How to Craft Your Social Media Marketing Plan

One of the most challenging tasks when indulging in a crowdfunding campaign is setting your social media marketing plan. Social media is the lifeblood of your campaign and simply ignoring it or not developing a strategy will almost certainly equal a failed campaign. Most of the time when we are meeting with a potential client or even a current customer, their social media accounts are somewhat in shambles. Before you can start crafting your plan, you’ll need to go in and organize each account. What does that mean? Make sure profile pictures are up to date or current. Make sure your bios and links are all appropriate to your new campaign or project. Next you’ll more than likely need a CMS (Content management system). Here at the Woodshed Agency, we use Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule all of our social media posts. Once you have these steps in place, you should then move on to our next five steps to Craft Your Social Media Marketing Plan.

Step 1

The first phase of any social media marketing strategy is to establish objectives and goals that you hope to achieve. Having these goals allows you to react quickly when social media campaigns aren't meeting your expectations. Without these objectives, you have no means of gauging your success and no means of proving your return on investment.

You don’t want to get carried away, however; too many goals are worse than none at all. That’s why you should limit yourself to two primary goals and two secondary goals. For example, a primary goal could be to raise brand awareness or increase customer loyalty. A secondary goal could be to generate more traffic to your website or build your list of newsletter subscribers. Based on these goals, you’ll choose the social networking sites you’ll use.

Step two involves conducting a social media audit. It’s important to assess your current social media use and how it's working for you. This requires figuring out who is connecting to you via social media, which social media sites your target market uses, and how your social media presence compares to that of your competitors’. It will become evident which accounts need to be updated and which need to be deleted altogether once you see the numbers.

Once you’ve audited your accounts, it’s time for step three, when you hone your online presence. Fill out all profiles completely. If you don’t already have social media profiles on each network, you focus on, build them from the ground up with your broader goals and audience in mind. If you do have existing accounts, it’s time to refine and update them for your best possible results. If authenticity is as important as experts say, you’ll want your social presence to be honest and unique. So in step four, you’ll find your social voice and tone. It can be valuable to turn to your competitors for inspiration when it comes to what content types and information get the most social media engagement.

Your consumers can be equally as inspiring, not only through the content they share but in the way they phrase their messages. Don’t forget to turn to industry leaders for inspiration, too. Many companies have managed to distinguish themselves through advanced social media strategies. Follow them faithfully, and learn everything you can from their successes.

Here’s the essential truth of any social marketing plan: You need great content. So in step five, you’ll get specific about the content itself, adding these particular content pieces to a comprehensive editorial calendar. Your plan should answer the following questions:

    •    What type(s) of content do you intend to post and promote via social media?

    •    How often will you post the content?

    •    How can you target the specific audience for each type of content?

    •    Who will create the content?

    •    How will you promote the content?

When it comes to posting frequency, recent research has found that you want to post consistently, but not too often. Top brands on Pinterest post five times per day, tweet three times each day (although engagement does decrease slightly after the third tweet), and post three times per day consistently on Google+. You can post twice per day on Facebook before likes and comments begin to drop off; once a day (20 posts per month) on LinkedIn is sufficient to reach 60 percent of your audience. Your editorial calendar should list the dates and times you intend to post blogs, Facebook posts, Twitter updates, and other content you plan to use during your social media campaigns. It’s suggested you create the calendar and then schedule messaging in advance, rather than continually updating throughout the day.

Here’s one more thing: Despite the need to be precise in step five, your social media plan should constantly be changing. As new networks emerge, you might want to add them to your plan. As you attain goals, you want to adjust them or find new targets for each network. This is a plan that is meant to change, so be flexible and open to changes.

There you have it. Most of these steps are common sense, but all of them we see consistently missed when it comes to social media plans. It takes a few minutes to review your channels and think about what they look like to you users.  If you are still struggling with getting your accounts in order, give us a call, and we can set you up with a plan for you to execute.