Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Clear goals and measurable objectives are crucial to creating your social media plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, and I know you don't want to fail.
Starting Your Plan
Your social media plan should be an extension of your marketing plan. It is best to be clear about your brand personality, purpose, vision, mission, and values when you start.
If you do not have a clear core message to convey, and a personality to match, you will be off on the wrong foot. And it will show throughout your social media posts.
Track Your Numbers
Once you have your brand strategy in place (what I was alluding to above), create a tracking sheet. You want to keep track of your current metrics (i.e., followers) right now. Tracking will let you know if you are making improvements over time.
It would be best if you did this for each social media channel you are on month-over-month.
Conduct a Competitive Audit
Check out 3-5 businesses doing about 30% better than you are and ask yourself:
How many people are following them?
What channels are they using, and do you see a definitive trend?
What type of information are they sharing with their followers?
See what is really working for them. Use your competitors' tactics as inspiration for yours. But also find ways to stand out from them.
Be Clear About Your Audience
To reach more people, determine the audience you want to attract to your company. I know you want everyone to like you, but a gunshot approach to social media marketing is horrible!
Think about your ideal client (one person) and create content for them. What do they want to know about your business and services?
How can you address their wants, desires, and fears?
Communicating with Your Clients
Create content that aligns with your brand's personality. Bringing a personality to that table will increase your chances of connecting to your audience emotionally. And it is all about the emotional connection.
You also want to use social media to prime prospects to buy from you. Every piece of content you create should have a job that supports your business goals.
Social Media Channel Selection
Secure your name on all the most popular social media channels. But only promote yourself and remain active on one social media platform in the beginning.
Master using that one channel and then become active on another, especially if you have a small team. And only promote yourself on the number of social media channels you or your team can manage.
Also, check out the chart below for the best channels to start with based on your industry.
Creating an Editorial Calendar
Social media marketing is a brand awareness activity. In driving brand awareness, you need to let people know:
Who you are and your values
The services you offer and the benefits of those services
What you do and why it is important to your potential clients
That you are informed about your subject matter to build trust
That you can solve their problems by providing small wins from how-to content
Outcomes they can have working with you and what happens if they do not work with you.
On social media, you want to create a schedule for this type of content. Sell 20% of the time, and provide value 80% of the time.
Once people know you are the one to turn to for real advice and real solutions, they will trust you. But just like any friendship, trust takes time.
And just like any great friendship, make sure to have fun with the people who follow you. Be silly and open up from time to time.
And consider relevant holidays, both official and fun. Observance-focused social media posts will help align your brand with new audiences. It will also generate more social media engagement.
How often to post? Aim for 3x a week, at least.
Implementing a social media plan can increase brand awareness. It can also occasionally bring in new leads (more if you go live).
If anything, social media is a great way to remain top of mind with prospects. Do your best, and don't get discouraged.
It can take two years or more to see real traction with your social media account if you are not relatively famous or well known.