Everybody knows how social media works. You sign-up for an account, set your profile, and post and share whatever you like. So, how hard can it be for your brand? The truth is social media marketing is more than posting funny life anecdotes and memes. It involves planning and use of the right tools and strategy. To help you get started with your social media marketing plan, here is an 11-step template that you can follow.
Step 1 – What is your goal?
TikTok is a video-sharing social media platform that is taking the digital space by storm. Does it mean that you have to make lip-syncing and comical clips too? You don’t. Brands jump to whatever social media is trending, which could turn out to be a disaster. Ask yourself first what is your intention in promoting in social media. The answer shouldn’t be vague like: “I would like to pursue social media marketing because that’s what every brand does.”
You should aim for are goal-oriented objectives that are quantifiable. Your social media marketing plan should include these goals. You can consider the following:
- 50,000 followers after six months
- Increase social media engagements by 5%
- Get 1000 leads per month
Step 2 – What social media platform should you pursue?
In social media marketing plan, you need the best platform for your store. There are many third-party content platforms to choose from. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Reddit, Snapchat, and TikTok. Deciding which one to embark on depends on three factors:
- Time – Managing several social media accounts can be time-consuming. If you can only squeeze 30 minutes per day per social network, then it would be best to have one account first.
- Resources – Social media platforms have one thing in common. They are generally visual in nature. This means you will need to produce and publish some. Do you have a dedicated graphic designer or a content team to help you?
- Audience – If you don’t know where your target demographic hangs out, then you aren’t reaching them. One way of finding out is by checking customers’ age group. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have the largest demographic of 25-34-year-olds. Snapchat have 18-24 years olds. YouTube have 18-44 years old. Tumblr and Reddit have 18-29 years old
Step 3 – How to have a better social media profile?
Check your favorite brand on Facebook. You’ll notice that they apply the same branding style and other elements on their page. You should apply the same principle.
Facebook Optimization Checklist
- Follow the profile picture (180 x 180) and cover photo image (851 x 31) size requirements.
- Provide every company detail like address, email, and telephone number
- Don’t settle for a random combination of numbers and letters for your Facebook Page URL. Customize it.
- Take advantage of Facebook Page CTA
- Pin discounts, product launch, and other events to the top. You can also consider pinning your best content.
- Connect your ecommerce Shopify store to Facebook. Then, Facebook to Instagram.
Instagram Optimization Checklist
- Join as an Instagram business profile
- Use your brand name as an IG account.
- Use your company logo as a profile picture.
- Write an attention-grabbing bio
- Don’t forget to add your website URL. Use bit.ly or other URL shorteners.
- Include a CTA and hashtag in the bio
- Take advantage of story highlights to sort and organize posts
Twitter Optimization Checklist
- The profile picture should be 400×400 pixels. Use your brand logo.
- Header photo should be 1500×1500 pixels
- Optimize posts for mobile use
- Have your Twitter handle relevant to your brand. As much as possible, use your company name.
- Keep your business bio short but memorable
- Add your website and location
- Pin announcements
Always consider social media profiles as an extension of your brand identity. Nobody else handles the way it looks. So, if it looks unprofessional, you can’t blame anyone else.
Step 4 – How to grow your followers?
Some brands choose to buy fake accounts. But, don’t do that – you are beyond cheating. What you can do is invest in social promotions through paid advertisements. Here are some ideas:
- Instagram Hashtag
- Referral promotion
- Photo and other content-based contests
Step 5 – What should be your brand tone
Brand voice depends on your target audience. Some may like passionate and quirky, while others prefer a light and sarcastic tone. Don’t forget to consider your brand identity, as well. If you sell luxury items, you wouldn’t want to post memes or satire.
Step 6 – How to make a social media calendar?
Managing several accounts is an overwhelming task. Good thing you can use social media calendar. It is the most convenient and simplest way to keep track of what needs go out. It’s okay to use a simple Excel file or Google sheet but you can always use free social content calendar templates:
- Hubspot’s Social Media Content Calendar Template
- CoSchedule’s 2020 Social Media Content Calendar
- Small Business Trends’ Social Media Calendar Template for Small Business
Step 7 – How to Search for influencers?
Love them or hate them, social media influencers are here to stay. To find them, you can use online tools like Influence and Upfluence. They have an extensive influencer database that you can filter based on what you need. You can sort by the number of followers, locations, and niche.
Step 8 – How to create valuable social media content?
Publishing the same product from different angles over and over again is dull. For some inspiration, you can stalk your competitor. Check their recent posts and see which ones have the highest number of likes and comments. If you a more in-depth report, you can use Buzzsumo or Social Animal.
Step 9 – When do you hit the publish button
Timing is everything with publishing social media posts. According to Hubspot’s report, you should post on Facebook at 12PM EST if you are a B2C brand. Only release on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. B2B should be anywhere from 9AM to 2PM EST, from Tuesday to Thursday.
For Instagram posts, Oberlo suggests during lunchtime and after work. For Twitter, it should be only from 12PM to 1PM.
Social media platforms have their own analytics. You can use the provided data to review when your followers go online. For instance, on Facebook have Insights. You will find essential metrics like when your fans are online. You can also review post-performance, including reach and engagement.
Step 10 – How to track your results?
If you don’t track social media posts, how will you know if it’s effective or not? A simple way to do so is to use the Urchin Tracking Module or UTM in short. You can use it to track traffic going to your website.
Step 11 – Can I automate my social media posts?
There’s no reason not to. Many expert social media managers and marketers use automation tools all the time. Do you want to know why? It saves time, energy, effort, and sanity. Hootsuite is an automated social media scheduler. With a professional account, you’ll enjoy managing up to 10 social profiles. If it is not enough, you can opt for the team plan, which gives you 20 social profiles and three users.
Social media for businesses is different than personal use. There are rules and strategies that you should consider and follow. You can use our 11-template social media marketing plan to help you jumpstart your online presence.