• Aditya Sharma

How to Create the Social Media Marketing Plan from Scratch?

Updated: Sep 14

Social Media Marketing Strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on various social media platforms. Basically, it guides your actions and lets you know whether you are succeeding in your social media marketing or not. The more specific your plan is, the more effective the strategy will be.

What Tools You Will Need While Planning and Executing Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Before you jump into planning, make sure that your toolbox is complete. Here are some of the tools that you are highly recommended for you to use in your marketing strategy –

. Social Media Calendar – Planning and executing your social media marketing strategy on one central calendar makes it easy to see all your social media posts alongside your other content and projects. In order to do this, you can use a spreadsheet-based calendar template or an app like Co-schedule.

. Curation Tools – These make it easy for you to curate the content and fill gaps on your calendar.

. Google Analytics – You will use this to gather the data on your social media referral traffic so as to find where your audience is most active.

. In-app Analytics – Each of the top social media networks features robust analytics full of useful audience and performance data. Co-schedule also includes the automated analytics and reporting tools that you can also use so as to build your marketing strategy.

What are the different steps by the help of which one can create the Social Media Marketing Plan from Scratch?

Here are some of the steps that can help you to create a winning social media marketing strategy of your own –

. Choosing the Social Media Marketing Goals that can align Your Business Objectives –

The first step you have to take while creating a winning marketing strategy is to establish your objectives and goals. As without any objective and goals, you have no way to measure success and return on investment (i.e. ROI). You have to create the SMART goals so as to make your marketing strategy work out –

. Specific – Your goals should be focused and identify a tangible outcome marketing strategy.

. Measurable – Identify a component for success and use it to help you evaluate your business progress.

. Attainable – The goals should challenge you, yet still be achievable. Outline what you need to do so as to accomplish your goals and identify any potential obstacles that you will need to overcome.

. Relevant – Ensure that what you are trying to achieve is worthwhile to your business.

. Time-Bound – Set a deadline as it will help you to avoid procrastination, discouragement, and wasted resources.

This SMART goals framework will guide your actions and ensure that they lead you to real business results. The example of this SMART goal framework is –

“We use Twitter, Facebook and many other social media platforms for our customer support service and lower our average response rate to under two hours by the end of the quarter”.

. Tracking Meaningful Metrics –

Vanity metrics such as the number of followers and likes are easy to track, but it is hard to prove their real value. So, instead of this, focus on the things such as engagement, click-through, and conversion rates.

You have to track different goals for different networks, or even different uses for each network. For example, if you use LinkedIn to drive traffic to your website, then you would measure this through “Click-through”. But if you are using Instagram for brand awareness, you might track the number of “Instagram Story Views”. If you use “Facebook” for your brand awareness, then the “Cost-per-click” (i.e. CPC) will be your common success metric for your brand awareness.

. Finding Your Marketing Voice and Tone –

Your foray into social media will be more focused and more on point if you come up with a voice and tone for finding your social media marketing content right off the bat. In order to do so, you need to spend time coming up with your marketing personas and debating so as to finer points your mission statement and customer base. You need to start your marketing voice and tone with these questions like these –

. If your brand was a person, then what kind of personality would it have?

. If your brand was a person, what is their relationship to the consumer? (i.e. coach, friend, teacher, dad, etc.)

. Describe in adjectives i.e. what your company personality is not.

. Are there any digital marketing companies that have a similar personality to yours? Why are they similar?

. How do you want your customers to think about your marketing company?

Note – Voice is the mission statement; the tone is the implementation of that marketing mission.

. Automate, engage and listen –

The final piece of the social media marketing plan is to involve having a system you can follow to help you stay on top of the updates and engage with our community. To start with, automate the posting of your social media content you need to follow these steps –

. Tools such as Buffer allow you to create all the content that you want to, all at once, and then place everything into a queue to be sent out according to whatever schedule you choose to. Automation is the secret weapon for consistently excellent sharing, day after day.

. Your plan does not end with automation though. Social media marketing requires engagement too.

. When people talk to you, talk back to them. Set aside time during your day so as to follow up with the conversations that are happening on social media platforms. These are the conversations with potential customers, references, friends, and colleagues. These need to be ignored.

. One way to stay up on all the conversations that are happening around you and your company is to create a system for listening and engaging the content. Tools such as Buffer Reply and Mention will collect all the social media mentions and comments on your posts in a single place, where you can instantly reply to your followers.

. Analyze, test and iterate –

The more you post on the social media platforms, the more you will discover which content, timing, and frequency is right for you.

How will you know? It is best to get a social media analytics tool. Major social media networks will have the basic social media analytics built into their website; it is just a little easier to seek and find this information from an all-encompassing dashboard.

Which social media stats are best? We have gained some insight from looking at each of these main statistics and the composite engagement statistics on a per post basis. The resulting stats gives you a great look, over time of how your social media marketing content tends to perform so that we can test and iterate from there.

Setting up a benchmark? After two weeks or a month of sharing the content, you can go back through your stats and find the average number of clicks, shares, likes, and comments per post. You can come back and update this number at any time as your following and influence growth.

. Picking your Posting Strategy –

In order to pick your posting strategy, you need to follow these steps –

. Start with the basic six types of updates we should have in all the posts such as links, videos, images, quotes, reshares, plain-text updates.

. Choosing a “staple” update, a single type that will make up the majority of your shares.

. Creating a 4:1 ratio of sharing: for every four “staple” updates, publish one different type for variety.

This way your followers may know what to expect from you and you can acuminate your sharing to a specific type, making it easier to perfect and to experiment.

For a specific number, here are some of the guidelines we have put together based on some really helpful research into how often we post anything to the social media platforms –

Facebook – Once or twice post per day.

Instagram – Once or twice post per day.

Instagram Stories – Eight to 16 Stories post twice per week.

Twitter – Three to ten times per day.

LinkedIn – Once or twice per day.

Pinterest – Five to ten times per day.

Snapchat – Five to 20 times per week.

When should you need to be posting?

There are many neat tools to compiled timing research from various websites such as Visually, Search Engine Watch, and Social Media Today so as to create its awesome visual. Here is an overview of what they found in terms of timing –

Twitter – 1-3 p.m. during weekdays.

Facebook – 1-4 p.m. during weekdays.

LinkedIn – 7-8:30 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Tumblr – 7-10 p.m. during weekdays and 4 p.m. on Friday.

Instagram – 5-6 p.m. during weekdays and 8 p.m. on Monday with a gratification spot at 6 p.m.

Pinterest – 2-4 p.m. and 8-11 p.m. during weekdays with weekends being the best.

Google+ – 9-11 a.m. during weekdays.

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