Social media is a crowded and competitive space. Social media marketing needs to stand out if you want to be successful. You need a strategy that makes people want to approach and consume your content. Is it an entertaining meme? A constant stream of up-to-date and interesting news? A unique and helpful infographic?

We are all well aware that it takes more than a single tweet to establish your expertise in social media. A Facebook page with 1,000 likes is great, but it means little without engagement. You need to build a strategy around your social efforts and with that, here is a seven-step approach to developing a social media marketing plan.

1. Know Your Audience

Who is your target audience? That’s a question we often ask when we set out to create a marketing plan. And in social media, the ability to find the answers is essential. As a marketer, you have to know where your target audience is so you can reach them. Social media provides the opportunity to do just that. Social media marketing tools can help you find your target audience and can also help you to know how much time they spend on each social media platform.

2. Set Your Goals

Goal setting is an important part of the process of creating a winning strategy. Whether you call them “objectives” or “goals”, you must know what you are trying to accomplish with your marketing efforts. Establishing strong and measurable goals is critical, as it helps focus your efforts and provides a way to measure whether or not your strategy is successful.

For you to establish a goal, always remember that your goal should be S.M.A.R.T!

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

If you have all of these aspects in your goal, it will be easy for you to measure and accomplish your achievements.

3. Identify Key Success Matrix

By knowing your social media’s key success metrics, you will be able to track the effectiveness of your business communications and determine whether or not the efforts you put into social media marketing were worth your while. You need to look for simple, straightforward metrics to help analyze your needs and draw conclusions from things like “Likes,” “Shares,” and “Followers.”

Here are some measures you need to consider for your social media key success metrics:

  • Conversions
  • Sentiment
  • Community growth and engagement
  • Impressions
  • Website traffic

4. Audit Your Social Media Presence

You want to be found online by your target audience, but how are you doing? Are you missing out on opportunities to develop relationships with prospects and customers who might benefit from your services? With so many social media outlets and the potential for multiple audiences, it’s easy to get confused about your brand’s options and how to best approach each one. Start by conducting a social media audit.

The social media presence audit is about making sure that all of your bases are covered. The audits will not only look at how well the different platforms align to your goals, but the availability of features, ease of implementation, and more. With an audit of your current presence, you’ll be able to see how each platform is working for you.

There are many ways to audit your social media presence, but first, you need to know what questions to ask such as:

  • Which social media networks are you usually active on?
  • How does your competitor’s social media presence compare to you?
  • Which social media platform gives you the highest ROI (Return on Investment)?
  • Are your profiles on these networks fully optimized?

After collecting information by using these questions as your basis about your current social media presence, you can start looking for ways to improve your social media marketing.

5. Create Content

Content is not just what generates attention on social media, but it’s also the bait that brings in visits to your website. And when you have the right content that resonates with your target audiences, social media can be an effective tool for generating leads for your business. With the right content on social media, you can be recognized by people and eventually gain popularity. Popularity breeds authority on social media. When you have an authority presence on social media, it gives you the credibility to deliver your content to your audience directly.

6. Invest on Social Media Management Tools

To create a social media marketing plan with any chance of being effective, you have to have the right social media marketing tools in place. Choosing the wrong tools will slow you down, or worse, stop you in your tracks. Scheduling posts well in advance is a key benefit of a social media management tool. It allows you to take the guesswork out of scheduling your social media posts and helps you avoid common mistakes that can cause harm to your social media marketing campaign.

Managing a business or a brand often means you have to do things at certain times. If your audience is bigger, then you will have more fans from various parts of the world. This means scheduling posts becomes even more important to make sure you reach all of them at the right time.

You can also read: Top 9 Social Media Marketing & Managing Apps You Need for Your Business

7. Track and Analyze your Performance

The success of your business depends on your ability to improve your skillset and adapt to new changes. It’s vital you continually measure your performance so you know exactly what is working and what isn’t. The performance of your content marketing strategy is one of the most important factors to track, as it allows you to adapt to changes in the industry.

Analyzing results and the overall success of the activities you implemented during your optimization process is impossible without a key piece of information: tracking. That’s why we need to know how to track indicators such as traffic sources, social media, and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising. The more we know about the performance we achieve, the more we understand how we can improve our marketing and conversion process and increase our ROI.

In the end, it’s best to remember that social media strategy is a fluid concept. It will inevitably change, whether it’s because your business changes or because you hit a stumbling block that requires you to alter your strategy. In either case, resist the urge to abandon ship, and instead get back into the thick of things.

Need a social media agency to help you with your business? Contact us today, and we’ll be glad to help you!