How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan?
When I just got started with social media marketing, I thought that social media content plans were for losers. After all, SMM is not rocket science. I do have a vivid imagination, so I will easily come up with a bunch of posts and schedule them for the future.
Then I sat at my desk, barely composed three posts and fizzled out deciding that I would finish the rest later. That’s how I started to work at night and sleep for three hours.
Do you want to save your time and nerves? Make a plan.
Why you need a social media content plan?
One does not simply create a masterpiece! In order to write quality posts with unfailing consistency, you need to invest your time to thoroughly study your topic.
A clear plan will give you time and fresh ideas as you will be able to see which topics can be divided into parts and which ones can be viewed from a different angle. The plan will prevent you from posting too many ads and remind you to wish happy holidays to your subscribers.
Finally, the plan is very helpful if you have contractors, such as copywriters, designers and other pets. You will be able to organize their work and avoid making fool of yourself if Josh the designer suddenly goes on holiday.
Social media content plan examples
Each social media content plan is a custom-made thing. I make mine a month in advance in Google spreadsheets and then adjust it, if necessary. For example, here is the content plan I created for one of my client’s Facebook page:
Choose the dates and determine the number of posts
When deciding how often you are going to post, take into consideration your target audience, your resources, as well as the concept and context of your posts. My target audience is very mature, busy and rich entrepreneurs, they just don’t have time to read a million posts every day.
Usually you don’t need more that two or three posts to hook your audience without being annoying. I try to avoid posting during the most popular hours as that’s when your posts are sure to drown in the flow of everyone else’s postponed publications.
Fill in the table
I describe subjects of posts and types of content in the column called Topic. The column Idea is dedicated to the content itself - ideas, links to articles,and so on. Try not to overdo it, or you will spend more time planning rather than writing posts.
One more column called Notes is for miscellaneous stuff: apart from actual notes I use it for ideas for future posts or phone numbers of contractors. It’s my digital version of post-it notes on the laptop.
You can monitor the statistics in your social media content plan table as well. For these needs I have the column Audit which I fill in at the end of each month. Yes, you can track the statistics directly in social networks, but I have found that recording it in the social media content plan is a convenient way to adjust the content strategy if something goes wrong.
Colour the table
Remember the golden ratio of content explained in our article about SMM principles?
- 40% - inbound
- 30% - user-generated
- 25% - educational
- 5% - promotional
In order to separate, say, promotional posts from the rest, I coloured them purple. Very pretty. That’s how you get rid of extra columns. For another thing, a coloured table is easier to navigate.
Follow the plan
So, now we have a simple colourful table with the following columns: Day of the Week, Date, Time, Topic, Idea, Notes, and Audit (likes, shares, comments, and conversion rate). This table suits any social network: Facebook, LinkedIn, Vkontakte, and so on. If it’s Instagram, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest, I tend to unite columns Topic and Idea, as posts in these networks are short. However, if you need more columns, add them. It’s a free country.
Last but not least, use this useful template
The social media content plan helps you produce quality posts on time, organize the work and increase your efficiency. I made templates for different social networks for a year ahead so that it would be easier for you to start.
If you plan your social media activities differently, share your approach in the comments. Let's talk.