Creating a social media plan should be one of the first things you do when you take over a new marketing project. The quality of your social media plan is a key factor in your brand’s success. Here is a detailed guide on how to create the perfect social media plan and why you need to have one.
- Know Your Audience
- Set Your Goals
- Categorize Your Content
- Engagement Is Key
- Use Days of the Year
- Use Canva and Free Stock Image Websites
- Differentiate Your Platforms
- Create the Social Media Plan
Why You Need a Social Media Plan
As fun as being a social media manager seems from the outside, that’s far from reality. The truth is, managing social media is a job; one that’s far more serious than Emily in Paris makes it look like. (Click for an article on why you should get over Emily in Paris.) And while real-time content is essential, you can’t just create all your social media posts on the fly. Having a bi-weekly or monthly social media plan ensures a steady stream of content onto your social platforms. It also helps with the balance between different content types, helping you make sure you don’t just post the same type of content all the time.
How to Create the Perfect Social Media Plan
1. Know Your Audience
Marketing to Millennials and to Baby Boomers are two entirely different things. The same difference applies for various income groups, genders, and interests. Knowing your audience helps you choose the right type of content, call to actions, tone, and even your platforms. (God forbid, you may even need to go with Facebook as your main platform.)
Set your audience first. One thing that helps is to create a few personas give your target audience some names. You can say “John is 25 years old, makes 70K a year, and likes adventure sports” and cater to your imaginary friends in your marketing endeavors.
2. Set Your Goals
What’s your main goal in using social media for your business? Are you looking for sales, or an increase in your brand awareness. The type of content you’ll use, and whether you’ll have an aggressive sales tone, depends heavily on what you’re looking to get out of social media.
3. Categorize Your Content for Sustainable Creation
One creativity problem with social media management is that it’s not a one-shot project. (Well, hopefully so…) You manage the same account for months, and ideally for years. This means that you can’t possibly come up with fresh new concepts each and every month.
To battle this problem, you can categorize your contents. Some categories can be “throwback, Monday motivation, Friday party, funny, special day, information, sales-oriented, lifestyle, user-generated, and new product”. You can then create content within these categories. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to come up with an idea once you at least know that you’re looking for something funny or lifestyle. Categorizing also helps keep a balanced diet of various types of content. You don’t want to be posting different variations of the same stuff over and over again.
4. Engagement Is Key
You need to have posts that your followers can interact with in your social media plan. Make sure you encourage comments, ask questions, or use the engagement tools in your IG stories. Engagement is crucial both for followers feeling closer to your brand, and for the Instagram algorithm.
5. Use Days of the Year
If you haven’t heard of it, the website “Days of the Year” showcases special days. These “special” days range from actual holidays to “chocolate chip and strawberry brownie awareness” days.
I can swear the page was created just to help social media managers in creative blocks. (Though I lack any proof.) It can be a real asset sometimes for your social media content calendar. Are you having difficulties coming up with an idea for June 20th? Well, how about celebrating Ice Cream Soda Day?
6. Use Canva and Free Stock Image Websites for Your Social Media Contents
If you’re not well versed in design softwares like Adobe products, you need not worry. Canva is a pretty useful tool for your basic social media designs. All the templates, icons, and images are also a big bonus.
7. Differentiate Your Platforms in Your Social Media Plan
All social media are not created equal. You can’t just have the same content strategy for Instagram and Twitter and expect great success. It’s fine to have some content you can post everywhere, but you do need to have platform-exclusive content as well.
Flash news or witty jokes? Tweet it. A #tbt with a cool photo? That’s pretty much relevant only on Instagram. Anything professional and business-related? That’s obviously going to perform best on LinkedIn, and maybe not so well on your IG story.
8. Create the Social Media Plan
Use a simple Excel sheet as a calendar, or use a tool like Canva Pro’s content calendar. First, assign categories to the days. Get the right mix of different content types. Then, fill out those categories with relevant content. It’s that simple, really. Create your plan once a month or every other week. See how it performs, and revise accordingly. Rinse and repeat.
And that’s pretty much it! This is how you create the perfect social media plan in 8 simple steps. Leave a comment down below for any questions you may have, or slide into our DMs!
Fancy a guide about the latest TikTok trends? Click here for a primer on the new shining star.