So what is a social media marketing plan?
A social media marketing plan is the summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business using social networks. This plan should comprise an audit of where your accounts are today, goals for where you want them to be in the near future, and all the tools you want to use to get there.
In general, the more specific you can get with your plan, the more effective you’ll be in its implementation. Try and keep it concise and don’t make your social media marketing strategy so lofty and broad that it’s unattainable. This plan will guide your actions, but it will also be a measure by which you determine whether you’re succeeding or failing at social media. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure from the outset.
Step 1: Create social media objectives and goals
The first step to any social media marketing strategy is to establish objectives and goals that you hope to achieve. Having these objectives also allows you to quickly react when social media campaigns are not meeting your expectations. Without these goals, you have no means of gauging your success and no means of proving your return on investment.
These goals should be aligned with your broader marketing strategy, so that your social media efforts all drive towards business objectives. If your social media marketing strategy is shown to drive business goals forward, you’re more likely to get executive buy-in and investment. They should also go beyond vanity metrics like retweets or Likes, in favour of more advanced metrics like leads generated, sentiment or website traffic referred. Strive to approach these goals using the SMART approach, meaning they should all be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
A simple way to start your social media marketing plan is by writing down at least three social media goals. Make sure to ask yourself what the goal will look like when completed, and use that to determine how you will track it.
Step 2: Conduct a social media audit
Prior to creating your social media marketing plan, you need to assess your current social media use and how it is working for you. This requires figuring out who is currently connecting to you via social media, which social media sites your target market uses and how your social media presence compares to your competitors’.
We’ve created a social media audit template that you can follow for each step of the process:
Step 3: Create or improve your social accounts
Once you’ve audited your accounts, it’s time to hone your online presence. Choose what networks best meet your social media goals. If you don’t already have social media profiles on each network you focus on, build them from the ground up with your broader goals and audience in mind. If you do have existing accounts, it’s time to refine them and update them for your best possible results.
Step 4: Get social media inspiration from industry leaders, competitors, clients
One of the most important reasons for being active on social media is that your consumers already are. That usually means, so are your competitors. That might not be comforting, but it actually means that there’s a wealth of knowledge already available to you which you can integrate into your social media marketing plan. Turn to your competitors for inspiration when it comes to what content types and information get the most social media engagement. Also, use social media listening to see how you could distinguish yourself from competitors and appeal to consumers they might be missing.
Step 5: Test, evaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan
To find out what adjustments need to be made to your social media marketing strategy, you should constantly be testing. Build testing capabilities into every action you take on social networks. Track your links using url shorteners and utm codes. Use Hootsuite’s social media analytics to track the success and reach of social campaigns. Track page visits driven by social media with Google analytics. Record and analyze your success and failures, and then adjust your social media marketing plan in response.
Article created by Hootsuite