5 steps to building your social media plan

Every business should consider having a plan as social media channels are critical in building image and reaching new customers. There are five key steps every business serious about building their business should think about.

1. What’s the objective?

The starting point for any business is to ask what you want your social media to achieve?

Its role should be part of your wider marketing strategy and how you aim to increase business through promoting your products and services.

Depending on the maturity of your business your objectives are likely to include: increasing awareness, driving new business, improving customer relations and satisfaction or even building a community around a subject area. Once you have your objective keep them saved, this is the starting point for the rest of your plan. If you are unsure whether something is worth doing always link back to the objective and see how much it actually helps you achieve it.

2. Identify your audience

The Chartered Institute of Marketing’s definition of marketing is:

“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying the customer requirements profitably.”

In other words, putting the customers first whilst building profit. To do this you first need to know who are your customers and some of their key traits. You can then build your social media plan around attracting and pleasing the people you can define as your ‘target audience’

Some questions to consider include:

  • How old are they?
  • Gender?
  • Who influences them?
  • What are their interests?
  • Where do they spend their time online?

A key output from these questions should be the clear identification of which social media channels your audience is on and which will make the best return on your investment in posting to them. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn? Every channel has its own benefits; you should know which ones you will focus on.

3. Plan a schedule

Now you know your objective, audience characteristics and which channels your strategy will focus on. Creating a schedule of content is important in building the bigger picture for your social media plan and committing to posting regularly and building a following through social media. It could be a monthly, weekly or even daily schedule with an outlook from 1 month up to 1 year. This will depend on the number of your posts and resource you have for your social media.

Some key considerations to build into your schedule include a variety of content (blog posts, video etc.), content creation planning time and timing.

4. Create and source content

As part of your social media plan you must factor in time to create content. Repurposing content is a smart way to make the most out of any blog or article you create, use snippets of it as multiple social media posts helping to build your pot of useable content. Use online tools such as Canva or Pablo by Buffer to help you create consistent, on-brand posts for your social media accounts or even better get an ask us to create stunning branded templates you can easily edit and use. Having a consistent visual identity shows your business is professional and builds your brand’s identity through your social community.

5. Evaluate and learn

If you use a social media publishing tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite then you can use the built-in analytics showing the performance and reach of your posts. You can also monitor your posts with this simple free spreadsheet. Understanding what is popular and performs best gives you an insight into what you should focus more on and what is working well and what is not.

You also need to make sure the original objective set out is being met and your social media strategy is contributing towards your wider business objectives.

Hopefully these steps are a useful starting point for your social media strategy but if you need guidance developing your social media strategy further or support in creating visually engaging posts then please get in touch and we would be happy to help.

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