1) What are your goals?
The first thing you need to do is set up some marketing and business goals you want to achieve. Your social media strategy will then serve your business objectives, to do so, you should look at your company’s needs and find how you can use social media to achieve them. Then you will have to set KPIs in order to determine what metrics you are going to use to measure the success of your social media strategy. A simple way to begin your social media marketing plan is to write a few goals you want to achieve. Also, you should use the S.M.A.R.T. framework when setting your goal, this means that each of your objective should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
2) Perform an audit of your current social media situation
Even before you begin to think about your social media marketing plan, you need to assess your actual social media use and the results that come from it. This means that you should figure out who is the people you can connect with via your social media so you can determine a concrete and precise target audience.
You should also take a look at what your competitors do on their social media, establish a benchmark to see what is done in your sector/industry. Once you have conducted this audit of your social media account and your social media environment, you will have a clear vision on what needs to be improved and updated. Remember that it is better to use fewer channels and to have a regular and stable presence on them, than trying to stretch on all the different social media on an irregular basis. Quality over quantity !
Have a doubt on who’s using what? Check out demographics for the social medium you’re questioning about, it’s better to know where you engage.
After knowing what you are going to do, determine a purpose for every social profile you have by creating mission statements for each network. For instance: “We will use Twitter to keep the world updated on what our company is doing and why.”
3) Create or improve your social media accounts
Once you’ve finished with your social media situation assessment, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Update your already existing accounts on the different platforms you’ve chosen to use, or create new ones on those you’ve never been present and you want to be now.
Don’t forget about the objectives you set yourself and keep them in mind as you update or create your social profiles. Bonus: if you can, you should optimize your social media profiles for SEO, as it will help generate more traffic to your online websites and/or profiles.
Remember that each social media is different, and so is its audience. So adopt a particular, adapted and relevant behaviour on each platform to get better results.
4) Get aware of what is done around you and get inspired by it
Besides operating a benchmark on how are your competitors using their social media, you should also take a look at the relationship between social media and people/brands in general.
- First, see how your target audience is behaving on Twitter, Instagram etc. and try to imitate their way of speaking for instance, by using the same tone of speech. But always keep in mind that you are operating with your professional accounts, and not your personal ones.
- Watch carefully the industry giants’ strategy on social media, and learn from them. Big companies through every industry have managed to distinguish themselves thanks to remarkable social media strategies. Always try to follow them and see what they’re doing so you are aware of the general social media environment, which can also become a source of inspiration.
Here are a few sources of inspiration that we suggest:
- Facebook strategy: Coca-Cola, Walmart
- Instagram strategy: Herschel Supply Co.; General Electric
- Twitter strategy: Charmin, Oreo
- Snapchat strategy: Taco Bell, Amazon
- Social media customer service: Tangerine, Warby Parker
- Content marketing: Unbounce, Virgin
- Social media advertising: Airbnb, the American Red Cross
5) Create your content marketing plan along with your content schedule
Your content marketing plan should answer the following questions:
- What type of content do you want to publish and promote through your social media accounts?
- Who is your target audience for each platform and each type of content?
- At what frequency will you be publishing content?
- Who will create the content?How will you promote the content?
On your social media calendar, you can schedule when you want to publish content on social media. Try to establish a stable presence, based on a regular basis of publishing each week. Then, make sure that your schedule meets with the initial objectives that you established for each of your profiles.
Moreover, you should determine precise numbers for your content categories. That is to say, follow a rule such as the 80-20 rule, which indicates that 80% of your publications should inform, educate or entertain your target audience, and the other 20% can directly promote your brand.
In the same category, there is also the social media rule of thirds:
- One-third of your content should be about promoting your business, convert people into readers of yours, and generates profit
- The second-third of your content should be related to your industry and to like-minded businesses; sharing ideas and stories from leaders for instance.
- The last third of your content should be your personal interactions with your public. You should never forget to interact with it, and always try to build a strong community that support your brand and share the same ideas and values as your company.