What is a social media plan (and why do I need one)?
In this day and age, social media plans are absolutely essential to a successful marketing campaign. In essence, a social media plan is a strategy that will help you market your content throughout your social media presence. Find out more about planning the perfect social media campaign and run it on autopilot!
Before you even start getting the content out there, it is important for you to start analyzing your particular situation. Through gathering data, you can get a great idea regarding a wide number of factors that are vital to the success of your own campaign. For instance, you will be able to garner more information about your target customer, as well as determine the current state of your social media pages, and more.
- Conduct a Social Media Audit
A social media audit is a great way for you to understand the current condition of your social media pages. It’s important to understand how your pages are doing, before investing money into promoting your content through those networks. By auditing your social media pages, you will be able to determine where to put emphasis and identify your weakest links.
- Document Who Your Ideal Customer Is
As you certainly understand, it is vital to gain a clear picture of your ideal customer. Your target audience should be at the absolute core of your marketing campaign, and you are essentially going to have to target your content, language and campaign style depending on who you are trying to appeal to.
- Identify Key Success Metrics
When it comes to running a campaign through social media, it is absolutely vital to understand that there are certain success metrics that would influence the outcome of your campaign through the various social media platform. In order to refine your marketing strategy and lead your campaign toward its full potential, you can use key success metrics and indicators to tune up your social media strategy. For instance, identify the scope of your follower growth and find out about the best times when to post content throughout the day or night!
- Identify Your Influencers
Throughout every social media community, there will be some influencers – some people who have a massive following in their particular niche, and with the power to enhance the visibility of any brand they work with, promoting their products or services to their huge networks. You can identify influencers in your niche and partner up with them, in order to take advantage of their extensive network to hopefully promote your own content and boost your campaign.
- Research Competition
They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and there is definitely some truth to that. There is really a lot to be gained from observing your competitors and trying to figure out what they are doing. This does not mean that you need to copy their every step, but gaining a perspective on your competition will surely help you figure out how to move in the right direction, or even learn to avoid certain mistakes. Never underestimate the value of learning by observing what’s happening all around you.
- Allocate Budget and Resources
Many people seem to be really keen on jumpstarting a campaign on social media, believing that they can just pay as they go and get things done. However, if you take the time to plan your budget and allocate resources to your campaign in advance, you will certainly find that you will benefit from it greatly. Planning your budget ahead of your campaign might indeed prevent unexpected expenses and other issues.
The second larger stage of this project involves planning. This is the moment when you decide who you are targeting and how. Read on to find out more.
- Decide Your Platforms
You might have accounts on a dozen of social media platforms, but it might not always be worth it to focus your campaign on all of them. Based on analytics and data you gathered earlier, as recommended within this article, you will be able to identify your most successful social media platforms and learn about their key metrics. Such information will give you the upper hand when planning your social media campaign and selecting the right platform to focus on.
- Create or Improve Your Social Media Accounts/ Optimize Your Profiles and Pages
Before you start with your campaign, it might be really worth it to take a look at the current state of your social media platform. Is there something you can improve on? Can you make your profile more detailed? Can you increase the appeal of your page? If you feel like you can take steps towards improving the viewer’s experience on your page, do it before starting your campaign, so visitors driven to your page through the campaign will have the best possible first impression on your particular content.
- Create a Content Marketing Plan and a Social Media Content Calendar
Running a social media campaign requires lots and lots of organization. You can’t be lax if you want to see real results! Keeping a social media content calendar is a great way to manage your posts and stay on schedule. Of course, you will also need to secure high-quality content to run with! This might be a series of blog posts, video tutorials to share with your audience, images…it is completely up to you.
- Create Social Media Marketing Objectives and Goals
Your campaign should be fueled by a very fine-tuned vision. What are you trying to achieve? It is important to set some objectives, milestones and end goals for your particular campaign.
- Break Down Your Goals into Specific Tactics
As mentioned above, it is very important to set your goals and objectives. However, it is also vital to understand how you can get to those targets. Each goal you have could be attained with a specific strategy or tactic, and you can outline the process throughout your campaign by taking action.
- Prioritize Your Plan
Planning is absolutely vital, and this cannot be stressed enough. A good plan could be a gateway to minimize losses, stay on budget, achieve or exceed your goals, and much more. It is important to prioritize your plan and stick to it in order to run a successful campaign.
- Assign Roles / Assign Tasks and Set ETAs
Nothing should be left to chance. In much the same way you set your goals and target, you should also be precise when it comes to assigning roles, tasks and ETAs.
