Social media has taken over the internet by a storm. Every campaign that is welcomed on social media, is a hit everywhere else. Almost every individual you meet is using social media on a day-to-day basis already. And why not? The advantages are huge and it offers quality engagement. It also offers great visibility to both, brands and individuals. And hence, everybody is trying to be the best out here! But how do you do so? Do you invest enough time to create a comprehensive social media marketing plan for your business? Not yet? This post will show you where to start and how to master the craft!
Well, for you to stand out, you need to have a social media marketing plan! And before we get into the details of social media marketing, let us consider a sample plan, to begin with.
Ideal Social Media Marketing Plan Features
The basic goal behind any marketing plan is to identify your target audience and connect with it. And a social media marketing plan, like that of Dove, is an inspiration for every brand. After all, who doesn’t remember their #SpeakBeautiful campaign and relate to it? Why I stress on Dove as a beautiful sample plan is because it fulfills all the requirements of being one. Right from Goal setting to the execution part, Dove has all of the basics covered. Here’s an analysis as to how it fits in to be an ideal sample social media marketing plan.
1. It Is Aware of Its Target Audience
Dove knows its target audience and strictly abides by it. Any social media plan suggests that you must know your audience before you deliver your plan. Dove has created its buyer’s personas and has a social media plan revolving around it. Knowing the behavior pattern and interests of your audience can help you create the best content. And Dove has been managing to do the same effortlessly. It links its brand values to the audience to be able to create stellar campaigns.
2. It Has Done the Research
One of the biggest strategies that Dove teaches through its campaign, is the need to research. You may know your target audience but until you know their pain-points, what is it that you can address? Dove, hence conducts researches all throughout. While conducting one such research on women issues, it found out that 80% of the women come across negative comments on social media. Based on the values of this research, it was able to set a goal to make social media a positive experience. The researches play an integral role in shaping up your content, and Dove follows it religiously.
3. It Has S.M.A.R.T Goals
Every social media plan must follow specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals. That is, each social media plan must have a purpose attached to it. Dove’s goals are rather simple. Its only motto is to make women feel empowered and good about themselves. The reason why Dove teamed up with Twitter for the SpeakBeautiful Effect. In doing so, it could find the root elements of negative chatter and their occurrence and hence, promote campaigns against it. Speaking of goals, Dove has never ever deviated from the focus behind the brand. The reason why it continues to tell a story that every woman can relate. So if your goals are supposed to be your rulebook, Dove considers them to be the Bible.
4. It Is Aware of Its Current Positioning and Takes Insights Seriously
For every social media marketing plan, there is a lot to learn from the current positioning. According to Dove, the #SpeakBeautiful campaign was a hit since it was used by women over 168,000 times. Not only that, the social media impressions for a campaign as simple as that, is a whopping 800 million and counting. Basically, any brand that keeps a track of its insights and knows where it lies in the market as of today, will only get better with time. Just like Dove outperforms itself with every new campaign.
5. It Has a Consistent and Executable Action Plan
One of the main reasons why brands fail on social media is because they lack a plan. A successful social media strategy like that of Dove is something to learn from. Dove is well aware of its platforms and is consistent in providing the right content to its target audience. The reason why its campaigns are inspirational is that it has a set executable plan for it. It is not wrong to say that Dove is the most consistent brand that caters to women empowerment today. And here’s a video for you to a second.
A Social Media Plan usually consists of the above-stated points, and Dove is one of the best samples indeed. But what if you’ve to make a stellar plan without a lot of efforts? Social Media Marketing Plan Template makes sure that you do!
SMM Template Types
There are different types of template available to create a social media marketing plan. I have mentioned a few of them for you:
1. Social Media Strategy Template
A Social Media Strategy Template enlists the three essentials of any social media business marketing plan. This includes the business objectives, the social media goals and the metrics used. This template helps you assess your social media goals and develop your strategy. It helps you create or improve your profiles and use analytics as and when required. It also helps you understand the best social media outlets for your business. These are available across the internet as a beginner’s guide to a great social media plan.
2. Social Media Audit Template
Social Media Audit involves auditing the current status of your social media plan. This template contains a spreadsheet of your social profiles. It helps you create a mission statement for each profile. It can also connect profiles using passwords. The audit template also ensures that your profiles revolve around your brand. Future campaigns can be restructured and can be created likewise.
3. Editorial Content Calendar
An editorial content calendar can be formed by Google Sheets or Excel Spreadsheets. It is one such Social Media Marketing Plan Template by which you can categorize your content and the time required too. A Content Calendar has details like the title of the content and description of the content. Author details, deadlines, and proper channels to promote your content is also included.
4. Social Media Content Calendar
This template is similar to the editorial calendar but includes social media specifics. One who knows to develop web content knows how important is it to promote it too. Promoting your posts on social media can be planned in advance and hence, this template is of great use. It includes details like post details, the timing of the post, and the platform used. One can schedule his/her promotions using this template. It helps a brand categorize its marketing strategy all throughout. It is going to help a brand assess its poor performing posts. Not only that, a calendar will help you remember your activities. It emits the chance of missing out on any essential information while posting, completely.
