7 Key Steps to Create an Effective Social Media Marketing Plan


Ruchi Gohri
By Ruchi Gohri | Last Updated on August 6th, 2020 11:16 am | 6-min read
Appy Pie - Social media marketing - A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Speaking to your customers through social media is the best that you can do to stay in touch with them. Customers interact with brands through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you are not speaking to them directly using these platforms, you are missing out!
Appy Pie - Social media marketing - A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
Great marketing on social media can get significant success to your business by driving leads and sales. Social media platforms help businesses create dedicated brand promoters. This form of Internet marketing involves creating and sharing content on various social media networks to accomplish your marketing and branding goals.

Social media marketing comprises activities like posting images, videos, text, and other content that drives not only audience engagement, but paid social media advertising as well.

In this post, we have listed a few steps for you to learn how you can create your own social media marketing strategy but before we go any further with that, it is better to know the benefits of social media marketing.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Social media is a catch-all term for sites and apps that may provide different social actions. Here are a few major benefits that you can get if you market your business on social media accounts.

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Improved Search Engine Rankings
  • Higher Conversion Rates
  • Improved Brand Loyalty
  • More Brand Authority
  • Cost-Effective
  • Gain Marketplace Insights
  • Better Customer Satisfaction
  • More Inbound Traffic
  • Better Connect with Your Audience

Now that you have understood the benefits of social media marketing, let us check out how you can create a sustainable social media marketing strategy that impacts your business positively.

Steps to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Here are a few steps to help you create a winning social media marketing strategy for your business. These steps ensure that your social media marketing plan is balanced and certainly impacts your business in a great way.

Appy Pie - Social media marketing - A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

  1. Set social media marketing goals that line up with your business
  2. The first thing that you need to do to create an excellent social media marketing plan is to identify your business objectives and goals when creating it and having a set endgame.

    Your business objectives should be

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

    This S.M.A.R.T goal framework guides your actions to help you lead to real business results. You should align your social media objectives with your overall marketing strategy which will help you show the value of your work and get the audience’s buy-in and invest.

  3. Research your target audience
  4. The next thing that you need to do is to know your audience. Knowing what your audience wants can help you in creating the content that will attract them.

    Here are a few things that you can do to understand your target audience.

    • Create audience personas
    • You can try creating buyer personas to keep track of your potential customers, fans, and followers as real people with real needs. These analytics will help you understand what to offer them and what they will like, share, or comment on. Doing this is important if you want to convert your followers into customers.

    • Gather real-world data
    • Perform social media analytics that helps you get a ton of valuable information about your followers and what they like, which languages they speak, where they live, and how they are connected to your brand on social media. Having this information can help you better target your social ads and refine your social media marketing strategy.

    With the help of these insights, you can keep your audience engaged and interested in exploring more about your brand.

  5. Research the Competition
  6. Most of the businesses use social media for marketing purposes so, odds are, your competitors are also using it. You can make research and learn from what they already do. Check out what you need to do.

    • Conduct a competitive analysis
    • You can perform a competitive analysis and understand who your competition is and what they are doing to attract new audiences. This will help you get a good sense of what the audience expects based on your own social media targets.

    • Engage in social listening
    • Take the help of social listening to keep an eye on your competition. You can track relevant industry keywords and your competitor accounts and understand the way they are using social media channels for marketing. Try to spot a campaign or a post that hits the mark. You can use this information to evaluate your plans and goals.

    Making research on your competition can help you spot more opportunities. For example, you can concentrate on networks where your target audience is concentrated.

  7. Create exclusive and engaging social content
  8. You must have an exclusive, quality, and engaging social media content that stands out and offers viewers a strong reason to click the ‘Follow’ button and know more about your brand. Social media has billions of users and there is a possibility that people browsing your profile have also gone through your competitor’s content or that of other brands in your industry.

    Appy Pie - Social media marketing - A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

    Always consider the social content your competitors are sharing. It not only helps you become more creative and but also enables you to uniquely promote your brand and its products. Additionally, also try to use the effective features offered by the social media platform you’re using.

    For example, if you are using Facebook, it allows you to create live videos and share the latest details about your product launch. To know how you can attract audience to like your posts go through Appy Pie Academy Course – Facebook Marketing Strategy – How to Increase FB Pages Likes.

