» How To Build an Effective Social Media Marketing Plan

How To Build an Effective Social Media Marketing Plan

By Farida Iqbal
— July 25, 2022
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Social media is an integral part of almost every business that wants to thrive in a competitive environment. As a business, you can’t only rely on word of mouth or some old-fashioned advertising channel. If you don’t have a solid social media presence in 2022, you’re missing out on a huge slice of the pie.

More than 55% of consumers use social media to learn about new brands. While a majority of businesses have a social presence, not all of them are using social channels to their full potential. Creating social profiles and posting content every once in a while, wouldn’t make any significant impact.

Therefore, you need a well-thought-out social media marketing plan to achieve your business goals. In this post, we’ll help you develop a highly effective social media marketing strategy for your business. Let’s get started!

Steps for Building a Result-Oriented Social Media Marketing Plan

Companies with the most successful social media presence think intelligently and strategically when it comes to social media. They’re good at finding out who their audience is and what they want to see on different social channels. Here is what you need to do to create a stunning social presence:

 

1. Set realistic, SMART social media marketing (SMM) goals

Most businesses engage in social media, but they don’t spend enough time setting relevant, realistic goals. What do you really want to achieve with social media? You need to be on social media but it’s important to define your ‘why’.  

While your social media marketing goals must align with your business objectives, try to think strategically when defining your goals. Remember, don’t set goals merely for the sake of it. Rather, think of social media as a platform to boost brand awareness and build relationships. Be sure to set SMART goals. In other words, your goals must be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

 

2. Know your audience  

How well do you know your audience? To be successful on social media, you must understand your audience and their needs. If you don’t know much about your prospects and customers, you wouldn’t be able to create relevant content.  

So, invest some time identifying and learning about your audience. This is the only way you can convert visitors into followers, and followers into customers. The following are some factors that will help you create audience personas:

  • Language
  • Age
  • Income
  • Location
  • Challenges
  • Interests

Before you go ahead and start publishing content on social platforms, craft your brand’s social media persona

 

3. Gather real-time data

We’re living in the age of data where progressive brands take actions based on real-time information. You can’t build an effective social media marketing plan based on assumptions. Today you have sophisticated analytics tools that provide tons of actionable information about your audience, followers, and customers.  

This will guide you to create better content and target the right people on the right platform and at the right time. Here are some valuable social media analytics and tools that will make your SMM life a lot easier:
 

4. Study your competition

You probably have some competitors with a solid social media presence. If your competitors are already using social media, don’t hesitate to learn from them. Take a look at what kind of content they’re publishing and what strategies are working for them.

You’ll instantly get an idea of how your industry is capitalizing on social media. For example, maybe your competitors are receiving more engagement on Facebook than on Instagram. Make sure to focus on channels where your audience is underserved.

Social listening is a great way to keep track of your competitors, what they’re sharing, and how people are responding to their content.  

Related: How to Do a Competitive Analysis on Social Media

5. Choose the right social platforms

The world of social media is massive: you’re welcome to think beyond Facebook or Twitter. However, pick your platforms carefully. Look at the data to see what benefits each platform can deliver for your business. The prime objective here is to focus on channels that are used by your audience the most.

If you study some popular networks, you’ll find out that some of them are more suitable for your brand’s image. For example, if you provide HR automation solutions, your SMM plan must include LinkedIn. Likewise, a fashion brand can’t ignore Instagram. Simply put, just be where your target audience is spending most of their time.

Once you decide which platforms you’re going to focus on, the next step is to create a plan for each of your selected social networks. Get familiar with the behavior of users on each network. People behave differently on different networks. It’s better to build a presence on fewer channels than trying to be everywhere.

Related: 13 Top Tips For Choosing The Right Social Media Platform For Your Business

6. Create and optimize your profiles

Now it’s time to create profiles. If you already have created profiles, consider improving them so they align with your new social media marketing plan. It doesn’t take a lot of time to fix the basics. What follows are some tips for optimizing your social presence:
 

  • Use high-quality, right-size images
  • Use the same profile image across networks
  • Keep your handles simple and as close to your brand as possible
  • Use the right keywords in your profiles to be discoverable in searches
  • Fill in every field mentioned
  • Test your links to make sure there are no typos
  • Pin your best content to the top
KPIs images with different measuring icons

7. Define your key metrics and KPIs  

As we mentioned at the top, your goals must be measurable and data driven. It’s important to focus on metrics that matter. While there are so many metrics, pick those that align directly with your goals. Let’s take a quick look at some of the key social media metrics:  

  • Clicks
  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Engagement rate
  • Audience growth rate
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate 

Related: 61 Key Social Media Metrics, Defined

8. Create engaging, fun social content

Your content is probably the most important part of your social media strategy. At this point, when you know your goals, audience, competition, and metrics, you need to figure out what, where, and when to publish.

It’s a good idea to follow a theme to become more consistent. For instance, you can stick to a defined color scheme. Setting up a content calendar will help you save time and keep your efforts organized.

Closing thoughts

Nothing is fixed or permanent when it comes to digital or social media marketing. Since your business and marketing tactics keep changing, take your social media plan as a living document and keep improving it with time. Consistency and well-targeted efforts will surely help you establish a strong social media presence.

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