How to Create A Social Media Marketing Plan
A wonderful trend I am noticing in some SME businesses I work with is the creation of Digital Marketing roles. The purpose of these roles is to help the business take a more focussed approach to their online presence. When training these new team members on LinkedIn, the conversations often lead to their realisation that to be truly effective in the social online arena, what they really need is a clear content marketing strategy to attract, acquire and engage their organisation’s clients.
My hero platform and specialty is LinkedIn as I view it as professional networking and sales conversion tool, rather than social media. While my training is focussed on LinkedIn, many of the principles I train are concepts that apply to most platforms. As someone who often plays on social media (especially Instagram and Pinterest), I use platforms beyond LinkedIn for my business and they form part of my overall community building plan for Think Bespoke.
Simple and effective content planning tools are not easy to find and so I have developed a series of tools I use with clients. I am often asked for tools and tips for writing a social media marketing plan, so I have done some research to help those Digital Marketers and Marketing Co-ordinators who are currently creating a social media marketing plan for their employer’s business.
Below I have also shared excerpts from an article by Evan LePage on the Hootsuite blog which will help set you up for social media success.
What I found most interesting about Evan’s suggestions were his insights via Hootsuite’s Senior Director of Social Media Jaime Stein, who recommends establishing a content matrix that defines what share of your profile is allocated to different types of posts. For example:
- 50% of your content will drive back to the blog
- 25% of your content will be curated from other source
- 20% of your content will drive enterprise content (a formalized means of organizing and storing an organization’s documents, and other content, that relate to the organization’s processes)
- 5% of your content will be HR and culture
Another useful suggestion is that if you’re unsure of how to allocate your resources, a safe bet is to follow the Social Media Rule of Thirds.
- ⅓ of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
- ⅓ of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
- ⅓ of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brand.
Put simply, every action you take on social networks should be a part of a larger social media marketing strategy.
Evan believes that every Tweet, reply, like and comment should all be guided by a plan and driving towards pre-determined goals. It might sound complicated, but if you take the time to create a comprehensive social media plan, the rest of your social efforts should follow naturally. Everyone can do this if they approach it correctly.
Evan describes a social media marketing plan as the summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business using social networks. This plan should comprise an audit of where your accounts are today, goals for where you want them to be in the near future, and all the tools you want to use to get there.
In general, the more specific you can get with your plan, the more effective you’ll be in its implementation.
Evan suggests you try to keep it concise and don’t make your social media marketing strategy so lofty and broad that it’s unattainable. This plan will guide your actions, but it will also be a measure by which you determine whether you’re succeeding or failing at social media. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure from the outset.
6-step plan for creating your own Social Media Marketing Plan
Here is Evan’s 6-step plan for creating your own Social Media Marketing Plan
- Create social media objectives and goals
- Conduct a Social Media Audit
- Create or improve your social accounts
- Get social media inspiration from industry leaders, competitors, clients
- Create a content plan and editorial calendar
- Test, evaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan
For more details and examples of how Instagram and Hootsuite do this, visit the original blog.
As a storyteller, I help quieter and thoughtful folk communicate better online (and offline). I enjoy the complexity of people and helping others through my coaching, training and online courses.
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