Blog Cover - 5 Steps for your social media plan
5 min read

5 Steps for Your Social Media Plan

It’s no secret that social media can be one of the most important aspects in digital marketing. The possibility is there for you to reach thousands, hundreds of thousands, and in some cases, millions of customers outside your standard contact lists.  The benefits can include brand awareness, growing SEO, increasing website traffic, and gaining new prospects to turn into sales. In order to achieve these benefits however, it takes a plan, content, and doesn’t happen overnight. Creating a plan and content can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be.  Using these 6 simple tips, you can start on the road to success to reach new potential customers, build your brand awareness and drive new sales.

1 Have a written plan.

Writing out your plan doesn’t have to be complicated.  Start by writing out your goals and objectives. The goals should be detailed, measurable and attainable.  While growing your followers and having people like your posts is good, the real measure comes from engagement traffic to your website and turning followers into new customers.

2 Know your audience.

Having a large number of followers is great, but if those followers are not in your target audience, then all your efforts are for naught, as your goals will not be met.  Knowing your audience is vital to any marketing plan, and social media can provide you with some great insights through analytics.  Take the time to use the analytics available through the social media platforms and ensure that your audience meets the demographics of your customer base.  If you are selling legal software, and the majority of your followers are in a different industry, then chances are, you are not going they will become customers no matter how much content you provide.  Proceed with extreme caution when using apps to increase your followers, as you many of these provide automatic follow backs.  The last thing you want, is to end up following or gain followers with questionable backgrounds.

3 Determine content and messaging.

When determining messaging and content there are a few factors to consider. One goes back to knowing your audience, and another revolves around the products or services you are offering.  Selling in the legal vertical, your audience is going to be educated, however you are the expert for the services or products your company offers. Identifying pain points and letting your audience you understand and empathize with them opens the door to offer the solutions.

The phrase “content is king” has been around for years, and still holds true. Creating a variety of content can allow for reengaging contacts, increased traffic to your website, building relationships, establishing yourself as an expert in your field, and more.  Your content should be aligned with your goals and varied.  If one of your goals is to create web traffic, writing a blog or producing video that lives on your website is an obvious choice.  No matter what the content, you should make sure it tells story of your company and always aim to engage the audience. Everyone loves adorable puppies and cute fluffy kittens, though if it you can’t tie it into your company’s story somehow, it shouldn’t be included. (If you can tie it into your story, then by all means, do. Because… puppies!

4 Create a social media content calendar.

Next to creating great content this is one of the most important steps in successful social media marketing.  Building out a social media content calendar allows for the following:

  • Plan out your posts ahead of time to plan for holidays, special events, press releases and more.
  • Easily allow for management and automation of social media.
  • Ensure stay on track with your social media plan.
  • Easily allow staff to access links and share on their social media.
  • Track your success and flops and identify evergreen content.
  • Provide information about audience engagement and valuable info for audits.

Creating a content Calendar doesn’t have to be difficult, and you can easily create one in Google Sheets, Google Docs, Word and Excel. To get the most from it however it is imperative to maintain and update it regularly.  Your calendar can be simple, or detailed, and free templates are available online that can be downloaded and easily customized. Some helpful categories to include are:

  • Media Type – Video, Blog Post, Photo etc.
  • Date – Intended Date for it to be Published
  • Topic/Content – Writing out your post in the content calendar can help with typos and gives you the chance to think it out.
  • Title and Link – If you are linking it to a form, video or website, include the abbreviated link here so it can easily be copied over.
  • Objective – If your post is targeting a specific goal or objective, state that.
  • Art Required – If Artwork is required include it in the calendar. This is helpful to view artwork. you use frequently for other social media post and you can also use it to A/B testing if one image got more traction than the other.
  • Keywords – include keywords and hashtags used for SEO so you can later evaluate the most affective.
  • Live – Once the post is live on social media include the link to the post on the calendar. Giving staff members access to this link makes it easy for them to share company post.

5 Use a social media management tool.

Consistency is vital to engaging your audience and building your presence on social media platforms. Time can get away from us during the day and social media can fall off the radar.  Incorporating a social media management tool for automation in your plan will simplify the posting process and help establish a continuity to meet your goals.  There are many to choose from, but do your research, determine what your needs are and choose the best one to help attain your objectives.  HubSpot, HootSuite, Buffer, Sprout Social and MeetEdgar are just a few of some highly rated management tools and the time that a social media management software will save you will be worth the investment.

Social media has proven to be an essential part of digital marketing to help you reach new clients, grow your data base and increase sales.  As with most effective marketing strategies, you must apply the time and effort to reap the rewards.  While we touched on just the basics for these tips today, in future blogs we will be taking a more in depth look at the individual tips and outlining the social media audit.  Planning and and management of your social media will help ensure you generate new leads increase your sales and see a return on investment.