Agencies have gotten wise to the fact that social media can be an effective marketing platform. Better yet—it’s a low- to no-cost endeavor, except for the time you’ll need to invest. Creating social media plans will likely be your biggest investment of time, but once the plan is implemented, you’ll find it can be easy to maintain, especially if you’re consistent.
Why are Social Media Plans Necessary?
Like any type of marketing, it’s not exactly wise to go in blind and hope that your attempts at selling are successful. Social media will have a much better chance at working when you have a well-crafted plan in place. Some of the biggest reasons for social media marketing failure include:
- Inconsistency in your social media use
- Failure to bring your values and brand into your social media
- Not understanding how each platform works and who uses it
Planning can help avert this. Just like writing a schedule for your employees or a set of guidelines for workplace behavior, having social media plans gives you a roadmap—which makes it easier to stay on track and increase your potential for social media marketing success.
Related: Developing A Content Strategy Across Social Media Networks
4 Steps to Building A Social Media Plan
Social media plans should look at a few basic things. Here are four steps you can take to create a social media marketing plan:
Step One: Determine your goals
Every marketing plan starts by looking at goals. What is it you hope to accomplish by using social media? Are you looking for leads? Increased sales? Determining what customers want? Discovering consumer pain points? Start looking at the potential social media has, and what you want to use it for. Once you have a clear picture in place, you can take the next step.
Step Two: Get clear on your platforms
Who has the account information? What accounts do you have? What accounts should you have? Think of this step as an audit—a way to get everything lined up and in place. Some of the things it’s helpful to research are the demographics of each platform and where your potential leads and consumers are. Look at which accounts already exist in your company, and who has access, and which you still need to sign up for. Also try to figure out how your audience is using the platform. Come up with clear and concise goals for each platform and how you want to use it.
Related: Content Marketing & Social Media: Are You Doing It Right?
Step Three: Brainstorm ideas
Before you start posting and engaging, it’s essential to have some ideas. How are you going to design effective campaigns? How will you intertwine the platforms along with your website and blog? How often are you going to start new campaigns? Start doing some research on how the most popular and successful companies in your industry use social media effectively. What has been the most successful? Draw out what makes you unique and add it as your special element that allows you to stand out from the crowd. Bring your brand, identity, and mission into everything you do. You should maintain image consistency across the board. Bring multiple brains into the process, and work together to collaborate and fine-tune each idea.
Related: Are You Making These Common Social Media Mistakes?
Step Four: Make an editorial calendar
Before you kick off your social media plan, you’ll want a calendar in place, which will help keep you on target and consistent. Have the who, what, and when determined ahead of time. Plus, decide when you’ll make a calendar for the next cycle, as well as how often you'll sit down and discuss data, what's working, what's not, and new goals and ideas. Look at general guidelines for frequency for each platform, and start there. Make sure while the plan is in play to keep watch over the results, data, and analytics—that way you can make minor tweaks as you go.
Related: The Art of Posting: How to Plan a Social Media & Blog Content Strategy
The Benefits of Consistent Social Media Plans
Consistently posting to social media with a plan has numerous beneficial results, including:
- Your brand will become more familiar to your audience
- Your stats will improve
- You’ll be able to engage more with your audience, grow your following, and create a social media presence
- You’ll improve your social media skills
- You can become an authority in your field, and a go-to resource
Social media can be a powerful marketing tool for agencies in today’s world. The more well-thought-out your plan is, the higher your chance for success. To learn more, check out our white paper, "How to Build A Profitable Content Creation Agency."