24Oct
By: Paula Borowska October 24, 2016

I hope that your social media marketing plan is part of your content marketing strategy. They go hand in hand together. What is a social media marketing plan? It’s your plan of action on social media to promote your business. It can include various things like Facebook marketing or Instagram advertising. It should have measurable goals and filled with planned action. That’s why it’s called a plan! Social media can be a powerful thing for a small business, especially when just starting out. At the end of this plan walkthrough, you’ll find a template you can download.

Create social media marketing plan objectives and goals

The goals of your social media marketing plan should align with the goals of your general marketing objectives and business goals. The best advice is to use the SMART acronym to establish your goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Your social media marketing plan’s goal should fit these criteria.

For example, on Twitter, we want to increase our follower count to 500 users by regularly sharing inspiring fashion ideas over the next 3 months.

The above can easily be an example for a drop shipping business with a newly made Twitter account. To make sure your social media marketing plan is successful, create a realistic and measurable goal.

Your goals can be something small. For example, seeing a social engagement effect on just Facebook. However, your plan can be made up of various goals for individual social networks. It will depend on how much manpower you’re capable of dispatching for this.

Conduct a social media audit

A social media audit means to comb through your current accounts and identify their key features. What social media does your company use right now? Who is in charge of each account? What is the purpose of that social media outlet?

social-media-audit-social-media-marketing-plan

 

Next, you’ll want to evaluate how effective the social media is with its engagement. Are you getting a lot of links on Facebook? How many retweets is your Twitter account getting? Study what your social networks are like now. You can’t improve them if you don’t know their current state. What kind of posts are getting the most engagement? Which ones get the least? Which demographic of your audience does not respond to your posts? And so on.

Analyze your target audience

Additionally, you’ll want to figure out where on social media your target audience hangs out. If you’ve been putting a lot of effort into Facebook marketing but a large portion of your target audience uses Instagram, it’s time to switch gears. By analyzing where your audience hangs out you can redirect your efforts to be more fruitful. If you’re missing a specific social account, make it. If you’ve been underusing one, this is the time to change that.

Go further and study what kind of content your target audience engages with. This will make things much easier for you. You won’t have to guess. You can also get inspired by other leaders in your area. There is nothing wrong with learning from your competitor. Do an audit of their own social media account. Which of their account show the most engagement? What kind of content and posts receive the most likes or retweets?

Creating an editorial calendar

A good content plan is the cream and butter of your social media marketing plan. This is what stuff your audience will consume. To start your editorial calendar you need to answer a few things. Ideally, you’re creating the content you’re sharing. This way it all leads back to you. You can share other people’s content as well. But like I said, it doesn’t link back directly to you. However, there is something to be said for following brands that are truly useful and selfless. But, I digress. Your editorial calendar needs to answer the following questions:

  1. How often will you create new content?
  2. Who is responsible for producing it?
  3. When will it be published?
  4. When and where will it be promoted on social media?

Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a separate calendar for what your posts will look like on social media itself. For that, you want to look into tools like Buffer for Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Or, Later for scheduling posts on Instagram. You should have a calendar for each media that you plan on using. Your goal here is to know exactly where things are being posted. Be strategic and post when your audience is most active.

calendar-content-marketing-plan-template

Don’t limit yourself to just posting new stuff. You can repost or retweet as part of your schedule as well. Have scheduled times for responding or chatting with your followers too. You can designate a certain percentage of specific types of postings. For instance, 15% of your posts will be linked to other resources while 25% will link back directly to your blog. At the same time, you can allocate a day to something specific. For example, Tuesday you’ll post tips on bargain shopping. The good thing here is to be strategic and creative with planning the actual calendar.

Adjust your social media marketing plan to the flow

Like with most marketing efforts, test your plan to keep improving it. If you’re noticing that a certain type of post is doing better or worse, act accordingly. If you’re noticing a shift of time in engagement, go with the flow. Your target audience is made up of human beings and no one knows how they will react. Always test variations of posts to see which one works best. It’s the safest way to ensure your social media marketing plan is going to succeed.

Whatever you do always track your click-throughs, likes and interactions. Track your traffic and traffic flow. It’s important to know what your visitors are doing as a result of your campaign. Use analytics to see how effective your marketing plan is and adjust accordingly. It’s important for your plan to keep adjusting and changing. Once your first campaign is over, analyze it, learn from it and do it again. Learn, and keep growing your social media. Adjust your goals or approaches as your following and social engagement grow. And, adjust your social media marketing plan to your business as it grows too.

Social media marketing plan download

Just as promised, here is the social media marketing template for you. It’s a Google Spreadsheet. Make a copy of it to edit it for your own purposes. If you fill it out, you will have a solid social media marketing plan.

  • As usual, you have written an excellent post. True conducting Social Media Audit is necessary for every SMM. I love the fact that your posts are example-based. It’s useful, and we try to implement them.

  • Paula Borowska

    It’s really hard to learn without a examples! it’s good to learn form others weather it’s their successes or failures. It’s much easier to navigate new ideas this way. Although, this post doesn’t actually have that many ?