- 400+ High DA Guest Posting Sites for 2020 (Massive List) - October 14, 2020
- 7 Best Marketplaces to Buy & Sell An Online Business (Review) - October 2, 2020
- How to Build a Perfect Social Media Marketing Plan (Complete Guide) - September 17, 2020
Last Updated on September 17, 2020 by Arif Chowdhury
Many online marketers thought building a perfect social media marketing plan can be painfully hard. However, whether it is hard or not you are going to find out soon. In this guide, I will show you how to build a marketing plan for your social media campaign with seven easy steps.
A marketing plan will be the mirror of your future on social media platforms. This plan will reflect everything you hope to achieve from this platform. Remember social media marketing approach is very different from other online marketing like Google advertisement & other PPC networks.
In any case, a marketing plan always has to be precious and targeted to focus on a single goal to achieve. Instead of targeting a broad audience, you should focus on specific thus it will be more effective. Though it seems like a broad audience will be more profitable as you can target more people. However, the truth is – it will become impossible to focus and an unattainable objective to overcome the challenge.
Anyway, let’s come to the business. In this guide, I will give you a complete walkthrough. So you can build a perfect social media marketing plan for your business on your own without needing any expert to hire.
Road to Create a Perfect Social Media Marketing Plan
Step 1: Define Social Media Marketing Goals Based on Business Objective
Perhaps defining a set of marketing goals based on your business objective is a crucial one. First, you have to understand your business objectives clearly. This is the very first step to create a marketing plan. Then you should focus on defining a set of marketing goals that you want to achieve in a given timeframe. These goals must have to align with your business objective otherwise, you will fail before you even begin.
To make it clear, let me give you an example. If you want to start a blog for making money then this blog is your online business. And making money is your business objective. To build a marketing plan for your blog. First you have to set marketing goals based on your business objective to make it work.
Here, your marketing goal should be, getting 1,000 Facebook likes within 30 days. If your business objective is to make money within 60 days. Then your marketing goals will also change along with it. Getting only 1,000 likes within 30 days won’t help you to make money. In this case, you have to target paid advertisements on Facebook to acquire paid customers.
Defining a set of goals will also help you to measure ROI (Return on Investment). For example, If you use Facebook paid advertising to acquire customers for your business. By spending $1,000 per month and made $2,000 in sales per month then your ROI will be 100%. This is a great way to measure business performance.
Recommended Reading: How to Calculate ROI in Business?
Leverage S.M.A.R.T Goals to Become Professional in Marketing
Time for you to get introduced with S.M.A.R.T goals. This is a common principle to define goals smartly so it can be trackable and manageable. If you want to create a perfect social media marketing plan on your own. Then I suggest you learn to adapt to smart goals.
What is the full form of S.M.A.R.T?
Specific: this explains itself, your goals should be specific. Simple and clear to understand. It’s so obvious if you do not have any specific goal then how can you even track or achieve it? In a social media marketing campaign, define your goal like whether you want to build a large follower base or want to start making sales right from the beginning.
Measurable: a goal must have to be measurable. Otherwise, there is no way to track your progress. For example, if your marketing goal is to build a good relationship with your customers. Then it is a good goal but it cannot be measure unless you define a specific number. For example, you have to build a good relationship with 50 customers within 60 days.
Attainable: your marketing goals should be realistic. It can’t be some child’s wish or daydream that impossible to attain no matter what you do. For example, If your marketing goal is to beat the Amazon brand within the next 3 years. Then it is a brave goal but not attainable within 3 years timeframe.
Relevant: try to set goals that are relevant to your business otherwise, you will lose track. This is called narrowing down your target market. For example, if you chase all customers in the world then you won’t able to acquire anyone. Focus on your target market by narrowing it down. If your business is food relevant then do not target the apparel niche because it is irrelevant.
Time-bound: finally, your goals should be accountable by a specific timeframe. If you do not bound your goals with a specific period then you won’t go anywhere. For example, you have to set a goal like getting 50 customers within the first 30 days to make it meaningful. If your goal has no time limitation then there is no point in chasing it.
