How to Build a Results-Driven Social Media Plan
7th August 2020
When it comes to creating a social media plan, there are a lot of spinning plates that you need to account for. You need to ensure that your social media scheduling follows as natural a rhythm as possible so it doesn’t seem too automated, but then you should check that the content you’re posting is suitable for the platform and that you’re not posting ‘blindly’.
From there: questions abound. Is your strategy right? Are you well-acquainted with your audience? What is the best time to post on Facebook? Are your client reports easy to understand? These are just four of the many social media-related questions you might have, and with this article we’re going to do our best to answer them all.
Here goes: the steps you need to take to build a successful social media plan.
From the get-go, you need to determine what your goals are. What do you want to achieve for your clients when setting up their social media strategy? A crucial consideration is that your goals need to be realistic. Refer to the classic S.M.A.R.T guidelines for some inspiration. S.M.A.R.T stands for:
Using the above principles, you will be able to determine the right goals for your client. Of course, you should also keep your client in mind as well as the industry they’re in (we’ll come to that shortly).
Another thing to keep in mind is your audience. If you don’t know who you’re speaking to then you’ll set yourself up to fail (or continue posting blindly until your client chooses to go somewhere else). One of the vital steps for creating a social media plan - and this needs to be done early - is significant research into your target audience.
Again, we have a few guiding principles that should help you on your way to building audience personas and, most importantly, building relationships with your audience.
When you’re getting to grips with your audience and customers, think of the following:
● Average income
● Job title/industry they work in
It helps to carry out a bit of reconnaissance on your ideal audience personas. Spend some time using the platforms they spend the most time on, and whether it’s Instagram or Facebook, you’ll eventually get a feel for the kinds of content they like. A good content marketing tool that will help you do this is Answer the Public because it not only gives you content ideas that your audience may engage with, it does so in a more quantifiably data-led way that can be used as part of a wider content marketing strategy.
Now you need to get specific about your goals and agree with your team and client what success might look like six months or a year from now. It helps to think of measuring social media success as a three-pronged customer journey: awareness, engagement, and conversion.
At the awareness stage, you are mapping out your content strategy and looking at current and potential customers - this is what your awareness building strategies aims to do. At the engagement stage, you are interacting with your audience using content that you have created - a vital stage, we think you’ll agree! Finally, the conversion stage is where you secure leads and drive sales with your content.
Here are what metrics for these three stages may look like.
When you’re building brand awareness, you will be keeping an eye on things like impressions, shares, and post engagements. You can track all of this in the ContentCal platform.
Audience growth rate is also important. Are you increasing your follower count? Is your post reach driving far enough? These are all important metrics for awareness in social media marketing.
Like the awareness stage, likes, shares and comments are also signs of success. Look at post engagement in the ContentCal platform to get a crystal clear picture of how your posts are performing. Check out our engagement rate calculator - it’s perfect to use here!
Look for the conversion rate of your posts and you’ll have your golden ticket when it comes to conversion metrics. How many signed up for a newsletter via a social post, or purchased something on your client’s website having landed there through Twitter? These are vital insights. If you’re looking at Instagram, our guide to instagram analytics is a good place to start.
You need to ensure that you’re creating content of a superior quality and to do this you need to have done plenty of research and have the data behind your approach. Ensure you have plenty of fresh content ideas and that you’ve got your tone of voice down to a T.
This one is really important, and although we’ve written a guide on social media post times before, we’ll provide an overview here. Each social media platform has a prime posting time where content gets on average the most engagement. There’s no real formula to it really, but rest assured that a post made at 2am will get less engagement than one at 2pm (it’s common sense, really) and using ContentCal social media scheduler, means you can test and schedule your social media posts easily.
Click the social media post times link above for our full explainer on social media posting times.
One of the best things about ContentCal is that you can essentially reshare posts you know have performed well. With easy edit access along with a few tweaks and changes here, you can make sure you’re not regurgitating your used content. This is a great way to achieve social media success and it will put you in good stead with your client’s growth!
You’ll know that some areas of your social media plan have worked better than others, so why not try and hone in on those techniques? It’s all about experimentation up to a certain point, but once you know what has been successful for you, your experimental approach is then backed up by data - and you can’t really go wrong with data! You can analyse all of these within ContentCal social media analytics to know what types of posts work with different audiences, whether it’s a video, an image or just plain text – which posts got the best engagement and start to upscale those kind of posts on that platform.
Now you have the steps to build a winning social strategy, you can go forth and create amazing social posts for your audience. ContentCal is an invaluable tool to make all this happen, so why not swing by our features section so you know exactly how your clients could benefit. For more information from our social media wizards, head over to our blog.