Bringing your brand online is always a brilliant idea. As an amazing place to showcase your businesses, services, products, and more, social media could come to play a huge part in the growth and overall success of your business. But to do it right? You’ll definitely be needing a social media plan.
Why you need a social media plan
When it comes to marketing a brand over social media, there tends to be three types of people; let’s refer to them as ‘The Enthusiast’, ‘The Worrier’, and ‘The Planner’.
The Enthusiast, is someone who’s literally leaping at the chance to get started on social media. This person is well accustomed to posting the occasional ‘gram’, likes a classic #ThrowbackThursday post, and is pretty confident when it comes to social media. And while we applaud their enthusiasm (who could not), more often than not this ‘do now, think later’ approach is often not sustainable.
The Worrier, on the other hand, is a stark contrast to our previous personality. While they realise the importance of getting their brand online, they’re a little too concerned with going wrong. Overwhelmed by the pressure and quantity of content they’ll need to be producing (and who can blame them), The Worrier will either continue to move this job further and further down their to-do list, or get started in an overly cautious manner. As a result, their social media presence is unlikely to make much of an impact, or drum up much of a following.
And finally, we have The Planner. The Planner, of course, takes a few moments to think seriously about strategy, company goals, overall objectives, and how they can begin to really make a difference online. With the necessary thought and organisation The Planner is the most likely to succeed out of all three personality types. Let’s take a look at how The Planner would approach things…
How to make a social media plan in 4 key steps
Define goals and objectives
It’s important to think about your brand and what you want to achieve overall; perhaps it’s to increase sales, improve customer retention, or just raise brand awareness. Whatever the goal, you need to define this before you beginning planning out your content. Only once you’ve explored your company objectives can you move onto creating your content strategy by using your targets as an anchor to focus and drive your content marketing efforts.
Do your research
Another incredibly important step in creating a social media content calendar plan is to do your research, especially by identifying your ideal customer persona. You need to know who you’re trying to target, what they’re interested in, what content they enjoy, and how to get their attention. Check out this article from Medium for advice on target audience analysis.
A great way to get some inspiration for content, and work out what your audience might enjoy is also to do a little snooping on the competition. What content are they creating, and how much engagement do they get? There’s nothing wrong with taking a leaf out of your competitor’s books; you stand to learn from their successes and mistakes.
Choose content themes
Once you’re educated in terms of objectives and research, it’s time to get a little more creative. If you’re looking to market a specific product you might want to include promotional content in your social media plan. If it’s appropriate for your brand, you might also consider themes such as news sharing, blog sharing, company updates, team activity, etc. The research on your competition will be particularly handy when it comes to working out your content themes, and is sure to have gotten the creative juices flowing.
Once you have defined your content themes you’ll then be able to define the frequency of these posts within a week. With multiple content themes, you’ll be able to craft a content plan with variety and interest (because trust us, nobody loves a load of repetitive self-promo).
Analyse and adjust
And finally, if you’re really looking to nail your social media plan, you need to be willing to look back on your content performance. In particular, you’ll want to see which content receives the most engagement to determine your strongest and weakest content themes. You could do this manually, from within the social media platform, or by making use of a content calendar tool such as ContentCal and ContentCal Analytics.
We’re all human, and everybody needs to start somewhere so it’s natural to make adjustments to your social media plan as you go. It is the ability to learn and adapt that will help you improve your content for the future, and strengthen your online presence as a result. And if you need a little help staying organised? ContentCal is a great Hootsuite alternative that’ll make content planning a breeze.
Find the above helpful? Download our free back to basics ebook on creating your 2018 content marketing strategy for more top-class advise