These five factors are S.M.A.R.T goals criteria. If you want to build a perfect marketing plan for your social media platform then this is where you should start. These five elements are the building blocks of a robust marketing plan for any business.
Let me give an example of a marketing goal by fulfilling all five elements.
“We are going to utilize our Facebook page to deal with customers by using direct messaging. Our target is to reduce the communication gap with customers. We have set a target response time of a maximum of 120 minutes or 2 hours. And this goal has to achieve within the next 2 months”
I already said that social media marketing is very different from other online marketing like PPC, banner ads, Google ads, etc. Because, in social media, you will have direct contact with your audience than any other online marketing platform. Social media is a community forum. However, there are some issues apart from benefits.
As in social media, there are so many fake accounts that exist nowadays. And you may get thousands of likes from a paid advertisement that has no real value at all. Just think about yourself, whenever you scroll newsfeed in Facebook you may have seen many sponsored advertisements & you may have pressed the like button many times. However, you never actually visited that post or page ever. The only thing you ever did is pressing the like button here & there. In social media, there are so many audiences like you & they act without any seriousness.
Therefore, in your social media marketing campaign, you have to understand this issue. Getting thousands of likes and comments is not a big deal. Unless those audiences have seriousness in their behavior or have buying intention. We can measure this by using CTR (Click Through Rate) & Conversion ratio. You may use social media management tools to analyze your business performance using various powerful metrics in complete automation.
Recommended Reading: Best Social Media Management Tools
Here are sample business objectives and social media marketing goals for you to try out:
|Business Objectives||Social Media Goals||Metrics|
|Brand Awareness||Engagements||Likes, Comments & Shares|
|Leads & Sales||CTR & Conversion||Website Clicks & Email Subscription|
|Passive Advertisement||Mass Awareness||Gossip about your brand by @mention it|
Step 2: Know Your Audience by Analyzing Marketing Data
This is the most crucial stage. Not only for a social media marketing platform but also in every other business whether it is online or offline. You cannot sustain much longer unless you know your audience. You have to understand their needs and act according to that only then you can hope to grow your business.
For example, whenever a festival arrives like Christmas every big & small brand in the world opens a special gift & discount for their loyal customers. Why they always do this? Because this is a perfect opportunity to win the hearts of their clients. This is exactly what you are going to do. Another example is, giving a special gift or discount to your customer’s birthday. By doing so, you are making them happy and increase the customer retention rate significantly.
So what you are supposed to do exactly? You should utilize social media management tools. I recommended you earlier to get the insights of your audiences like age, gender, location, interest, etc. Focus heavily on serious customers by judging their behavior & interest. Hence you can narrow down your target audience from a large customer base. From there you should learn about their interest to customize your offers therefore, your CTR and conversion rate will increase by many folds.
Recommended Reading: How to Gather Audience Data from Facebook Insights
There is a powerful passive marketing feature, that every social media has that you may never able to use in any other online or offline advertising platform. Whenever an audience likes or shares your post it becomes viral and every other Facebook user who is connected with them can also see and interact with your post. This is called leveraging social sharing features to your advantage.
Though, not every post of your business page will become viral. However, if you can gather enough insights about your target audience then there is a good chance that you will able to create most of your post interesting enough to go viral among your audience. And through this process, your business page may able to reach millions of new audiences completely free.
Step 3: Know Your Competitors Before They Learn About You
This is a competitive era, every brand from big to small racing towards social media platforms to control the battlefield. Social media is a gold mine for every business nowadays. It’s so obvious, more competitive it gets much harder it’s become. However, this is why you planned to build a perfect social media marketing strategy to outlast them all, don’t you?
So, your target should be to find the flaws in your competitor’s strategy. For that purpose, you need to learn about them first. Don’t think that they are sitting there & do nothing. Most probably, they have plans for you as well.
