When I tell people that I work in social media, they’re usually excited to hear more.
THEN I say that I create social media marketing plans and strategies for clients, and I can see their eyes glaze over.
Yep, I quite literally SEE it.
People hear social media and they think ‘cool!’
..And then I mention strategy and it’s like I’ve told them that I’m throwing a party but there’s no alcohol.
The truth is, though?
If you’re a business looking for traction with your socials, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best won’t get you very far.
If you REALLY want to nail your efforts in 2018, you need to create a social media marketing plan to set you up for success.
Here are the six steps that I follow when putting together a plan to set a client up for social media success.
STEP ONE: SET BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
Step one of a social media marketing plan is to decide on your business objectives.
In other words, what are the overarching business goals you want to achieve in 2018?
It’s SO important to list them out before you dive into social because without them, you’re kind of just rolling out social media for social media’s sake.
It will look different for every business, but here are a few examples:
- Increase Market Share
- Increase online sales
- Increase brand awareness
- Gain authority in your field
Once you’re clear on which of these you’re going for, make sure you break it down.
“By 31 December 217, I want to increase the market share for my business by 20%”.
STEP TWO: GET YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS SORTED
This is where you set measurable social media goals to help you to achieve your overall business objectives.
There are two parts to this – setting the goal, and having a way to measure it.
At this point in your plan it’s important to remember that social media is a conversation starter, NOT a deal closer.
As such, the end goal for your social media marketing plan will ALWAYS be to get your followers off social media and into a platform that you own (for example, your email list or your website) so that you can ultimately sell to them.
The most common social media goals are, in order:
- Grow following
- Engage following
- Grow website traffic
- Grow email list
- Secure sale
When you’re starting out, it makes sense that your social media goal is to grow your followers – without them, you can’t start moving them up the funnel and closer to a sale right?!
Once you’ve got followers, it’s important to know that they enjoy the social media content you are producing, so having an engaged following is a worthy goal.
And once you’ve achieved a level of success in relation to points one and two, I would recommend reaching higher and going after the social media goals that will ultimately get your business closer to your business objectives.
THOSE goals are related to growing your website traffic, email list and leads/sales.
It’s important that as part of your social media marketing plan you are measuring your progress in relation to each of these goals.
I recommend having a document and each week setting aside 15 minutes in your diary to TRACK this.
Here’s how to measure each of the above:
- For growing your following: Simply record the increase in followers/likes from the week before.
- For having an engaged audience: Record the reach (ie the number of people seeing your posts in their newsfeed) and engagement (ie the number of people liking, commenting on and sharing your posts) numbers in your Facebook Insights, Instagram analytics or other relevant social media analytics section.
- For growing your website traffic: Record the amount of traffic coming from social media via your Google Analytics
- For email growth: Record the increase in email subscribers from the previous week.
- For sales/leads: Set up goals in your Google Analytics to track the people who have signed up or made a sale from social media.
STEP THREE: KNOW WHO YOUR IDEAL CLIENT IS AND WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO
This is CRITICAL to know when putting together your social media marketing plan.
Yet once again though, it’s one thing that makes people go UGH when I mention it to them. It sounds like marketing jargon, I get that.
There’s a reason that it’s so important though, and that’s because without it you can’t:
a) work out where to focus your Social Media efforts; or
b) know what content to deliver, and how to deliver it.
So, write down ONE person you want to target with your product or your service. Sure, there may be others but there should be ONE main person in mind when you think of the perfect client or customer for your thing.
Note their age, sex, their interests, everything you can about them.
Only THEN can you move forward.
Firstly, decide on the right social media channels for you by heading over to the Sensis Report and checking out where your ideal client type is hanging out online.
This report gives you data on exactly which people use which platforms, and allows you to know for certain where to best direct your efforts.
If you’re already active on some platforms, I’d also recommend diving into your insights to see if the followers you’ve already got match the ideal client you have written down.
If you’re on Facebook, jump into your Facebook Insights and see who the key demographic is in terms of your followers. Does it match the ideal client you wrote down? If so, GREAT – you’re on the right track with your content.
If it doesn’t – or even worse, if there isn’t a clear demographic standing out – it may mean that your social media content efforts are a little all over the place and it’s a sign to make sure that you’re speaking to that ONE ideal client when rolling out your 2018 social media marketing plan.
STEP FOUR: PUT TOGETHER YOUR CONTENT PLAN
A killer social media marketing plan all comes down to killer content.
Wondering what to post?
If you’re a service-based business, my recommendation is that 75% of your content helps, adds value and/or showcases your brand personality and that 25% of your content promotes your service.
If you’re a product based business, I recommend 75% product push and 25% brand personality.
STEP FIVE: TACTICS
The final step of your social media marketing plan is to decide on the tactics that you want to use in order to reach the business objectives and social media goals outlined in points one and two.
There are a million different tactics that social media marketers use in their social media marketing plans, but in my experience these are the five that are usually the most effective.
a) Content Marketing
Content Marketing is producing helpful, valuable content that to attract your ideal client to you.
Basically, it’s the exact opposite of the traditional approach to marketing, which centred around telling your customer all about how great you are and not-so-subtly trying to, ahem, persuade (see also: force) them to buy your services.
And, it goes a step further than simply posting on social.
It requires effort, and hard work.
You might decide to write blog posts if writing is your strength, or to produce podcasts if you enjoy audio, or create videos if that’s something you are good at.
Whichever format you choose to take, you need to consistently commit to producing quality content to promote via your socials as a way of attracting your ideal client to you.
b) Facebook Advertising
If you’re not going all in on Facebook ads in 2018, you’re gonna regret it.
It’s still cost effective enough to bring massive results for very little spend if you get it right (hint: boosting a post isn’t getting it right).
c) Collaborations / Influencers
If you want growth on social as part of your 2018 social media marketing plan, you need to leverage off others. Full stop.
For product-based businesses, the very best way to do this is using Influencers. If you are a product business – e-commerce in particular – and you aren’t using them, you need to get on it yesterday.
For service businesses, the equivalent is collaboration. It’s finding businesses with similar audiences but which are non-competing and finding a way to work with them so you can leverage off their following.
Running competitions is a great way to achieve ‘super’ growth when implemented correctly.
Socialise and interact with other accounts for 15 – 20 minutes a day.
On Instagram, genuinely comment if you like their stuff. Follow people you come across in the right target audience.
On Facebook, get active in Facebook groups.
The important thing when it comes to all things social media is to start with a goal and then break it DOWN.
Put it into a social media marketing plan complete with tactics, roll it out CONSISTENTLY every single day, measure how it is going and then FINALLY make any changes required along the way.
Honestly, that’s IT.
The secret sauce to social media success.
It’s that simple, and that hard. Because it IS hard work – social doesn’t work unless you do.