hours per day on them.

In order to capture the attention of these passionate social media aficionados, you need to create content that speaks to them. In that sense, it would be helpful to have a social media marketing plan that you would follow for every platform your brand is active on.

But how do you develop this plan? What should you keep in mind? You’ll find out in our article!

What Is a Social Media Marketing Plan?

A social media marketing plan is basically a document that outlines your social media posts and goals, posting schedule, campaigns, creative plans, and the metrics you will track to measure the performance on these networks.

In a nutshell, a social media marketing strategy is a summary of everything your brand plans to do and wants to achieve on social media. It is a document that guides your every move on these platforms and tells you how successful you are. And that’s pretty much the social media marketing plan definition!

Of course, developing a social media marketing plan might not be easy at first. But it can be a piece of cake once you establish an active presence on social media. As you’ll probably see, the more specific your plan is, the more effective your efforts will be. This document will add structure and organize the ideas you have for your social channels.

As you’re wondering how to develop a social media marketing plan, we’re here to answer this question for you. Let’s see which steps you should follow when you start devising your plan!

How to Develop a Social Media Marketing Plan?

Brands are investing in social media marketing. As many as 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through this marketing type have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.

Seeing that marketers can achieve some of their goals through social media, more and more brands are turning towards these platforms. And for all the right reasons. Whether it’s a social campaign or influencer marketing, they are trying all of their options. It is through these efforts that brands manage to interact with their audience and build brand loyalty.

However, you need to have some kind of plan to be successful on social media. It would be wrong to publish a post on Facebook, Twitter, or some other network without having a clear idea in mind about what you want to achieve or say with it. This is where a social media strategy comes in handy.

We’ll give you some tips on how to write a social media marketing plan that works below!

Choose Social Media Marketing Goals

The first step to developing a winning strategy is to set clear objectives and goals. There should be a meaning behind anything you post on your brand’s account if you want to be successful on social media. After all, without goals, you can’t measure the performance of different types of content you share with your audience.

Your objectives should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

The above framework will guide your actions and make sure they produce results for your business.

Therefore, you should always ask yourself what you want your social profiles to achieve. For instance, you might want to reach these goals through this marketing type:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Generate new leads
  • Establish authority in the industry
  • Boost brand engagement
  • Increase your follower base

Goals are what help you create an effective social media marketing plan. Once you’ve determined your goals, the content you make should support those goals.

Track Meaningful Metrics

Tracking social media metrics is a must for every marketer. Vanity metrics such as the number of likes and followers are pretty easy to track, but they don’t actually hold any real value for your business. Instead, we suggest you focus on metrics like engagement, click-through, and conversion rates.

What’s more, you shouldn’t treat every social media network the same. You should have a specific goal for each network and use them for different purposes. For instance, if you decide to leverage LinkedIn to drive traffic to your website, then measure click-throughs. On the other hand, if you use Instagram for brand awareness, track the number of Instagram Story views.

At the end of the day, social media goals should align with your marketing objectives. This is how you prove the value and success of your efforts.

Get to Know Your Audience

Before you create your social media content calendar and plan, it’s important to know your audience and what they want to see on your account. This will help you create content that they will like, comment on, and share with their friends and family. If followers like what they see on social media, they are more likely to become customers and purchase a product from you.

Find out the following about your target audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Job title

Of course, these are just some guidelines. If you create a buyer’s persona, it can include more data than the above we mentioned.

Get to know and understand your followers and find out what they want and need, and your social media marketing plan will be effective!

Analyze Your Competition

Chances are your competitors already have an active presence on social media. As you’re operating in the same industry, you can learn a lot by looking at what they are doing to engage their audience.

So, conduct a competitive analysis. This analysis allows you to understand your competition and what they are doing well. It even lets you detect their mistakes and what kind of content works (or doesn’t work) with your prospective buyers. With this information, you’ll get a good sense of what’s expected from you.

Furthermore, competitive analysis also reveals what kind of opportunities you can take. For instance, perhaps one of your competitors is active on Facebook, but isn’t paying attention to Twitter or Instagram. You might want to put effort into these networks because your target audience isn’t engaged on them!

Choose Your Social Media Networks

When you’re getting ready to create a social media marketing plan, you should pick where your brand will be active. Each network is unique and has its own style, audience, and practices. Keep this in mind and choose the social platforms that best fit your strategy and goals you want to achieve.

Don’t forget that you don’t need to be active on every network! Invest your time and effort into those that matter to your business and audience. For instance, you might want to consider this when you’re choosing which social networks to try:

  • Audience — Which social media networks your potential customers use?
  • Time — How much time do you have for every social platform?
  • Resources — What kind of resources do you have? Social networks like Facebook highlight high-quality content. On the other hand, visual social networks like Pinterest require images and videos.

Once you have the answer to the above questions, it will be easier to decide where you want to be active. Remember — it’s quality over quantity!

Set Up Your Accounts

After deciding which networks to focus on, you should create or set up your accounts. Of course, if you already have an account, then you should improve it to align with your strategy. Here are some of the things you should do:

  • Fill out all required fields so that your profile looks presentable
  • Add keywords people would use to search for your business or products
  • Publish consistent branding (images, logos, text) across networks so that your brand is easily recognizable

Tip: Post high-quality images on social media and ensure they follow the recommended dimensions. Take a look at our social media image size guide for more!

Find Your Voice

Once you create your social media marketing plan, you might be tempted to start sharing immediately. Let us stop you right there. Your social media activities will look more focused if you come up with a voice for your content from the start.

Ask yourself how you want to present your brand. Do you want to have a fun personality or be more educational? How will you approach your customers — as a friend, coach, teacher, or something else?

When you have a clear picture of how you want your brand to come across on social media, it will be much easier to develop a plan.

Create a Social Media Content Calendar

Sharing high-quality content is important. However, it is equally important to determine when you’ll share content to produce the maximum reach and impact of your posts. This is why you need a social media content calendar.

Determine Your Posting Schedule

An effective social media content calendar is the one that includes the dates and times at which you will publish your content. It should list all of your social media activities and types of content you want to post.

Having a posting schedule will also teach your audience when they can expect a new post from you. Take a look at some YouTube stars, for instance. Most of them post on a specific date and time, which means their audience have something to look forward to every week.

Tip: Every network experiences peak engagement at different times. That’s why you should take a look at our article to find out when it is the best time to post on different networks.

Evaluate Your Social Media Marketing Plan

Lastly, it’s time you evaluate your social media marketing plan. This is an important document for your business, and chances are you won’t get it right on the first try. Don’t worry about it because you have room to improve it and decide which strategies listed in it won’t work in the end. Amend the plan and adjust it as you go!

Social Media Marketing Plan: Your Useful Ally

Social media changes in the blink of an eye. New trends emerge all the time. Customers abandon one network in favor of another and so on. Your business will need to adjust to all of these changes. But it will all be easier if you have a social media marketing plan to help you along the way.

This plan is a living document that can always be amended and adjusted. Consult with it to stay on track, but don’t be afraid to change it when new goals appear.

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