How do you currently approach social media for your business? Do you just wing it, or do you have a plan in place that directly correlates your social media activities to your business goals? That is where a social media marketing plan comes into play. With a social media marketing plan, you are essentially creating a framework for what you are looking to get out of social media for your business.

With the idea being any activity that takes place on social media - whether that be a post, replying to a comment or message, or running an ad - all ties back to your overall business goals, so that social media is supporting your business and you're not just winging it as you go throughout the year. For more details on how to create an effective social media marketing plan for your business, read on!

What Goals Should You Target In Your Social Media Marketing Plan?

This is going to vary for each business. Before determining which goals you should target, you should complete a social media audit. Not sure how to do that? Check out this blog we wrote on How To Conduct A Social Media Audit. By conducting a social media audit, you will be able to see from one centralized location what you currently have in place from a social media perspective and what is, and is not, working. That data will then help you with determining which goals you should target as they relate to the overall goals of your business.

For example, is your business struggling with growing a following, generating leads, or possibly building brand loyalty? You can then come up with goals specific to each network as to how you are going to rectify that problem, given that each network brings a different skillset to the table. You should also make sure the goals you set are in line with the overall mission statement of your business and other marketing initiatives you are working on for consistency. 

Improve Your Social Media Presence

Now that you have conducted your social media audit and established which social media networks you have a presence on, are there any networks that are missing that are crucial to you being able to meet the goals you have set? For example, if your business produces a lot of graphic content and you need help growing a following and you don't currently have an Instagram or Pinterest account, it would probably make sense to establish those accounts now.

Or for the accounts you already have in place, now is the time to revisit them and see if they need to be updated. All of your social media accounts should be optimized at all times - meaning all aspects of the profile should be completely filled out with your most current information (a SEO-optimized biography, contact information, links to your website and/or other social media accounts, etc), you should have a high-resolution logo and cover photo on each, etc. 

Both potential and current customers often rely on social media profiles more than company websites to discover information about the company, so it's crucial you keep all profiles up to date at all times. This will help you maintain a consistent look and feel throughout your social media presence (for example, by using the same logo and cover photo when possible) and help with generating leads by making it easier for customers to contact you. Here are some blog posts we wrote that you might find helpful:

Post Quality Content Based On A Social Media Content Calendar

What's one of the most important elements of social media? Content! To have an effective social media marketing plan, you will need to create a social media content calendar that ensures you are posting quality content on a consistent basis. You should determine a plan for where you are going to curate the content from (will it be all original content, or also a mix of third-party content, and if so, from what sources?), who you are targeting with your content, how often you should post, at what times you should post, etc.

Check out our blog on How Often Should You Post On Social Media? for tips on posting frequency and posting times. Using a social media management platform with a built-in scheduling platform will help you execute your social media content calendar in terms of posting content in advance, or based on a calendar, or bulk uploading content to save time, and so on. You should also try to work in evergreen content as a means of repurposing certain type of content, such as blog content, to ensure it gets seen by as much as your target audience as possible.

When you're crafting your actual content calendar, keep the 80/20 rule in mind. Meaning that only 20% of the content you post should be self-promotional, while the other 80% should be content that provides actual value to your target audience. This can be content that, for example, informs or educates your target audience, or content that entertains your target audience, but the overall idea is to share content they will find useful enough to want to share with their friends and family. This approach also makes your follower base much more receptive to your sales and marketing materials when you do post them.

Check out this infographic from Social Barrel for ideas on content you can share as part of the 80/20 rule:

Social Media Posting 80/20 Rule

Create A Plan For Testing, Monitoring, And Adjusting Your Social Media Marketing Plan As Needed

As with anything you do on social media, constant testing and monitoring is required. If you are already using a social media management platform like Social Report that provides analytics and reporting, you're in luck because much of this will be automated for you through automatic link shortening to track link clicks and conversions and built-in reporting for all major social media networks, including Google Analytics, so you can track page visits that are coming from social media if that is part of your social media marketing plan. 

If certain metrics were part of your goals (for example, follower growth, reach, impressions, clicks, shares, and so on), keep an eye on those on a weekly and monthly basis. If you are noticing a decline, no change, or minimal change, then it's likely time to adjust your plan and change the type of content you're posting to see how your target audience responds. You will need to constantly be testing and monitoring and adjusting your social media marketing plan based on the response of your target audience and the ever-changing needs of your business.

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