Therefore, in the 3rd step, your goal should be to learn the marketing strategy of your competitors. You should know about your fields very well, make a list of competitors in your field and find their social media presence. By doing so, you may find a flaw in their marketing strategy.
Let me give you some examples, let’s say one of your competitors has a strong presence in Facebook & their page has over 5 million followers and their audience is also active. How can you sure about that? Check their every post by scrolling down, if their every post has at least 20-30K likes and 5-7K comments (comparing to 5 million audiences) then they have an active & engaging community.
Now in that case, if your Facebook page has only 5-10K followers then it will be very hard to compete with them. But, if their community is not engaging that much, which means only 500-1,000 likes & few comments. In that scenario, you can assure yourself that they may have huge followers yet do not have an engaging community. Therefore, if you can build a strong Facebook presence with an active community you may able to beat them.
There could be another scenario. Your competitor might have a lengthy response rate of 1-2 days. In this case, your marketing strategy is to target their weak spot, that is – lengthy customer support. Become active on your Facebook page, respond to your audience as fast as possible, and try to reduce your response rate to at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Congratulation, as your customer support is much better than your competitor. You have a great chance to beat them.
There could be other scenarios, as some of your competitors may not open their social accounts on other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, etc. Maybe they have a strong presence on Facebook, however, not even tap the market of Twitter or Instagram. This is their social media marketing weakness and you just spotted it. Take the advantage and build a strong presence before they even enter there & you will become superior to your competitors in other social platforms.
Listening to the Whisper of Your Competitors
Leverage the power of social media management tools to listen to your competitor’s whisper. These tools are great to monitor the marketing movement of your competitors on social media platforms.
- Which keywords they are targeting?
- How is their audience reacting to their post?
- How many people are mentioning their brands in social media conversation?
By utilizing these Intel, you can increase your chance to find their weak spot in social media marketing and take advantage as soon as you find out.
Step 4: Identify the Strength & Weakness of Social Media Platforms
Not every social media platform works the same. You have to find it’s strength & weakness by auditing. For example, the Facebook platform is not the same as the Twitter platform. Both have huge audiences however, they work differently. Take a look at Instagram, it’s mainly an image & video sharing platform. If you use the same strategy in every platform then a winning strategy in one social platform can be devastated in others.
Not only the platform is different, but also the segment of the audience can also be very different from each other. Let’s say you have a business of furniture products and you sell directly to retailers instead of customers. In this case, marketing on Facebook won’t give you much benefit unless you start to sell directly to consumers. Because on Facebook more than 95% of businesses sell their products directly to end-users, not retailers. Of course, you can leverage Alibaba online platform to find suitable retailers for your furniture business but it won’t work in social media like Facebook.
While in other cases, the Instagram social media platform is far better than Facebook to display your furniture products. Many big to small brands are already doing it and growing their audience size.
This is just an example to make you understand the difference between social media platforms. Before you do anything, first you have to understand your audience nature.
Ask Yourself Below Questions:
- Which type of products you usually see a lot in your favorite social media platform?
- How many engagement you have seen per post? (likes, comments, shares)
- Look at the comments to judge the audience’s behavior.
- Ask your friends & family to collect their opinion.
If you have done these correctly you should have the answer by now. Which social media platform would be right for your business?
Warning before you start: Especially on Facebook, there are thousands of fake accounts. We do not have any idea about these, maybe for personal purposes or maybe for business purposes. If fake accounts are created for personal purposes then it won’t affect you much however, there are fake accounts that could be created by your competitors.
What is the issue here? Most probably those accounts will become your followers then start commenting on a fake issue regarding your products to create bad impressions among your existing audiences. They may even submit bad reviews about your business. This can be a challenging issue to overcome. The best thing you can do is block those fake accounts so they won’t able to impact further.
Verify your social media accounts & pages to get the upper hand by increasing trust & reputation among your audiences.
Recommended Reading: Copy Strategies of 7 Big Brands in Facebook
Step 5: Setup Business Account in Social Media Platform
After you have done your research about choosing which platform to use for which purpose, it is time to set up a business account. Before you decide, there is a sample for you to evaluate.
