Creating a social media plan from scratch is a challenge for every business. Often seen as a stand alone piece, the social media plan needs to fit the bigger marketing strategy and therefore business plan. Every social action needs to be guided by a plan that’s driving toward business goals. If you take time with your team including sales, customer service and human resources to create a comprehensive social media strategy, everything should be easier to create content and engage with your audiences.

See below what a social media plan should include and follow our 5 easy step plan to create a winning social media plan for your business.

What’s a social media plan?

A social media plan is a strategic document that takes into account what you do and hope to achieve for your business on social media. It can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal and needs to include your social media goals, an audit of your current state and the plan for the future of your content and engagement

Keep it concise because you need to understand it, update it and adjust it. This document will plan your actions but also enables you to keep track of your success.

Step 1 – Set social media goals

If you have to remember one thing from this article, here it is: if you want your social media efforts to have the biggest impact, your social media goals need to be aligned with your business objectives. I often hear as social media goal: ‘we want to have more likes on Facebook’. This is a not goal, this is a wish. A goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Social media goals examples - 5 steps to create your winning social media plan

Make sure you write 3 goals in your social media strategy plan. Visualise what the goal will look like when completed and use that to determine how you will track it.

Step 2 – Look at your own social media

Before jumping in too much detail in your social media plan, you need to assess your existing social media presence. It includes the audit of your current audiences on the different social media platforms, which platforms your audiences use (and whether you’re  on them) and finally how your competitors use social media.

How to do this? There are plenty of resources out there – for example,  Hootsuite’s social media audit template or Sprout Social ‘How to Perform a Successful Social Media Audit’.

This audit should give you a really clear overview of every social media channel in which your business is active (or not active) and where your social media efforts should be focused.

One component of the social media audit is mission statement. Having a clear,  one-sentence declaration will help you to always have in mind what you need to achieve on Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook.

Mission statement Example:

“At [insert company name], we will use Instagram to share highly visual and relevant social media facts and connect with our busy small business owners.”

Step 3 – Think of new content ideas and create a plan

Getting new content ideas is not the most difficult, getting them to work for audiences is. You can be inspired by industry leaders, clients stories or even competitors. You then need to break your content ideas into small easy-to-implement tactics.

For instance, if you have a business goal to expand to a new market and you have set a social media goal to discover and build relationships with influencers, the following tactics can be used:

  • Reach out to 2 influencers per month to take over our Instagram or Twitter
  • Create a list of influencers in the industry to curate content from.

Now you have got all these new content ideas, create a plan that works for you. Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”. Planning is key for your social media success.
Editorial-Calendar-Example

There are plenty of templates to help you do this including Hootsuite and Hubspot.  There are also plenty of tools to help you manage this, including CoSchedule.

Create the calendar and then schedule your messaging in advance rather than updating constantly throughout the day. This gives you the opportunity to work hard on the language and format of these messages rather than writing them on the fly whenever you have time. Be spontaneous with your engagement and customer service rather than your content.

Step 4 – Track your success

Testing is the best way to know if you need to make adjustments to your content or engagement. On social media, there many metrics you can measure. Some matter more than others.
Record and analyse your successes and failures, and then adjust your social media marketing plan in response.

Step 5 – Adapt your plan

Last but not least, your plan would need to be constantly adjusted to incorporate new goals and tactics. New platforms might come into the game that you would want to add into the plan. Redo the process and ask yourself ‘Is a platform worth my time and my efforts to reach my audience?’.

Tweak your plan to adjust your business scale and always create engaging content.

About Florent Le Mens

Flo is a self-confessed, digital marketing and social media aficionado. He has worked on groundbreaking projects for innovative brands and agencies in the education, insurance, social media, tourism, state government and environmental services industries. He is a Hootsuite Ambassador and the Senior Digital Officer for Central Queensland University in Australia. Flo is an advisor to OTM and our clients and we love having him in our community.

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