While brands have moved from considering social media to be an add-on to pronouncing it to be a marketing necessity, a lot of them still don’t proceed in a planned way.

And a plan is the difference between ‘OMG I need to save $5000 this year’ to ‘I need to get a second job, invest double the current amount to save $5000 this year.’

That’s pretty much the case with social media marketing. If you want to build an impressive social media presence, you need an impeccable social media plan.

Identify social media objectives

Do you need to get more traffic through social media or are you aiming for increased brand awareness?

You have to have your primary goals written down. Everything that you then strategize would be to reach this objective.

Of course, you can have some secondary goals too. Like more traffic and building customer loyalty but every campaign you launch could also cover this but should cover your primary objective.

Which social media channels provide the best ROI (Return on Investment)?

social media marketing

Which social media platform(s) does your targeted audience mostly frequent? Beauty gurus consider YouTube to be their main channel because of the tutorials they put up.

To check which social media platform is best for you, click here.

But if you are looking to connect with sales professionals, Google+ and LinkedIn should be your targeted platforms.

Of course, you should keep one platform with the locus of your prospects as your primary channel but don’t forget to harness the potential of others too.

Like beauty gurus often post snippets and images on their Instagram profiles too.

Professionals like to keep abreast with latest industry news and view via Twitter.

Have a trusted team

Gone are the days when you could hire one fresh-out-of-college guy to post sarcastic tweets and curate content.

Now you need to be armed with a team of social media experts to manage social media customer service part, someone in-charge of Twitter, someone who does the marketing, someone who curate Instagram content and finally someone who can oversee all of it.

When each person is, a master of their domain the synergy between each will determine how flawlessly your social media marketing plan is executed.

Identify prospect’s persona

If you are in the business of providing marketing services to startups, your social media plan needs to be centered on their requirements and cater to them.

For this, you need to know who they are.

persona

What their persona is, what their requirements are, what triggers them, what angers them and finally what will drive them to buy.

Luxury car and watch brands would seldom offer discounts because their prospects’ decisions aren’t governed by money.

Also, understanding who your targeted audience will give you an insight into where they lurk more, and subsequently you can decide on the main channels to choose.

And even decide on the type of content to be created. For instance, Dove nails this to a T. The woman-centric brand creates a women-centric feel good campaigns that are often the talk of social media.

Who are your competitors and what are they doing

Researching competition – especially when they already have a strong social media presence – will provide you with an idea of what works.

The good thing about social media? You don’t know who is your customer and who is your competitor.

The bad thing about social media? You don’t know who is your customer and who is your competitor.

So, when you social media stalk your competitor’s every move, not only do you know about their campaigns and how the audience is reacting to it but also where they are marketing-wise and how threatening of a competitor they are for you.

Make your content stand out

Content is the backbone of your social media strategy. Without impressive content that grabs eyeballs and make people sit up and take notice, all your efforts are useless.

Here’s what to keep in mind while creating social media content:

Create a content plan

Based on your prospect’s persona you have to understand the type of content should you be creating and curating?

This again should be in line with your primary goal. Your content would proportionately affect your goal.

Channel based content

Will a picture of a kitten with a dialogue box make the difference or do you need to create a video with animated characters?

Where are your prospects located? Do you need to invest in professional pictures to be clicked uploaded on Instagram or a longer video tutorial would be your best investment

Plan out an editorial calendar

When should a tweet go out, when should a Facebook status be put up, when would you be launching your video campaign, you need to have this listed on your calendar.

If you are posting a ‘how to lose weight in 10-day’ blog post in the morning, you need to tweet a weight loss tip in the afternoon with a link to the said blog. And then promote this again a few days later.

Your editorial calendar should also factor in how seasonal changes determine the demand for your product or service.

For instance, the demand for Valentine gifts increase around February so your content calendar should include content that accurately meet seasonal search requirements.

Track and improve your plan

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Your social media marketing strategy can yield unpredictable results. Track your efforts, study the metrics and then change or continue the course of your plan.

Your plan isn’t set in stone. If it needed to be tweaked and changed along the way, do so.

Not sure why your social media marketing plan isn’t working for you? Get a social media audit done by a professional.