Learn how to create a social media marketing plan

So you need to learn how to create a social media marketing plan. No simple task, correct? A lot of us grapple to understand precisely what it is, let alone how to develop one from scratch!  

Make it simple, everything you do on social networks should be a part of a bigger social media marketing strategy. This means, every like, reply, post, or comment should all be managed by a bigger plan that is moving towards your business goals. It might sound complex, but if you take the time to create a thorough social media strategy, the rest of your social efforts should fall into place behind this. 

Any business should be able to do this if they approach it correctly. Learn what a social media marketing plan involves, create a plan and make it your own.

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 marketing plan should include a review of where your social platforms are today, goals for where you want them to be in the near future, and all the methods you want to use to get there.

In general, the more detailed you can get with your marketing plan, the more effective you will be in its application. Try to keep it short, and try not to make your social media marketing strategy so long and broad that its too hard to work with. The marketing plan will guide your actions, but it will also be a measure by which you decide whether you're achieving or failing. In your efforts. You don't want to set yourself up for failure from the start, you should be in this for the long term.

Step 1: Create a social media purpose

The first step to any social media marketing strategy is to set the purposes and goals that you hope to accomplish. Having these goals also allows you to immediately identify and react when social media campaigns are not reaching your expectations. 

Without these goals, you have no means of assessing the success of your strategy or showing your social media return on investment. These goals should be aligned with your broader marketing strategy so that your social media efforts fit in with your broader business purpose. If your social media marketing strategy supports your business goals, you're more likely to create more demand for your products and services, which is the whole idea of doing all this. Go beyond vanity metrics such as retweets and likes and focus on advanced metrics such as leads generated, web referrals, and conversion rates.

Step 2: Plan a social media audit

Before planning your social media marketing plan, you need to evaluate your present social media activities and how these are working for your business. This means understanding who is currently connecting with you via social media, which social media platforms your target market uses, and how your social media presence compares to your competitors.

Step 3: build or enhance your social accounts.

Once you are done planning your social media audit, its time to hone in on your online presence, determine which networks can best meet your social media goals. If you don't already have social media profiles on each network you you are going to concentrate on, create them with your broader goals and audience in mind. If you do have existing accounts, it's time to update and refine them to maximise the best possible results for your newly created plan.

Step 4: Learn from industry leaders, competitors, and clients.

For motivation, look to what others in your industry are sharing and use social media listening to see how you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and appeal to the prospects they might be missing out on.  

Customers can also offer social media motivation, not only through the content that they share but in the way that they phrase their messages. See how your target audience write their posts and tweets, and aim to use that style when it suits your purpose.   

A final source of social media motivation would be industry leaders, there are many who do an incredible job of using social media marketing. Businesses in every industry imaginable have managed to distinguish themselves through exceptional social media strategies. Follow them and learn all you can. See where they have shared any social media guidance or insight anywhere on the web and see how you can emulate this!

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John Duffield

I am a Creative Information Marketer first and foremost, providing businesses with tips, ideas and resources to help them grow their business. I create many tools, Apps and digital products which are used by over 1,000 business all over the world. I enjoy creating resources for business that are ultimately used as part of their ongoing metrics.