I’m continually amazed by the amount of businesses and organisations that I work with that lack of any sort of effective social media plan. And actually how many lack any sort of social media plan full stop. If you run social channels and you don’t have a social media plan, then slap on the wrist from me. You need a social media plan and you need it to deliver results. Here are my tried and tested tips for effective social media plans.
#1. Know Your Audience
Delve into your insights to understand who your page fans or channel followers are. Check your Google Analytics to find out who is visiting your website. Do your Customer Avatar exercises to profile your target customers. Combine this knowledge to inform what content you share.
A business I was talking to recently had started a blog and were committed to blogging (this is half the battle when committing to content marketing). When I asked them who their target customers were, it turned out one target was the corporate market. I pointed out that their blog had no content that would help a corporate manager, instead they were focused on telling the world what they offered. If they made an article that helped solve a problem for that manager, this would bring people to their blog as well as giving them content to share e.g. on LinkedIn to potentially attract that target customer to them.
#2. Know Your Objectives
What is the primary objective of your social activity? Are there any secondary objectives? Build in those objectives to your social media plan.
So if for example, your objective is to bring people to your website to generate leads for enquiries that you can convert to sales, then you have to have content in your social media plan that entices people to click. You have to tell them to come visit your website in the wording you use when you share links to that content.
Then you have to think about what content you can put on your website that will entice people away from those “sticky” social channels, things that will make them click and visit. This should be content on your website that
- inspires them
- touches some sort of emotion in them
- informs them about your products or services but from their point of view (what problem is your product or service solving for them)
- helps them solve a problem in their life – this doesn’t necessarily have to be about your product/service but something that helps them
- helps them save time
- helps them become better people
These are all things that can make people leave social media and come to your website.
#3. Plan Your Content
Start planning your content.
- What key content are you going to use and share on your social channels.
- What marketing campaigns are you planning that will need to be shared?
- What seasonal opportunities are there?
- What can you share to engage people? You can’t share sales messages all the time in fact the recommended ratio is 1 sales message to 10 non-sales messages.
#4. Plan Your Timings
When do certain pieces of content need to be posted? Look at when fans and followers interact with your page or channel. Test different posting times to see if earlier or later works around peak times.
Remember that consistency matters on social media. People like regularity and they come to expect content from you at certain times if you are consistent.
An example of this would be a weekly competition run on a Friday. Or a Happy Monday message. Or a Tuesday Behind-the-Scenes peek. Being consistent helps you plan your content too more easily.
#5. Create an Actual Plan
It could be on the back of an envelope or in a spreadsheet or document. The location is immaterial really although having it online makes it easier when you come to share it online. Just start putting down some dates and broad ideas of what you will post and when. And build it out from there. Once you have one week done, it becomes easier to do the second week. Once you have one month done it becomes easier to do the second month and so on.
#6. Organise Your Content Elements
Put the content pieces you want to share in one place to make it easy to grab for scheduling. These could be images, videos, links, blurbs. Having them in one location makes it really easy to manage.
Read my article 9 Ways to Make Content Creation Simple
#7. Schedule in Advance
Unless you have a full time social media manager or agency managing your channels, then scheduling in advance helps. It saves time ironically because if you don’t schedule in advance, then at the time you are going to post you aren’t scrambling around trying to find what to post, look for images, source content etc.
I hope these tips have inspired you to make your own business social media plan more effective.
If you need help with social media strategy and planning, I work with businesses all the time, contact me now for a chat.
I’d love to hear from you, what’s worked for you for planning your social media? Tell me in the comments below.