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

  9. Create a calendar for your posts
  10. Posting great content will not get you better results if it is not posted as per a plan. Yes! You got that right! You need a plan. A plan that can help you get the maximum impact of your content.

    Here is what you can do to create and execute your content plan.

    • Create a posting schedule
    • Create a sheet where you can mention the dates and times with the plan of posting the type of content. Include all your social media activities in this schedule, from link and image sharing to videos and blog posts. Make sure your calendar posts out the content appropriately and publishes it at the optimal times.

    • Design your content types
    • The content calendar should reflect the mission statement that you’ve assigned to each social media profile. Make sure it posts everything that supports your business goals.

      With the help of this calendar, you can maintain the ratio of the content the way you have planned it. You can always try to implement 80-20 rule, whether you are starting from scratch or have an up and running business. As per the rule, 80 percent of your content should educate, inform, or entertain your audience and the 20 percent can help you promote your brand and its products.

      (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

    With the help of your calendar, you can prepare your content in advance by bulk scheduling it. You should only post quality content on social media which helps you strike the right balance and maintain your posting frequency.

    Whether you post the content very frequently or not at the right time, in both situations, you could potentially lead to a decrease in engagement and a loss in followers.

    To learn how you can create the best calendar template for social media management, check out this course on Appy Pie Academy – Social Media Calendar Template! Social Media Management 2020.

  11. Make timeliness a top priority
  12. Post content at the best time when your target audience is online, and you can keep them engaged. You can’t expect them to operate in ‘your time’. And at the same time, respond to your followers’ or customers’ queries ASAP. Your customers not only expect fast responses but also meaningful conversations from your end.

    Be smart to learn the best times to post your content on social media and to engage your target audience after posting it.

    With social media channels, you can gain your audiences’ attention by just being present and talking to them which is why social customer care is crucial to increase brand awareness.

  13. Analyze your impact and results
  14. Ensure that your efforts are working for you as planned and helping you meet your goals. To check this out, you need to keep track of all your posts, content, and audience activities on every social channel.

    Here are a few social media metrics that you can use to do this.

    • Mentions: It shows the number of times your company name or your profile has been mentioned in the comments.
    • Engagement: It helps you manage likes, comments, replies, and clicks on your social media posts.
    • Followers: It helps you check the list of people who have clicked the “Follow” button on your profile page and read your posts regularly.
    • Reach: It helps you check the number of people who have read any content associated with your profile.
    • Reposts: It shows the number of times a member of your audience or the followers posts a piece of your content on their page or profile.
    • Impressions: It helps you find out the number of times your profile page has been visited.
    • Shares: It shows the posts from your profile that your audience and followers share with their network.
    • Video views: It helps you check the number of views your videos get on social media channels.
    • Profile visits: It shows the number of people who have visited and opened your social media page.
    • Tags: It shows the number of times your audience tags your hashtag or your company’s profile to another post.

    With all these metrics, you can improve your overall engagement and increase your social following. Also, you can connect with your followers more frequently by tagging them in content, talking to them, liking their posts, responding to their questions and encourage them to share your content.

Hopefully, these steps helped you understand how you can create an excellent social media marketing strategy. You can also use analytics apps to keep a check on your social media profile activities. Analyzing your content constantly allows you to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t which helps you refine your strategy in real-time.

Conclusion

Make sure you consider social media marketing strategy as a living document that you check out regularly and keep it updated. Adjust the document as needed and refer to it frequently to grow your customer base. Don’t be afraid of making changes to it so that it better reflects new tools, goals, and plans.

Also, when you make changes, do let everyone on your team know about them. By doing this, you can get the whole team working together to get the best out of your social media profiles.

You can also create a social network app using Appy Pie’s Social Network App Builder to manage all your social media accounts. With this app, you can keep a track on your audience’s behavior and know how to keep them engaged.

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Ruchi Gohri
About The Author

Ruchi Gohri, content writer at Appy Pie, has penchant for writing. With over 4 years of experience, she plays around with words elegantly, crafting simple content for all to read. In her free time, she loves her couch either to read or catch on her sleep.

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