How to Create a Social Media Plan for Your Business
Creating a Social Media Plan for your business is crucial, it will help you manage your time and resources more efficiently and hopefully grow your sales and revenue.
According to the Digital 2020 report from Hootsuite and We Are Social, there are currently 3.8 billion active social media users globally, nearly half the world's population. That's why more than ever, social media is a key channel in your marketing strategy.
In this article, we will guide you through all the elements of a social media strategy.
Let's get it started!
1. External Analysis
To create an effective social media strategy you have to take into consideration the overall business and marketing strategy, this will help you define the role of each of your social media channels and how each one of them will contribute to the achievement of the overall business goals.
At this stage, you should take into account:
Company 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.
You may be wondering why you should conduct a market 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.
Make a list of your 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, like Facebook with the Facebook Ads Library, Twitter in the Transparency Center section and the ads tab on a LinkedIn Page.
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 you can use to define your strategy later. Running a competitive analysis may help you find market gaps that you can work on to better position your business
2. Current Situation Analysis
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 (how much you are paying for conversion), etc.
At this stage, it is also important to do a social media sentiment analysis, as this will help you gather insights on your brand reputation and feelings people have about your brand on social media.
If you can't afford to invest on 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 to create an alert for your brand's name.
While the PEST analysis will give you insights on your market/industry, the SWOT analysis will help you take a deep look into your business.
Use this exercise to think about your business's strengths and weaknesses (internal factors), as well as the opportunities or threats that may impact it (external factors).
If you have never come across a SWOT analysis before, take a look into this great article from WordStream on how to do a SWOT analysis.
3. Target Audience
Create Buyer Personas
Create buyer personas to better understand your target audience. Each buyer persona should represent one segment of your target audience and be based on real data.
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 improvement, that you can use for your social media strategy.
4. Creating a Successful Social Media Strategy
At this point, you have gathered a lot of information to give you a better understanding of your industry, competitors, target audience and brand. Now, you are ready to start creating a successful social media strategy.
Set Your Social Media Goals
Your social media goals should be aligned with your overall business and marketing goals. At this stage, it is important to define what you want to accomplish with social media and define the role each social media channel will play.
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, 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.
Define Your Social Media Strategy & Tactics
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.
5. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
How will you measure success? Define 1 or 2 KPIs for each goal, and for each tactic define 1 to 3 metrics.
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. This 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 that is aligned with the company's mission and business goals.
Define the role of social media to achieve your marketing goals. Think about what strategies you'll use to meet each one of your goals and 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 2020 social media plan?