How to make a social media marketing plan

It’s now January 2018, the year has just started and most of us have already got our business goals and social media marketing plans in place. However, for some, creating a social media marketing plan can be very daunting, especially if you are new to social media marketing.

The culture of social media marketing is changing rapidly and it’s not slowing down anytime soon, so for some, it can be very stressful. For example, Facebook updated their news feed algorithms (again), or the fact that the behaviour of your target audiences has changed. These factors can affect your social media marketing plans that you create. So, to help,we have listed a few important things that should help you when you’re creating your social media marketing plan.

AUDIT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

The first step is to audit your social media accounts. There is no point of using a social media account that is not helping your business. You will just waste time and money in doing so. Not sure how to audit your accounts? Here are some tips:

  • Identify which platforms your targets audience uses. E.g., Instagram is mostly used by Millennials and Snapchat is used mostly by Generation Z
  • Are they all optimised? One reason why one social media platform might not be working is that it’s not optimised like your other social platforms, so your followers don’t know if its part of your brand or not. 
  • Identify which platform is currently bringing you the most value.
  • See how your competitors are using their social media platforms and compare them to yours

Here is an example from Hootsuite on how you can audit your social media accounts: http://ow.ly/tTTw30hLc1F 

 

IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

This will be one of the most important parts of your social media marketing plan. By identifying who your customers are, you can then create a plan tailored especially for them. So for example, if you’re bag design company and you have identified your target audience females aged 25-40 who work in the city and with an average salary of £30,000 (or USD), you will have more success with your marketing plans campaigns. 

By not identifying who your target audience is, you risk the chance of ruining your brand as you could be marketing to the wrong market. Here are some of the things to consider when you are identifying your target audience:

  • Gender – are they male or female
  • Age – are they Teenagers, under 25, over 25, etc.  
  • Location – Where are they located
  • Occupation – are they teenagers, young professionals, students etc. 
  • Income – how much do they earn a year if any

 

IDENTIFY YOUR BRAND PERSONA

When creating your social media marketing plan, you will also need to have identified your brand persona. Your social media brand persona is one of the factors that will help your customers identify your brand. It will also give your brand more character. Think of your social media platforms as a person, it will be the first point of contact for your customers. So you have to make sure that when you use your social media, you have to keep in mind the image you want to portray to your customers.

For example, if you are a brand targetted for university students, you might want your brand persona to be “friendly with a sense of humour”. However, if your customers are businessmen, then you might want to have a social media brand persona that is “professional and service centred”. Remember, you have to identify who your target audience is first. Once you have, then its easier to identify your brand persona.

 

S.M.A.R.T GOALS

SMART - Social Media MarketingWhen creating your social media marketing plan, you have to make sure that your goals are SMART. For those of you who didn’t know, SMART stands for; 

  • Specific: Identifying your goals. E.g., Increase conversation on a branded hashtag
  • Measurable: Easy to measure results. E.g., number of mentions of your branded hashtag
  • Achievable: Should be achievable. E.g., 10 new followers every week
  • Realistic: Eg., 5000 new followers on facebook – UNREALISTIC
  • Time – Based: What’s are your deadlines for each strategy or campaigns

Before finalising your social media marketing goals, always make sure that you run them through these steps. There have been many occasions where clients (and some agencies) don’t follow this rule. The client would make unrealistic goals, or their goals are not specified. As a result, they often ask why they are not getting any success on Social Media. Remember, be SMART!

 

KEY METRICS YOU WANT TO MEASURE

Knowing what key metrics is important will help you know if your social media marketing efforts are successful. By doing so, you can identify which strategies or content worked and which didn’t. You can then make changes to your content or social media marketing strategy based on your results. Some important key metrics are:

  • Tota Reactions (Likes)
  • Number of followers (increase and decrease)
  • Mentions of your brand
  • Brand Sentiment
  • Reach and Impressions
  • Number of Engagements (total shares and comments)

What are your social media marketing goals for 2018? Are they aligned with your marketing and business goals? If you are not sure how to do it, give us a shout, we will be more than happy to give you some advice. 

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