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There is a lot of competition out there to get seen on social media. Every company, big and small, are fighting for their rightful place on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok (I’m obsessed with those Face Zoom videos!) and more. So how can you get your voice heard? Most importantly, how can you reach your audience and develop a relationship with them?
First thing’s first. There is a world of difference between a social media plan and social media tactics, and we shouldn’t get them confused. Here is a way to tell the difference:
Social Media Tactics:
- How often to post
- Bucket your content into themes
- Lead with value
- Heap on those call to actions
- Keep your visuals consistent
- Share your content marketing
These tactics are all super important and relevant, but they are not a social media strategy. Although, once you have your plan in place, they will slot into it very nicely.
Your strategy should simply be a summary of everything you plan to do and achieve on your social media platforms. This will help you form your content and guide your actions. You need to figure out how you can cut through the noise of everyone else’s feeds, and make your posts seen, engaged with, and shared.
A killer (and clear) social media strategy can help you achieve this. We’re not talking about sharing a load of funny GIFs and memes (although a cat playing piano never gets old), or randomly sharing something on one of those weird “holidays.” What we mean is a strategic plan that will help your brand grow with amazing planned out content and tracking tools. Your social media content should be about engaging and connecting first and selling second.
When you have a social media content plan in place, it will allow you to focus on engagement and respond to your audience – who will hopefully become your customer! Social media is a relationship tool. It allows you to share your values with customers, and have actual conversations with them.
What Should Be In Your Social Media Plan?
Social media is an important part of your marketing plan. If you want it to be effective, then you need to do it right. And this is where a bulletproof social media strategy comes in.
Building a strong social media presence and reaching (and ideally engaging) your ideal customer is the objective here. You don’t need to be on EVERY social media platform to do this – and goodness knows there is a lot of them out there. Once you have done some research and figured out which platforms best suit you and your customers, then you can get started on a plan.
It’s not a one size fits all jumper! Just because TikTok works for a super cool clothing brand, doesn’t mean should work for you. Figure out what works and stick to it.
Your social media should focus on the 4 e’s:
Understand Your Audience
Before you can start planning your content, you need to understand your audience. Getting to know who they are and what they want will also help you understand what your goals and objectives should be.
Social media analytics can provide you with lots of information about your audience, including age, sex, location, and lots more. You can use engagement methods such as polls and question stickers to get even more information on your audience. All of this will help you create a strategy that will not only deliver content specifically for your ideal audience, but engagement and nurturing that can lead to conversions (ding!)
Have you considered social listening?
Social listening is a way to understand not only your customer but also your competition. It is the process of researching and analyzing data from social media platforms on a certain topic. It allows you to dig deeper and understand the conversation happening around that topic right now.
Different Content For Different Platforms
Remember how we said that social media isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing? Well, neither should your content be.
The benefit of having different social media platforms is that you can provide specific content for each one – all with the same objectives of course.
When you decide which platforms to use, you need to define your strategy for each. For example, behind the scenes and tutorials will always work best for Instagram, Stories, and Snapchat, while Twitter is an excellent tool for customer service for your brand. LinkedIn is a great way to share business-related insights and company news.
Set Up A Great Profile
Why is your social media profile so important?
It tells your customers:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Where you are
- A snippet of your values or mission statement
It encourages your customers to:
- Engage with you
- Go to your website
Every social platform is a little different with their profile set-up, so make sure your profile adapts to their requirements.
A few tips: Be consistent! Keep your wording and your brand message consistent and clear. Include keywords that your audience is looking for. Add hashtags if relevant. Use high-quality images in your profile pic that adhere to the platforms sizing regulations.
Plan Out Your Content
Planning out your social media content is KEY to a brilliant social media plan. It can also save you loads of stress and creativity blocks, as you can plan out your content a week, or even months at a time. When your content is planned, it allows you to focus on engagement and get a clear idea of what is and isn’t working.
When adding to your plan, ask yourself: How often should I post? What time should I post? How much should I post? What should I post?
These questions can be easily answered by following the steps we have already outlined.
Create content buckets to help you plan out your content. You can either create content buckets around categories of information, for example our buckets might include social media, SEO, marketing strategy etc or you can create content buckets based on types of content such as:
- Customer testimonials
- Behind the scenes
- Sharing other people’s content
If you can think of 5 different ideas for each of these groups, then you already have 40 ideas for your plan!
Do a Social Media Audit
This sounds much scarier than it is – we promise! A social media audit is something to consider if you already have some platforms up and running, or if you want to see how your content is working out if you have just started.
It is simply a way of measuring what is working for you, and what isn’t. We recommend tracking your post engagement and number of followers as a minimum and look at your statistics at least once a month.
Once you have this information, you will be able to regroup and consider ways in which you can improve. It might also show you that not every platform works for you. If that is the case, then don’t be afraid to just focus on the ones that do.
Make sure you complete an audit of each of your social platforms. Look for engagement, shares, comments, metrics, what your most popular content is, what your competition is doing.
Include your Google Analytics data in your audit as well. Which social channels are driving the most traffic to your website?
Once you have your audit in place, you will get a much clearer idea of what content is working for your customer. This will also make it much easier to create your next content plan.
Your social media plan is there to help you and your business grow. Understanding your business goals and objectives is KEY to creating a successful plan. Start with your social media goals first, how they benefit your business, and only then can you understand what your social media goals should be.