With social media being so available, so affordable, so omnipresent in our society, it makes sense that most businesses and entrepreneurs – not to mention consumers – are turning to social media. So you need a social media marketing plan? It’s hard enough to form a solid plan, let alone build one from scratch.
What is a social media marketing plan?
A social media marketing plan is a road map of everything you plan (and hope) to accomplish for your business by using social media as a platform. Your plan should include where you are today, where you want to be, and how you hope to get there. Be both specific and reasonable with your goals. Additionally, your social media marketing plan is a piece of the bigger puzzle – your entire marketing plan.
Objectives and Goals
First, determine why you want to use social media and what using it will achieve. Do you want to strengthen exposure for your business? Are you looking to attract more followers? Do you want to generate leads? Your goals should align with your broader marketing strategy. Wanting more likes or retweets is one thing, but let yourself go beyond these simple answers and strive for more leads, referrals, and client conversions.
Goals should follow the SMART framework. Meaning, all objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Conduct an Audit
An audit will give you a good idea of where you are right now. Ask yourself these questions to start:
- How many social media platforms am I using?
- Are my usernames/profile information/photos relatively consistent?
- How many followers do I have on each platform?
- What is my mission for each social media platform? (Example: We use Instagram to show followers a more personal side of our business.”
- Who is my target audience for each platform? Are my current posts relevant for that demographic?
Determine the purpose and function of each social profile you’re using. If you can’t determine the purpose, it’s probably time to delete the profile.
Improve Your Existing Profiles
After your audit is complete, you’ll have a good idea of what’s working and what needs improvement. Choose which networks meet your objectives and focus on these. Build them up or improve them from where they are, keeping your audience and your broader marketing plan in mind.
If you’re feeling a little stuck on how to start and what kind of information to share, look around at what others in your industry are doing. Chances are, there’s a pattern that you can follow to increase your engagement and interest. Of course, you still want to differentiate your brand and your services, but use your competitors and industry leaders as a source of inspiration. How often are they sharing? What is their response style?
Create A Plan
A strong plan includes a content schedule, visual strategy, and a plan for evaluation. Determine what types of content you will post, how often you’ll post, and how you’ll promote the content. Decide on a look for your social media, and stick with it to establish a recognizable and trusted presence. As time goes on, pay attention to your social media insights and adjust your plan accordingly.