When you look at this survey data you realize that Facebook is a dedicated and favorable social media platform for communicating with customers. Because of its easy to use interface and mass awareness among peoples.
Facebook is heavily populated with mass audiences and not favorable for displaying your products. You may use Instagram for that purpose. Communicating with your customers can easily be done through Facebook business page & product displaying can be done with Instagram. Recently Facebook and Instagram both unite therefore, it will be easy for you to manage both accounts.
For your human resource management & recruiting purpose, LinkedIn can be your best-suited social media platform. Where you can also advertise your company among dedicated employees & other businesses.
How You Should Setup A Business Profile?
Though it depends on social platforms you are going to use, however, general rules are all the same.
- Fill all necessary information fields along with address & contact
- Setup a custom auto-responder that represent your brand
- Include your focused keywords in your description so the audience can find you
- Use proper hashtags in your post
- Use custom made branded images and photos
- Connect with other business to build a strong profile (LinkedIn)
It’s better to become a master in one platform rather than a jack of all. If focusing on several social media platforms is getting complex & overwhelming then you should focus on 1-2 platforms to make it more effective & manageable.
Step 6: Inspired by Big Brothers Success Stories
There is nothing much important than inspiration. Of course, you started this business because someone must have inspired you. I started this blog because I was inspired by other bloggers who become successful. Their success stories inspired me to start this blog even after I failed several times before. It’s so obvious, no one can become successful unless they try first & it is extremely rare to become successful for the first time.
I recommended you follow the big & small brands who become successful in the social media platform to get inspired by them. And you may learn something useful as well.
Step 7: Consistent Engaging Content is the Trump Card
Finally, this is the last step to create a perfect social media marketing plan. More importantly, this step will continue forever. You may have done your homework and did all the steps from 1-6, however, in the final step if you do it wrong, you just devastated all your previous efforts.
Remember, social media is like a continuous stream. This is not a static platform. If you publish highly engaging content in one week and forget to post another content in the next week, whatever you achieve in the first week probably will fade away soon.
I know it’s confusing, let me clear this out for you. You may have seen many Facebook pages that have 5-10 million followers however if you take a closer look you will see that their post is not getting as many engagements as they are supposed to get. By judging their huge followers, they should have at least 20-30K or even more likes per post. But why there are only 500-1,000 likes per post or even less?
The answer is consistency. Maybe they have done an extraordinary performance at the beginning and that’s why they able to get millions of followers, however, those all are past performance & they couldn’t able to keep consistency afterward. And that’s why almost all of their audiences are gone. Now having millions of followers means nothing.
Why did this happen? Where all their audience go?
Well, it is Facebook & all other social media algorithms. If a page does not post regularly and their audience does not engage in their post frequently then slowly that page will fade away from their audience newsfeed.
Therefore, if you want to get full benefit then consistency is a must. Otherwise, all your efforts will go in vain just like them.
What Should You Do to Keep Consistency?
- Understand your audience to learn what they like & dislike
- Provide quality and engaging content based on their interest
- Use social media management tools to analyze page performance
- Find the peak hour when most of your audience stay online to maximize your reach
- Create a content schedule to maintain consistency
My recommendation is, use social media management tools as it has an automation feature that can save your lot of time. Manually finding which time is the best to post content on your Facebook page is very complex and hard. Rather use these tools to find the optimal time.
When it comes to scheduling content, you can also utilize social media management tools. All you have to do is select the topics and it will curate relevant contents from all over the internet to fill up your schedule. You can also upload several contents in advance and these tools will automatically upload those at the peak hour when your audience stays active.
This is the summary of what you have to do to create a perfect social media marketing plan. Don’t ever think that your work is done & you beat your competitors. Try to keep improving by analyzing your audience every move. Keep them engaging as much as possible otherwise, you may become a victim of social media cruel algorithm. Even after getting millions of followers, if you cannot keep consistency & engagements with your followers. After a while, your business page may become a barren wasteland.