How to Create a Social Media Plan for Your Business
Learn how to create a successful social media strategy plan with this step-by-step guide.
According to the Digital 2020 report, there are currently 3.8 billion active social media users globally, nearly half the world's population.
Having a social media presence has become crucial for brands and businesses to reach younger generations.
However, having a successful social media presence is not an easy task. That's why it is so important to have a social media strategic plan.
When starting a social media strategy plan, it's crucial that you start by assessing your organisation.
As shown in the image on the left, start by analysing your business mission and goals before jumping into the definition of social media tactics.
Why? Each of your social media channels should contribute to the overall achievement of your business goals.
Social Media Marketing Plan Steps
In this article, you will guide through 10 steps to create a social media marketing plan:
Initial Assessment and Analysis
Step 1. Take note of your company's mission, vision and values
Note down your company's mission, vision and values. This information will be useful later on, especially at the content planning and creation stages, helping you adapt the content to the company's values and define the correct tone of voice.
If you'd like to read more about a brand's tone of voice, check this article from the Nielsen Norman Group about The Four Dimensions of Tone of Voice.
Step 2. Conduct an External Analysis
You may be wondering why you should conduct an external analysis to create a social media plan. It's simple! It will give you the big picture of your business environment, help you detect new opportunities that you could explore via your social media channels, as well as potential treads to your business.
Here at Strategy Pixel, we like to perform a PESTEL analysis at this stage, looking at Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal factors.
Step 3. Analyse and Benchmark Your Competitors
Make a list of your top competitors and analyse their social media activity. Take notes of what channels they are using, how many followers they have, what type of content they publish and how frequently.
Furthermore, see if they are running ads. Some platforms let you check this information directly. For Facebook, check the Ads Library, for Twitter, check the Transparency Centre and on LinkedIn, check the ads tab.
Also, some tools can help you with this analysis. For example, Fanpage Karma an online tool for social media analytics and monitoring.
For additional options, check this article from Buffer on 27 Paid and Free Social Media Analytics Tools.
This step will give you a lot of information that will help you with your strategic planning. Running a competitive analysis may help you find market gaps that you can work on to better position your business.
Step 4. Assess the current state of your social media channels
Take note of all your social media stats: followers, engagement, top content, etc. If you're running ads, analyse metrics such as cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, cost per acquisition, etc.
At this stage, it is also important to do a social media sentiment analysis. It will help you gather insights on your brand reputation and the feelings people have about your brand on social media.
If you can't afford to invest in a social media sentiment analysis tool, do a quick check by reading through people's comments on your social channels, as well as "Google" your brand and check reviews or comments on user-generated content platforms or forums.
Another option is to try a social media sentiment analysis tool that offers a free limited plan. For example, Mention offers a free plan for 1 alert across 3 social accounts. You can try it out by creating an alert for your brand's name.
Step 5. Define Your Target Audience
Start by analysing the 'Audience' section of your Google Analytics account. If possible, apply a 'converters' segment. So you get filtered data from your actual customers.
Then, check the analytics section of all your social media channels. This information will give you insights into your followers.
Lastly, take a look into relevant reports for your industry. Speak to your customer service team. Read through the comments section of your blog, social media channels, forums, etc.
Once you've gathered all of this information, you'll be ready to create buyer personas. Each buyer persona should represent one segment of your target audience.
Step 6. Create a Customer Journey Map
Check our post on how to create a Customer Journey Map for your business.
For each stage of the customer journey, analyse your client's actions and touchpoints (all points of contact your clients have with your brand).
Note down your customers' sentiment and pain points at each stage to uncover opportunities for your social media strategy.
Step 7. Conduct an Internal Analysis
While the PEST analysis will give you insights into your market/industry, the SWOT analysis will help you take a deep look into your business.
Use this exercise to think about your strengths and weaknesses (internal factors), as well as the opportunities or threats (external factors).
If you have never come across a SWOT analysis before, take a look at this great article from WordStream on how to do a SWOT analysis.
Step 8. Set SMART Goals
What do you want to accomplish?
Set 2/3 goals and make sure they're SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-framed.
For example, you may want to increase your social media traffic to the website by 15% and sales by 10% in the first quarter.
Let's imagine you run a fashion brand. You may use Facebook and Instagram to promote your brand through regular posts and ads. Twitter as your customer care hub. Pinterest to attract people actively looking for outfit inspiration and Reddit to build a community, the list goes on.
Once you have defined each social media channel mission, set 2/3 goals for each one.
Step 9. Define Your Social Media Strategy & Tactics
How will you achieve your goals?
Here at Strategy Pixel, we always advise our clients to take a full-funnel approach when it comes to strategy definition.
Now is the time to define channel-specific campaigns for each stage of the customer journey: awareness, consideration, acquisition, service, and loyalty. Think about the solutions that would solve your potential client's pain points.
Step 10. Set KPIs To Evaluate Performance
How will you measure success?
Define 1 or 2 KPIs for each goal, and for each tactic define 1 to 3 metrics.
For example, if your KPI is brand awareness you can define as metrics the share of voice (SOV) and sentiment analysis (% positive, % negative and % neutral).
The first step to build a successful social media strategy is to analyse your overall marketing strategy, which should be a great source of information about your market, business, competitors and target audience.
Combining all this information with social media stats and analytics will give you the right insights to build a social media strategy aligned with your company's mission and business goals.
Specify the role of each social media channel to achieve your marketing goals. Think about what strategies you'll use to meet each one of your goals. Then, break it down into specific tactics.
Lastly, define how you'll measure success by selecting relevant KPIs and metrics.
Are you ready to start your social media plan?