- Gather social media marketing inspiration
Content is king. Ultimately, people will be drawn to your campaign and engaged by it through the quality of your content. You could take all the right steps illustrated in this article, but nothing really matters without some quality content to back it all up. It might be worth it to invest in sourcing quality content to promote through your campaign. For instance, you could take the time to create original content such as Youtube videos, blog posts, custom images, memes…anything goes, as long as it’s quality, original content that could really speak to your target audience and boost engagement and responses to your particular campaign.
- Create and Curate Engaging Content/ Find & Create Your Content
Creating content (or hiring professional content creators to produce some content on your behalf) is certainly a great way to get things done and secure some high-quality original content to work within your campaign. Content curation is also important. You can find like-minded content to share, and in some cases, create some synergy with other brands and content creators. For instance, you could partner-up with a business whose target audience might be similar to yours. Both you and such a business might benefit from mutually sharing and curating content from one another.
When it comes to social media, visual impact is key. Most people won’t get out of their routine just to read a blog post they know nothing about…but if you are able to get their attention through a cool picture or a killer headline, they might actually do just that. The attention span of people on the web is relatively short, with so many things happening on their little screens! this is why first impressions are so valuable in this day and age. Visual content that matters and works well can certainly help you in that respect.
- Have A Plan For Creating Visual Content
As mentioned earlier, we cannot stress the importance of planning quite enough. When creating powerful visual content for your campaign, it is important to keep an organized schedule and stay organized and efficient
- Get your Tone Right
“Tone” matters a lot, but what do we mean by it? In other words, it is all about being able to appeal to your audience the right way. Imagine you advertising a brand new skateboard to be released on the market soon. Your campaign should feature a language and a set of aesthetics that will appeal to your target audience: young, street-smart skater kids. Now, picture how goofy and “wrong” your campaign would sound if you used a stiff, formal jargon and a corporate look, as if you were trying to appeal to a bunch of Wall Street guys!
Each niche requires a different visual and tonal approach. This leads us back to one of the most important steps featured within this article: identify your audience.
Posting content to your campaign quite regularly is absolutely paramount. It will help you keep relevance at a high rate, allowing your pages to appear active and updated at all times. Read on to find out about the best practices to adopt when posting content through social media.
Posting Best Practices
Posting through social media might be more of a delicate task than you might imagine, as it requires some subtlety.
There are many things you should avoid doing at all costs:
- Don’t overdo it: post too much content, and you will alienate your audience and appear pushy
- Don’t slack on your schedule: post too randomly and your efforts will be inconsistent. It is necessary to develop a nice, tight schedule for your releases
- Don’t repost the same content too often: it is nice to revisit some older content once in a while, but don’t repost it too often, otherwise it might look like you are trying really hard to recycle old content.
Invest In a Social Media Management Tool
An automated social media management tool could be a truly valuable investment in your particular case. Such a tool could assist you in the process of automating your campaign and really run it on autopilot. Automate Social media management tools often include ways to post and manage your content, easy access to social media features and analytic, as well as many other valuable features that will help you make the most out of your campaign.
- Track, Analyze, Optimize/ Test, Evaluate, and Adjust Your Social Media Marketing Plan
In this article, we have always stressed how important it is to have a plan and stick to it. However, your plan should not be stiff. If something just isn’t working, or if your circumstances are changing, you should be able to recognize when a change is needed and be flexible about it. Through constantly keeping track of the progress of your campaign and analyze data, you can optimize your strategy and adjust it as you go along, if needed.
- Listen to Your Audience to Discover Their Interests
The best way to determine whether you are doing a great job is to actually listen to your audience and figure out their interests. Obviously, you are going to want to be able to target your audience with their specific interests and really keep them engaged, by giving them some content that you know they might thoroughly enjoy.
- Build a Community
Building a community is absolutely essential. Remember that it’s about people, not cold analytical data. Sure, data can help out a lot, but you need to understand that there is an unquantifiable human element behind each campaign. You can only tap into it by genuinely interacting with your community. Ask questions, like statutes, get involved! Participate in your community, and your community will turn to you as well!
- Boost your Following
It is absolutely vital to keep working on increasing your following on social media. Many businesses seem to be keen on simply buying large amounts of followers, but in many occasions, such following is value-less and really artificial, with no engagement or valuable interaction. You need to be able to really boost your following organically, which takes us back to what was mentioned right above (building a community).