7 Steps to Creating a Social Media Marketing Plan

A new business owner wants to promote her brand. She just launched a beautiful website, and with the help of a few key employees, she’s consistently adding helpful articles to her blog.

But she’s dreading the missing piece. The part she knows how to use personally, but can’t figure out how to make it work for her business.

The missing piece is social media.

If you are like this new business owner, you are not alone.

Social media is comfortable and easy to use when you’re documenting your life and sharing family photos with your family and friends.

But when it comes to using it to promote your business and build a customer following, most people get lost. What you need is a plan.

Why a Social Media Plan?

The key to conquering anything that seems overwhelming is to develop a plan for it. If you’re armed with a social media plan for your business, you’ll understand what you want to do, when you’re going to do it, and how you’ll accomplish your goals. When you have a social media plan, most of the decisions will be made. All you have to do is execute.

I create a social media plan for every client whose social media I manage.

I truly believe having a social media plan for your business will make your life easier, so I’m going to share my plan with you.

My 7 Step Social Media Plan

Here are my steps for creating a social media plan for your business.

Step 1: Identify Your Goals

Your first step is to decide what you want to accomplish. Why are you on social media? How do you want it to benefit your business?

Maybe you want to educate your customers on your products and services. Maybe you want to help your customers understand a complicated concept or a trend in your industry.

Chances are, you’ll want to promote your brand and be known as a trusted resource.

Some businesses want to drive traffic to their website, increase conversation and engagement, or gather email addresses.

Ultimately, most of us may have a goal of selling our product or service.

Take a few moments and document four or five goals you have for your social media accounts. Be sure they align with your overall business objectives.

Step 2: Know Your Target Audience

You won’t be effective if you write your social media posts for everyone. But you will be effective if you write them for who will need it most.

Who is most likely to benefit from your products or services? Consider their age, education level, gender, location and language.

You probably identified your target audience when you started your business. Have a mental picture of an individual who possesses the qualities of your target audience, and write your content for him or her.

Step 3: Choose your social media outlet

You don’t have to be everywhere. Instead, do a good job with just a few networks. Research the demographics of each social media outlet. Does your target audience fall into that demographic? Consider the type of business you have and the type of content you generate. If you use a lot of photos or videos for example, you may want to consider having a presence on Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube, if that is also where your target market it.

Step 4: Decide how often you will post

Set a realistic expectation about how often you will be present on social media. Consider your audience, and which days and times you are most likely to reach them. If you are a B2C company, don’t rule out evenings and weekends.

Step 5: Brainstorm the post types

There are many types of social media posts you could use to promote your brand. Consider video, giveaways, a link to your e-newsletter, or trivia questions. You could also recognize a customer, provide weekly tips, or promote your own sale.

Refer back to the goals you established in step one for the type of posts that would best benefit your business.

Step 6: Create an editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is a schedule of your content for a defined period of time. Planning your social media posts a month in advance will keep you organized, accountable and will ensure you have a presence on social media when you get busy.

Step 7: Stay consistent

Once you’ve developed a plan, it’s important to repeat the steps every month. This will help you meet your goals, and ensure that you have a regular voice on your social media channels.

Being consistent proves you are reliable, dependable, and do what you say you are going to do.

So if social media strategy is the missing piece in your marketing efforts, take a few minutes and develop a plan. Set your goals, know your audience, decide on an outlet and frequency, develop a calendar, and stay consistent.

Make social media work for you, and enjoy the engagements, leads and customers that will follow.

If you need help developing your social media plan, don’t hesitate to contact me. To stay in touch, please join my email list below: