Social Media Marketing Strategy: What is a Social Media Marketing Plan?

What is a social media marketing plan?

The definition of a social media marketing plan is a strategy designed to bring in maximum results on social media. It includes everything from competitor analysis and setting goals to profile optimisation and content distribution.

man organising a Social Media Marketing Plan in a notebook

An ROI-focused social media marketing plan you can use today!

Only a few years ago, it was simple for any business to make an impact online. Essentially, as long as you had an account, you had one up over your competitors, right? Well, in 2018, it’s not quite as simple. In today’s heavily digital-focused world, to succeed, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a solid online presence and a great social media marketing plan.

Marketing is all about putting your message in front of your audience at the right time, and in the right place. This makes social media a no-brainer if you’re serious about growing your business. However, so many companies fail to take full advantage of the platforms on offer in their marketing plans.

If you’re in the group that firmly believes that posting a few times a month and churning out some generic adverts is enough, then read on below for our top tips to maximise your success. Hint – you’ll need a strong social media marketing plan!

Analyse your existing social presence

Before you decide where you need to be, you must first understand where you currently are. By auditing your business’s social media presence, you’ll get a clear picture of your overall strategy. You’ll need to consider:

  • What networks do you currently have profiles on?
  • Are these profiles fully optimised with a photo, cover image, bio and brand URL?
  • Which networks are currently bringing you the most revenue?
  • How do your profiles compare to your competitors?

Having consistent information across your social channels helps to present your brand’s professionalism, shows you have a cohesive message and also shows that you’re serious about engaging with your audience.

We offer a cohesive social media audit that includes a deep analysis of your current social media efforts, SEO and web structure. It will include a list of key priorities and an action plan to put them into place. Drop us a message to find out more: enquiries@bigfootdigital.co.uk. 

Create a mission statement

Anyone can create a social media marketing plan, but what makes yours unique is your individual goals. It’s all well and good creating content and sharing it online but, if you don’t know what your aims are, there isn’t really much point. After all, if you want your social media content strategy to have a real impact, you need to ensure that your campaign goals are in line with the goals of your company.

Consider what you’re hoping to achieve from your social platforms. Are you looking to improve traffic to your site, or do you want to engage more with your customers? Perhaps you need to improve your reach, or increase awareness? Your business goals will help you to create content that is relevant for both your audience and your KPI’s. Not sure how to? We can help.

Determine your ideal customer

Any great marketing strategy begins with determining your target audience. You can learn who buys your products, what age group they fit into, and what income group makes up the majority of your returning customers. As for social media, it’s essential to know your audience and their preferences.

Even the best marketing professionals will fail if they are marketing to the wrong audience. Answer the following questions to map out your audience persona:

  • Age
  • Interests
  • Location
  • Most used social networks
  • Job Title

The clearer, and more in-depth, your persona, the easier it will be to find the right people on social media. By creating these buyer personas, you’re focusing your efforts and can tailor your messages to these individuals, which helps to narrow your scope.

Your current customers are the best source of information about your target demographic, and you can enlist them to help guide you forward. Communicate with them – where do they shop? What are their biggest concerns? How can you help them solve their problems?

Conduct competitor research

Before you start crafting content (we promise, you’re nearly there!), it’s time to analyse your competition. We put this step before content creation because you may discover new ways to promote your products by looking into what the competition is doing.

We must stress that we are not encouraging you to ‘steal’ their ideas. Instead, you should learn from their success and failures and promote content that is bigger and better! The first step is to find out what your competition is doing, right now.

The most straightforward way to get inside information on your competitors is to do a Google search. Look up the most valuable industry keywords and phrases to see who shows up. For example, if you are selling wooden homeware, keywords like ‘reclaimed wood furniture’ or ‘reclaimed wood furniture markers’ would be great keywords to investigate.

Searching Google for a social media marketing plan.

Avoid the likes of big-name retailers, Amazon, eBay and Etsy. Look for those that are active within your industry sector.

The next step is to see what they are doing on social media. As you can see, Harley and Lola have a social media presence, with a following of over 7,000, which means they are a great competitor to track.

Social buttons that form a social media marketing plan.

Do they post on a regular basis? And, does this include ads? Answer these questions, and you are on the way to hacking their social secrets.

Facebook recently updated its features to include an ‘Info and Ads’ section. Here, you can see exactly what ads your competitors are running. Why is this important? You can hack their entire sales process, which includes the offer, hook and the story they tell to convert readers.

Facebook advert as part of a social media marketing plan.

You can find this information on any competitors profile at just the click of a button. And, what’s better, this inside information won’t cost you a penny!

Identify the platforms your audience uses

Researching the online behaviour of your social media target audience is the best way to determine where to focus your efforts. Different social media platforms attract very different audiences. Social Media Today has broken down the different platforms depending on demographics:

  • All ages regularly use Facebook
  • Twitter has a younger and a slightly more educated audience
  • Instagram has the youngest audience, with the majority of users still in high school or college
  • LinkedIn users have a higher income and generally a better education

By researching your social media target audience you’ll know exactly which platforms to focus your efforts on, and where your demographic spends the most time.

Craft the right content

When it comes to a social media marketing plan, content is at the heart of every campaign. However, it’s important to follow the above steps before jumping right into the creative stuff – don’t be impatient!

When crafting content, it’s important that it fits with your brand image. This means you should avoid reaching out to demographics with inconsistent messaging. It’s essential to keep your content fun, yet functional. Avoid pushing out promotional content all. the. time. Follow the 4 1 1 social media rule to ensure your content is well-balanced to boost engagement. Remember, the key is to hook them before going in for the big sale!

Here are some creative content ideas you can use today:

Video Marketing:

It’s no secret that video content sells! Approximately 90% of shoppers believe product videos influence their purchase decision. If you don’t have the budget or resources to film video content, there are alternatives. Brands can use Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and other in-the-moment media to create visual content.

Consistent content:

One of the toughest tasks any brand faces is to keep their content consistent. If your content is a wash of mismatched colours, then you have no way of differentiating yourself from the competition. Creating a personal visual style is critical for the success of any online brand.

Building a content theme is the perfect way to section your content. The primary platform for any visual social media marketing plan is Instagram – the king of content!

Anthropologie's social media marketing plan.

Anthropologie does an exceptional job of keeping their Instagram feed colourful, creative and, above all, consistent. Their photography work is stunning and will capture the eye of anyone scrolling through their phone. That’s the kind of reaction you want for your brand.

Our top tips for the ultimate social media marketing plan:

Use the perfect keywords:

Once you have an idea of who your audience is, and what content you’re looking to create, it’s time to consider keywords. There are plenty of online tools (Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner and Moz) that allow you to compare the best keywords to use within your content. Similarly, marketers can easily track popular and trending topics on Twitter and Facebook, while gaining a better understanding of user intent.

Create a content schedule:

Scheduling your content helps you to form a clear picture of what you’re posting and when. Not only does this help to space out your content, but it also helps you to ensure you’re posting at the right times. After all, if your target audience is mothers with small children, it’s better to avoid posting around school pick up times, as they’re likely to be busy.

Know your competition:

Getting your business to the top is all about making sure you’re better than your competitors. Take a look at their social media accounts and figure out what they’re doing. What works? What doesn’t? Don’t simply copy their ideas – use them as a starting point and go from there.

Need help with your social media marketing plan?

Being effective in your social media content strategy is all about making the right choices. Creating a clear and cohesive strategy, voice and user journey can go a huge way towards helping you to achieve online success.

Still not sure what an excellent social media strategy is all about? Why not contact our experts here at Bigfoot Digital.

From social media whizz kids, to content creatives and down to earth account managers, we understand what it takes to get you to the top. Give us a call today on 01226 720755 and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.