Unfortunately for all of us, social media marketing isn’t as simple as uploading a few posts, slapping a few hashtags on them, and calling it a day. Tweeting a picture of the burrito you had for lunch may be fine for a personal profile, but it gets you nowhere as a business Page.
To get actual results, you need to have a social media marketing plan, and in this post, we’ll show you why you need it and how to create one.
Why You Need a Social Media Marketing Plan
There are several reasons that you need a social media marketing plan. It’s not just a luxury; it’s a necessity.
A social media marketing plan helps you make sure you always have incredible content—or a way of finding incredible content—in the pipeline. It also helps you establish the story you want to tell about your brand, and how you want to tell it. You can plan ahead for things like community events you want to feature on social media, or content featuring your employees, which require interviews and pictures to be taken ahead of time.
More than that, a social media marketing plan takes all of your marketing goals into consideration and finds a way to accomplish them. To increase brand loyalty, for example, you could feature more user generated content. This helps you determine things like how many of your own blog posts you want to share vs. other content to keep engagement up.
You’ll also be able to connect external marketing goals with your social ones. By planning for promotions around sales or social contests around a product release (or slow months), you’ll be ready for everything your business has coming up.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan in 6 Steps
Creating a social media marketing plan isn’t nearly as overwhelming as it sounds; it just requires a little research, consideration of your goals, and yes, creating an actual plan. Let’s take a closer look at the 6 steps to creating a social media marketing plan.
Do Your Research
Research is your best friend, and Metricool is here to help you with this stage of the process.
Start with what you know and what you can find out about all of your efforts on social media so far. Which platforms are most beneficial to you? What types of content yields the best results? Which hashtags are used most often?
You’ll want to spend time specifically conducting hashtag research. If you don’t have a branded hashtag yet, create one. Look for a combination of other industry-specific and broad-appeal hashtags that you can attach to your posts and increase visibility and engagement.
It’s also essential to research your competition. Look at what types of content they’re posting, what platforms they’re using, and how they’re interacting with their followers.
Set SMART Goals
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Based. By setting SMART goals, you’ll be able to set realistic goals that you can track, and thus accomplish.
An essential part of creating a social media marketing plan is to decide which SMART goals you want to accomplish; do you want to build brand loyalty, or send more traffic to your site, or reach new users?
Once you’ve designed which goals you want to accomplish, set KPIs that will help you determine how you’ll measure your progress, and set a time-frame during which you want to accomplish them. You could say, for example, that you want to increase engagement on your Facebook by 45% within the next six months. Next, you get ready to tackle that specific goal.
Create Plans Around Your Goals
You’ve established your goals; now you have to determine how to meet them. You’ll want to consider different types of social media posts and evaluate what you think will help you reach those goals most efficiently. You could, for example, create campaigns to inspire user generated content and then later use that same UGC to increase engagement. You can share and tag influencer content (as seen in the example below) to build relationships and increase your own visibility, or run Facebook Ads to drive conversions and new leads.
Create an Editorial Calendar
After you know what types of content and campaigns you want to use, it’s time to create an editorial calendar that will lay out exactly where those posts and videos and hashtag campaigns fall on each day of the month. You can map out content, spacing out posts accordingly so they can get the maximum results and visibility, and plan ahead for what’s coming next for your business.
Metricool lets you plug your content into a calendar, creating a strong editorial calendar and content plan that you can use to optimize results.
Start Creating the Content!
You’ve done everything now except to actually create the content, so it’s time to get cracking on the copy. Some things to keep in mind when creating the social content include:
- You can use one post concept for multiple different social media platforms, but remember to customize the post for each platform you share it on; remove hashtags for posts on Facebook, and add extra hashtags for Instagram posts.
- Use the research you’ve conducted to detect patterns of what types of content do well, and replace it as much as possible; what gets you the most engagement, or the most clicks?
- Don’t be afraid to repurpose great content, just space it out far enough in advance that it will feel fresh and new.
- Use content to tell your brand’s story, and remember that every post you share should support and contribute to this story.
Monitor and Evaluate
Testing, monitoring, and adjusting your social media marketing plan is just as important as creating it in the first place. Using tools like Metricool, you may notice that certain hashtags haven’t taken off or result in less impressions, or that announcement of online sales aren’t getting enough clicks.
Use Metricool’s hashtag tracker to evaluate the status and success of your hashtag campaigns.
As needed, readjust your marketing plan and strategy to optimize it for success; use more of the types of posts that are helping you reach your goals, and adjust (or abandon) the ones that aren’t.
A social media marketing plan is essential to both long term and immediate success; by planning both strategically and practically, you’ll have plenty of room to optimize for all of your social media goals and get the results that you’re looking for.
Haven’t created a social media marketing plan yet? Start your research with Metricool’s analytics with our free trial!