How to Create a Social Media Plan for Your Business
A social media plan is a to-do list that you follow to create and maintain a social media presence. Use this step-by-step guide to create a winning social media plan for your business.
In part one (“How to Create A Social Media Strategy”) of this 2-part series, we created a formal social media strategy for your business. It was a big-picture outline of how you'll move forward to create a winning approach to social media.
Now, we begin to put your social media strategy into action by creating a step-by-step social media plan that details exactly how you’ll execute your strategy.
Your plan will change over the coming months. In other words, you’ll monitor the results over a set period of time and tweak it to keep improving the results.
Step 1: Review Your Digital Marketing Infrastructure
Is your site ready for the new stream of leads that will come from your social media platforms? Use this checklist to make sure you're ready:
- Does your site run fast and look great on mobile?
- Are all your links working?
- Is your site ready to convert traffic into leads or sales? Think CTAs and solid email software integration.
- Are your #hashtags ready?
Step 2: Define Your Social Media Voice and Tone
Before you begin creating social media profiles, check that your voice and tone remain consistent across all platforms.
The best way to do this is by creating a social media style guide for your company or brand.
The style guide is a written set of communication policies that you can share with your team. It helps create a cohesive presence across all social media channels to build trust with your audience. It also helps your team avoid the type of mishaps that lead to unhappy customers.
What’s a Social Media Style Guide?
A social media style guide is a rulebook for how your brand appears on social media. It should include:
- Description of your business or brand
- Buyer personas
- Logo and approved colors
- Post formatting style
- Language and writing policies
- Customer service guide
Below is a brief summary of what to include in a social media style guide.
|Brand Description||Buyer Personas||Logo and Colors||Post Formatting/Style||Language/Writing Policies||Customer Service Guide|
|How To||Describe your business in one sentence, again in two sentences, and once more in 3 sentences.||Jot down some information about your buyer personas.||Record your brand colors using hex numbers. Use these colors across all social channels.||Determine how posts should look on each channel. Do you include an image? Do you have a hashtag?||Include brand terms and decide how you'll handle spelling and capitalization.||Decide how you'll monitor and respond to customer conversations.|
|Purpose||Gives 3 different ways to present your social profiles and pages across the web.||Understand who you're writing for.||Maintain a consistent brand image on social media.||Show creativity and use all content assets across each social media channel.||Determine how to tackle punctuation and formatting questions. Will you follow the Chicago Manual of Style, AP Style Book, or something else?||Prepare to respond to questions, complaints, comments, and positive or negative reviews.|
Step 3: Fill Out Your Social Media Profiles
In step 3 of your formal social media strategy, you chose your social platforms. Now you’re ready to create your pages and fill out profiles for each channel.
Remember to keep your buyer personas and company style in mind as you go along. Here are a few helpful tips for filling out your social media profiles:
- Keep your name, profile picture, and logo consistent throughout all your channels.
- Get to know the personality of each network so your messaging is appropriate.
Step 4: Create a Content Calendar
Sketch a rough plan of what your content will look like over the next 3 - 6 months.
What topics will you cover and how will they relate to each other? Will you offer original content or repost it from other pages?
“About 78% of businesses share mostly original content on social media, or content produced by their company. Of that number, 19% of companies share only original content.”
Next, you’re ready to create a detailed list of what you’ll publish over the next 30 days:
- Media types
- Publication dates for social media content
Step 5: Assign Tasks to Your Team
Now that you defined your style, filled out your profiles, and created a content calendar, you’re ready to assign tasks to your team and start getting things done. If you’re flying solo then this is the time to budget and schedule your time to cover the different tasks.
Here are some of the assignments you need to cover:
- Content writing
- Blog publishing
- Automation (pre-publishing your social media posts with software like Hootsuite or Buffer)
- Social listening and customer response
- Monitoring results with analytics and insights
Step 7: Promote
How will you attract new people to your channels and convert them to followers?
Social media doesn’t live solely on our computers anymore. Today’s social communities involve cross-promoting with the “outside world” as much as possible.
You might hold in-store events, network with other businesses, or create photo opportunities that inspire people to want to share with their friends.
Get creative with new ideas that compel your followers to talk about your company. Borrow ideas from experiential marketing tactics, and brainstorm with your team about how you might add more value to your community’s day-to-day life.
If you have a plan in place and are ready to increase conversions and engagement, try these 7 tips.