From developing goals and objectives, strategies, tactics, budget, responsibilities and timeline, to establishing metrics tied to business results, digital and social media strategist Martin Waxman takes you through the steps to create a social media marketing plan. And he offers a handy plan template you can download in the exercise files.
- [Voiceover] Imagine you're going on a road trip. You wouldn't just get in your car and start driving, chances are you'd do some planning before you left home to figure out where you're heading and when you want to arrive. The same is true of your social media marketing plan. Think of your plan as a key to getting to your destination, and that is achieving your business goals. Let's look at Topsy Turvy, our cake company, and help them create a social media plan.
Step One is our goal, where we want to end up. In Topsy Turvy's case, let's say it's to position the company as the most creative and reliable cake maker for events in the city. Next come strategic considerations. That's when we take an honest look at the business landscape and what things could stop us from achieving our goal. After that, we need to put in some measurable objectives to determine whether we're moving toward our goal or if we have to readjust.
Your objectives shouldn't be too easy or too difficult to achieve. How about increase sales of custom-shaped birthday cakes by 20 percent within three months. Notice our objective is time-based, measurable, and a stretch. Now it's time for the social media strategy, essentially the roadmap we'll follow to reach our goal and objectives. You can have more than one strategy, but don't go all over the map.
A good strategy is clear and focused. For Topsy Turvy, our strategy could be build relationships with top bloggers and encourage them to showcase its cakes. Now the fun part, tactics. Tactics support the strategic direction, and that's where social media elements come in. Social media tactics are things like blogger outreach, social media updates, paying to promote your most popular posts, videos, photos, blog posts, and contests.
Let's consider a few social media ideas to support our strategy of reaching local bloggers. Topsy Turvy could approach high-profile food and pastry bloggers and offer them a paid sponsorship if they showcase pictures of Topsy Turvy's cakes. But be sure that bloggers disclose this is a sponsored initiative. FTC regulations require it. Topsy Turvy could post photos of custom cakes on its Instagram feed using the hashtag #socakey and encourage its customers to do the same.
Or, it could ask customers to post selfies of their special cakes on the Topsy Turvy Facebook page and each month, Topsy Turvy could select one customer at random and maybe deliver a dozen cupcakes to their office as an afternoon surprise. These are just a few of the things you could do. The sky's the limit on creativity. For budget, that's another matter. Every plan also includes a budget, timeline, and explanation of how you'd measure success.
As with any marketing effort, it's important to figure out what your financial and staff investment will be before you start. You'll also want to allocate funds for the cost of designing graphics, buying ads, promoted posts, sponsorships, and video and audio production. It's called a plan for a reason, and part of that is making sure you're organized by assigning responsibilities and deadlines for each task.
You'll want to establish success metrics up front, how you're going to determine whether or not your plan's getting you where you want to go. If we think about Topsy Turvy's goal of increasing sales by 20 percent in three months, we first need a benchmark. That is, a measure of what the average sales are for a typical three-month period. Then we can determine if we've had 20 percent growth. Be sure to review your results throughout the campaign and not just at the end, so you'll know whether or not you'll need to adjust.
When you're creating your plan, start with a goal, objectives, strategies, and then the social media tactics. And be sure to add in a budget, timeline, and ways to measure success so you can learn and adapt for next time. Remember to download the social media plan template we've provided in the exercise files to help you get started.
- Using social media to listen to customers
- Setting goals
- Crafting a social media policy and a plan
- Creating shareable content
- Measuring your social media success