How to Set Up Your Social Media Marketing Plan for Success
Social media can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for your business. It’s a tool for connecting with your audiences on a one-to-one basis, engaging them and interacting with them—but you have to implement it correctly to reap the benefits.
You can’t simply hire an intern to run your social media, and you shouldn’t necessarily outsource 100 percent of your efforts to a digital marketing agency either. There is a balance that often works to create the best relationships between you and your buyers.
Creating a Plan for Social Media
Here is a big-picture perspective of one successful partnership:
- What you should do in-house: publishing daily posts, interacting with engaged audience members, answering customer service inquiries
- What an agency contributes: determining which channels are best for your audience, when to post and how often, types of posts to create, managing a paid social media strategy No matter the setup, successful social media marketing requires significant effort from your in-house team. But with the right strategies and tools, you’ll be able to save time and boost
- your results.
Plan and Prepare
One of the best and most effective ways to cut down your time spent managing different social media accounts is to plan and create your social media content ahead of time:
- Text updates
- Images, videos, info graphics and other visuals
- Social media campaigns and ads
- Group activity
- Curate content
To help with your strategy, you can always collaborate with an agency so they can guide you on tactics like:
- Where your target audience spends their time online (which social media platforms)—by using social listening services, they can gain a better understanding of which channels your audience is using so you don’t waste your time on channels that don’t work.
- What types of content work: by observing your target audience, they can learn what types of content get them to take action: what gets engagement (likes, comments, shares, rewets) and traffic, what content formats work best (images, videos, etc.), which topics interest your audience, and so on. Then, with this knowledge, they can help you put together your social media strategy.
This is particularly important for those who don’t have a lot of experience with social media marketing and how best to use it to their advantage.
Here’s how to start putting together your social media calendar—with a spreadsheet or a social media tool:
List the days and times you want to post, write the updates ahead of time and create any visual content.
It will likely take you a few hours at a time to plan multiple updates, but it will help save you a lot of valuable time—and perhaps, more importantly, it will also allow you to better strategize your content than if you were posting something at the last minute when you’re panicking for content ideas.
Plus, if your updates are ready and planned, you can also schedule them at the best times for an increased reach, which leaves you with more time to engage with your fans and followers and to create better content.
Useful tools: Agorapulse, Hubspot
To help you manage your accounts more effectively as well as plan your social media strategy ahead of time, use a tool like Agorapulse or HubSpot .
Not only will you be able to manage all of your social accounts from one dashboard (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, YouTube) but you will also be able to plan your strategy using a social media calendar:
As you can see above, the posts can be scheduled or queued up, but you can also save updates as drafts and collaborate with others on your work. You can easily publish your updates or schedule them from the dashboard:
You also have access to some useful scheduling/uploading options for being more productive:
- Upload updates in bulk to be scheduled or queued
- Create different queues with their own time slots to control what types of updates get published and when. You’ll have much more control over the frequency of your updates while essentially automating the whole process (the posts will be automatically shared, or re-shared multiple times if you prefer)
- Use URLs with an RSS feed to pull the latest blog posts and easily customize the updates + schedule or queue them (great for quick content duration, as well as for adding your own blog posts)
- Use the Agora pulse or Hub Spot iOS or Android apps to manage your accounts from your phone or tablet
Repurpose Your Content
Amazing content doesn’t have to be used just once—there are all kinds of ways to repurpose content and save yourself time while improving your results. Repurposing is basically taking a piece of content you created and changing it up into a different format.
Here are some tips for making the most of the content you create:
- Turn interesting quotes from your blog posts into images
- Use popular text updates and turn them into images
- Break up a video you created into shorter clips to share with your audience on social media
- Optimize social media posts for other social networks
- Modify top-performing visuals to re-share them
- Turn top-performing evergreen posts into animated video info graphics Additionally, you can also re-publish your best content multiple times to get the most out of it—use social media scheduling tools with queues that re-share posts automatically to save more time.
Useful tools: Canva
Canva is essentially any marketers’ dream—an easy-to-use tool that allows you to create social media visuals, each optimized for the specific social network:
You can use it for creating:
- Promotional images
- Quote images
- Info graphics
- Images for each major social network
- Photo collages
- Cover photos
- Marketing materials
And pretty much any type of image you can think of. You’ll have access to dozens of free templates that you can customize with free and paid images, your branding, text, and all kinds of icons, charts, shapes and illustrations.
Get Your Team Organized
When you work with multiple people, it’s best to establish a clear workflow that everyone is well aware of, as well as strive to use just one platform to handle all communications related to this.
- Who creates the content
- Where to upload new content
- Who needs to approve new content
- What your deadlines are
Useful tools: ContentCal
Content Cal is a free-to-use tool for helping you plan your social media calendar and publishing/scheduling your updates.
The best part is, it’s built with teams in mind:
Everyone on your team can be given a specific role, and you can also create a workflow to ensure each step is covered, as you can see in the above screenshot: the content creator creates, the editor checks it first to make any edits they deem necessary, and the main manager can decide whether to approve the update or not.
But that’s one way of doing it—you can build your own workflow to suit your needs.
You can also use it as a social media calendar to plan your updates, create drafts and placeholders (ideas to use and edit later), as well as schedule your updates to be published.Or, you can use the afore-mentioned Hub Spot tool to collaborate with your teammates and execute your social media strategy as a team.
Social Media Marketing Success
Social media management can be so much easier and less time-consuming when you set yourself up for success by putting the right team (in-house and outsourced) in place, you’re organized, and you have the right tools in your arsenal