Most of the brands are aware of a social media marketing plan and may have one for themselves. But how many of them are comprehensive and complete?
When you are getting started on your entrepreneurial journey, or exploring into new marketing domains, or just looking to increase your sales, you always have to start with a well crafted social media marketing plan.
In simple terms, a social media marketing plan is a summary of what you hope to achieve on social media. It is a guideline on your future social media activities, and should include goal and objectives of the plan.
When your social media marketing plan is highly specific and detailed, it becomes much more easier to execute the plan.
In this post, we’ll walk you through 9 Fundamental Steps of a great social media marketing plan:
- Design the goals first
“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going” Earl Nightingale, an American author.
Ask yourself, What are you hoping to achieve with social media marketing?
The first step of any mission is to understand the outcome of your efforts. Your mission statement should be clear enough to drive your future actions. Your brand identity should be reflected in your goal statement. Revolve around the ideal customer while you are designing the social media marketing goals.
Ensure that your social media marketing goals are aligned with the overall marketing goals to derive better business results.
- Determine your target audience
Social media is all about audience. When you exactly know your audience, social media marketing will be a hit for your brand.
When you focus on the right audience, there are higher chances of them converting into leads and finally customers.
So identifying your target audience on social media is the most important task of social media marketing. Start by creating your buyer personas that will define your target audience.
A buyer persona refers to the description of your ideal customer. It is prepared after considering their interests, behaviour, age, gender, income, location, language, etc.
These details will come handy when you want to design your social media campaigns.
Related Content : 5 Tools To Decode Your Target Audience
- Choose the Right Social channels
When there are more than 100 social media channels, how do you really choose the right one for your business? This is perhaps the most important question that you should answer even before diving into social media marketing.
For example if you are focused on increasing your brand awareness then Facebook and Twitter might be the right one or if you want to connect with professionals and influencers, LinkedIn could be the answer.
The focus is on customers right? So Where is your audience? Answering this question will help you to ease up your choice of social media channel.
Each channel has its own features. For example if your target audience are millennials, then Snapchat is the one for you. If your audience is mostly women then undoubtedly you have tobe on Pinterest.
Consider more factors such as your audience, industry, budget, location while selecting the best social media channel for your business.
- Research Competition
Your first step in researching your competitors is to make a list of all your competitors, big and small.
Find businesses that are similar to your business. Don’t limit the research based on specific size. Marketing agencies irrespective whether they are large or small generally go after similar or the same audiences.
Next, analyze the profiles of your competitors. Checkout to see what your competitors say about their business. Note the changes that they roll out, also note the influencers and followers that they are engaged with.
It’s very important to observe the content they publish. Do they have their own content, do they republish, do they have images, videos, testimonials, etc. Check out the content schedule and engagement rate and identify the content that has got high engagement. This gives you a lead on the type of content to publish.
- Allocate Budget
With money being a scarce resource, its important to use it effectively. Identify the critical goals such as increasing orders, convert buyers into customers, increase sales from current customers, etc.
Once you have goals set, then decide the important social media channels that you want to spend on. Investigate the search engines that might be best to reach your audience.
Also research on the kind of advertising and networking that is required. You may also want to look at 3rd party sites, social media marketing tools and apps that can help your social media marketing.
When you have all these things ready, final step is to allocate the budget across different channels, tools and all other requirements.
Most businesses don’t really have a huge budget to invest in all aspects. Hence the ultimate goal should be to allocate the budget on the most relevant aspects that will help achieve your social marketing goals most effectively.
- Design content and a calendar
Sharing quality content with your audience across social channels is most important for engaging with existing audience and to attract new audience.
Create compelling content that can excite your audience. Social media content can be in the form of articles, blogs, images, infographics, links, and videos. You can also include interviews, testimonials, ebooks, How-to-Videos and much more.
Having content but not having a plan for scheduling and publishing it can be a disaster. Social content calendars should be used to plan and schedule content for few months ahead of time. Decide the ingredients such as what type of content to schedule, how often to post, which time of the day/night to post, which social media channels to post, etc.
This makes it very important for brands to design and share engaging content consistently. If you’re not taking out enough time to plan your content and social media calendar in advance, chances are that you will end up scrambling to find new content to share.
- Invest in Social media management tools
There is no doubt that if you want your social media marketing to be effective, then you must invest in the right social media management tools.
Social media management requires smarter ways to manage numerous social media profiles and networks. It’s difficult to manage it manually. Hence social media requires smart and intelligent tools to conduct social media activities efficiently.
Social media tools such as Cloohawk, are used to create and curate content, increase audience engagement, schedule your posts, competitor analysis, social media analytics and much more. These tools help you to manage and optimize your social media activities.
Some of the tools are designed for teams, while many others are suitable for solopreneurs. It is important for you to choose the right tool for your requirement and that which suits your budget.
Related Content: 7 Powerful Social Media Marketing Automation Tools You Must Know
- Measure Metrics
Regular auditing of your key social media metrics will reveal insights into the performance of your social media marketing.
Metrics will help you get to statistics about the number of followers, increase in followers, increase in engagement, influencers, competitor analysis, ROI, impressions, etc.
Having consistent social media analytics will help you understand the performance of your social media marketing efforts. The data will help you to keep your brand ahead of the curve. Without social media analysis, measuring the actual value of the social media marketing efforts can be incredibly difficult.
With a few clicks of a button, you will be able to assess the techniques that are working well. This will help you to increase focus on tactics that actually deliver value. And for the ones that are not working well, the analysis will help to design a plan for improvement.
Overall, social media analysis is a life saver for a social media marketer to gain a greater understanding of their performance and helps to refine social media strategy achieve goals and objectives.
- Evaluate and Modify
Designing a social media marketing plan is equal to running a marathon unlike a sprint. The whole idea should be to develop long-term strategies that can enhance your brand awareness while keeping all marketing goals in mind. A social media marketing plan should be evaluated at regular intervals to check its effectiveness.
A well-defined plan will allow you to check if your marketing plans are working as planned. The use of smart goals that are measurable will be of much use in evaluation of the plan.
Check all aspects such as platforms, target audience, content, tools and budget to evaluate if they are appropriate for your social media marketing plans.
Social media analytics will help you greatly in the evaluation of your social media marketing plan.
Based on the performance, you can modify your marketing plan and embed the missing components on period basis.
Hope by now you know everything that it takes to create a killer social media marketing plan.
A well-built plan should include clear goals to be achieved. The audience is the most important part of social media, hence your plan should revolve around your social media audience. Having the right social media channels, right amount of budget and smart social media management tools is crucial.
Evaluate your plan and make modifications as you progress.