5. Template to Bulk-Upload
This social media marketing plan template is a complete time-saver! It solves the major issue of time management while using social media. For any business, it is impossible to upload a lot of messages on different platforms. To solve this issue, platforms like Hootsuite offer a bulk upload option by creating a .csv file. The file must include the date and time in standard format i.e. mm/dd/yyyy and hh:mm. It must also include the message and the URL where it has to be uploaded. These three columns make up the template and offer a great solution. One can bulk-upload a great number of files using them. The best software to use for writing would be NotePad.
6. Social Media Profile Dimensions Template
Every social media platform is different and hence has different dimensions to use. If you want to create a social media marketing plan, you already know the importance of this. Social media profiles run on certain dimensions, failing which your profile loses appeal. To maintain a brand image, one must comply with the rules. Having a social media marketing plan template that suggests the correct dimensions for each platform is hence a must.
7. Social Media Analytics Template
To create a Social Media Marketing Business Plan, one must be aware of the analytics and take care of it. One must measure the return on investment in social media marketing plan thoroughly. You must not forget to track and analyze the same for future use. This template allows you to record your followers, likes, impressions, share and reach. This eventually helps you keep a track of your growth.
Guidelines for an Excellent Social Media Marketing Business Plan
Templates are hence present throughout your Social media marketing plan’s journey. They are there to help you plan, execute, track and publish all your content. Social media marketing plan template is an easier way to carry forward your plans. But is that enough to survive in the market? Certainly not! Every step you take must be well thought of and should not overrule the guidelines. Every plan has overall guidelines attached to it, and so does a social media marketing plan.
1. Do Not Forget to Define Goals
Goals are everything. As mentioned in the sample above, S.M.A.R.T goals are your go-to deal for a social media marketing plan. You must first begin by writing a vision and mission statement for your brands. Have a target set in mind and try to achieve them always. Focus on attainable goals and avoid daydreaming when it comes to social media. Once you start achieving them, there is nothing that can stop you. You can be a gay celebrant promoting community support services in Melbourne or a digital marketing company providing services in India. Whoever you are, your goals must be set before you set your social media marketing business plan.
2. Identify the Target Audience
Your target audience must be your first find during the campaign. Every brand and every product has its own target audience range. If you are able to figure that out, your attempts will be more precise and will have greater outcomes. Your content can be tailor-made depending on the audience you reach out to. Make sure you have campaigns running in and around your target audience. Identify and act towards building your base a little better, every day.
3. Recognize Content Types Compatible with Your Brand
If you are a food brand, snippets of food-making videos or high-quality pictures of food are what you’ll use. If you are a fashion designer, your feed will mostly contain posts of image format. But if you are a career counselor, your posts might contain questionnaires. Similarly, for a blogger, links would be promoted instead. Remember, a comic star can never be a fashionista and vice versa. One has to identify the type of content that best suits them and work on producing the same.
4. Mix and Match Your Marketing Methods
While Content Marketing is undoubtedly a great method of approach. Social Media Influencer Marketing is also creating a buzz. Try figuring out the right influencers for your brand and collaborate with them. Adding a human touch to your brand will always make a greater impact. Mix and match your marketing strategies every now and then. This helps you establish a better conversion rate by adding variety to what you offer.
5. Identify the Right Time to Post
Once you’ve spent time posting for your brand, you can have a better insight into what time works and what doesn’t. There are peak hours for every business on different social media platforms. Research and study about them before launching your content online. Learn to use the time for your benefit and time shall benefit you, likewise.
6. Maintain Social Media Calendars
Follow this without fail. Social media calendars are a check on the consistency of your posts. Nobody trusts a brand unless it is consistent with what it offers. Same is the case with social media. If you’re usually missing out on posts, delaying content and hardly managing your page, you’ll fall into trouble. The only solution to which is maintaining a calendar that reminds you of the same!
7. Do Not Forget to Track and Improvise Your Growth
Can you better yourself, if you don’t keep a check? You can’t, of course! It is not always about action, direction matters equally. So it is very important to note where are you leading with your existing plan. To create a social media plan, you’ve toiled hard. But will it even matter if you don’t track what happens alongside? Hence social media metrics must be used as and when required. You can only focus on improvisations once you know the current worth. Remember that!
This article covers a sample, the templates, and the overall guidelines to create a social media marketing plan. It is a full-fledged guide to launching your brand in social media. Although these are basic necessities, you must not forget to improvise always. Every plan has a scope of improvement. As you learn and grow, you identify them. And as you identify them, do not forget to apply them too!
Bronte Price is Australia’s First Certified Gay Wedding Celebrant. He stands strongly for marriage equality and takes immense pleasure in marrying any couples in love. He has also co-founded The Equality Network to help wedding suppliers create a better wedding experience for LGBTI couples. He is a regular volunteer newsreader at Joy 94.9, and a member of GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organization for Business and Enterprise). Beyond this you will find him either in his organic backyard vegetable garden or taking walks with his fiancée Clint and their four legged fur baby – Bingo.
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