The Role of Social Media Planning in Your Online Presence

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Social media planning has become an essential part of nearly every brand’s marketing agenda. 

And for a good reason. 

Social media usage continues to be one of the most popular online activities. In fact, in 2021 over four billion people were using social media around the world — a number set to increase to nearly six billion by 2027.

Global internet users also spend an average of 147 minutes per day on social media and messaging apps, giving brands ample opportunities to boost awareness and conversions.

But here’s the deal …

Showing up randomly on social media doesn’t cut it anymore. 

To truly thrive and generate qualified leads, you need a solid social media marketing plan in place.

If you’re ready to add social media to your content marketing toolkit, stick around to learn three simple steps you can take to turn your vision into reality.

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    1. Examine Your Wider Content Strategy and Use It to Inform Your Social Media Strategy 

    Take a look at your brand’s current content marketing strategy. 

    Which target audience do you create content for? What content topics and related keywords do you target? What are your content marketing goals or aspirations, and how do they align with your business objectives?

    Keeping the answers to these questions top of mind is key to creating a social media strategy that fits in and supports your wider content strategy. Without a holistic approach in tow, you risk creating an unbalanced user experience which can damage trust and confuse your audience.

    A simple way to keep your social media plan aligned with your wider content strategy is by evaluating each social channel against your business goals and audience’s pain points. 

    For instance, if you manufacture fixtures for large retailers, and your goal is to reach more mega stores that need loss-prevention display cases, you’d need to ask yourself: 

    • Will this channel help us reach our ideal clients, such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy?
    • Which social media channels do decision-makers in our target audience use most and why? What kinds of conversations do they have there?
    • Which social media channels do decision-makers in our target audience use least and why? 
    • What kinds of social media content do decision-makers in our target audience consume, and why do they consider it valuable? 
    • Do our ideal clients consume loss-prevention content on social media? What kind?
    • Which actions do decision-makers in our target audience take after consuming social media content and how does it solve their pain points? 
    • What content types, themes, and images are we currently producing and how can we repurpose them for social media given the insights from above? (more on this in a bit)

    Once you’ve completed the checklist, meet with your social media team to get clear on your objectives. During the meeting, outline your social media goals and describe why they’re important to your business objectives and target audience.

    Social Media Goals Examples

    Social media goal #1: 

    What: Direct quality traffic to our website

    Why we care: Helps us reach our goal of increasing our domain authority score

    How it helps our audience: Gives them valuable resources to solve their problems, such as informational guides, aligned products and solutions to shop for, and the ability to book a consultation for more support

    Social media goal #2: 

    What: Generate more email list subscribers

    Why we care: Helps us reach our lead generation goals and supplies us with conversion opportunities 

    How it helps our audience: Gives them valuable resources to solve their problems right in their inbox, such as insider loss prevention tips, personalized product recommendations, and the ability to ask detailed questions for additional support

    Finally, choose which channels you’ll be targeting and what you’ll be using each social media platform for. Consider conducting A/B tests before finalizing your plan.

    For instance, you might learn that LinkedIn works better for generating email list subscribers and Instagram works better for directing quality traffic to your website. Whatever channels you choose, make sure you have a clear reason and goal for why you’re showing up there and what you want to achieve.

    2. Set Up Your Social Media Profiles 

    Now that you’re clear on which channels you’ll be utilizing and what your goals are, set up your business social media profiles. 

    Here’s what to do:

    Identify your social media voice characteristics 

    Review your brand’s voice guidelines in your company style guide — i.e., messaging style, tone, terms to use and avoid, etc. 

    Then, identify your social media voice characteristics and how you plan on reflecting them in your copy, (and how you communicate on social media in general). 

    For instance, marketing consultant and writer Erika Heald recommends describing your brand voice in three words. This is a super simple way to keep your tone congruent across all of your marketing channels.

    So, take a look at your style guide and describe your brand voice in three words. Then, make an easy-to-digest “Brand Voice Chart” your team can reference to produce social media copy that’s on-brand, every time. 

    Here’s an example from Erika:

    Add a value proposition in each of your bios 

    Once you have your social media brand voice down, write a clear value proposition on each of your profiles.

    Here’s an easy template you can use:

    “We help <target audience> achieve/get <results> by <method/product/service>” + call to action (CTA) related to your goals. 

    For instance: 

    “We help social media managers plan a month’s worth of Instagram posts in minutes. Schedule your posts on Instagram, today.”

    If the bio field in the platforms you’ve chosen doesn’t allow a link to be embedded into the CTA, simply add the link to the website field instead: 

    Instagram bio fields example.

    (Image provided by Ioana)

    Add quick links in line with your goals 

    Include additional quick links in your social media bios in line with your goals. Shorten your links by using a URL shortener, like Bitly, or use a link in bio tool like Linktree to house all of your links in one place. 

    When deciding which links to add, consider your specific objectives. For instance, if you’re looking to generate more ecommerce sales, add a link to your Shopify store. If you’d like to build your email list, add a link to a relevant lead magnet.

    Choose your content types and themes 

    Refer to your wider content marketing strategy (as well as your answers to the questions in the checklist from step one) to finalize your content types and themes.

    Here’s an example: 

    • Types of content: Tip listicles, short guides, how-tos, behind-the-scenes (BTS), inspiring quotes, stories
    • Content themes: Career motivation (Mondays), career tips (Tuesdays), customer success stories (Wednesdays), Q&A (Thursdays), BTS (Fridays)
    • Visuals: Infographics, carousels, professional images, short explainer videos, talking head videos of coaches sharing expert advice, live videos, static images

    Then, solidify the tools you’ll need to create these content assets. For instance, you might need a graphic design tool like Canva to create infographics and static images, an AI text-to-speech tool like LOVO to create short explainer videos, and a grammar checker tool like Writer to proofread your copy. 

    Add some starter content to get your profiles going 

    Bring your new social media profiles to life by adding some starter assets.

    To save time creating starter content, consider repurposing snippets from your best-performing blog posts.

    For instance, if the following post on selling online businesses is one of your key pillar pieces, you could turn the tips into an infographic called “How to sell your business for the maximum price”. Or, you could grab one of the images from the article (like the following one) and create an entire post around it:

    Or if the following piece on how to come up with small business ideas is one of your highest-performing posts, you could create a Reel showcasing 11 business ideas. Or, you could turn each business idea into its own social media post — resulting in 11 posts! 

    Here’s an example of one of the business ideas you could repurpose as a social media post:

    3. Create Your Social Media Calendar and Schedule Your Content 

    Your social media plan is almost complete! Just one final step: Set up your social media content calendar and posting schedule. 

    Here’s a quick checklist you can use to make sure everything gets done:

    • Plan your topics and their related keywords. Then, assign posting dates, times, hashtags, and CTAs for each topic. Be sure to also set a goal and KPIs for each topic.
    • Plan collaborations with affiliates, influencers, and brand advocates in your niche.
    • Plan your engagement tactics — think contests, DMs, Story stickers, asking thought-provoking questions, quizzes, polls, social listening, etc.
    • Assign copy and image content briefs to writers, designers, editors, stagers, and publishers
    • Assign engagement work to relevant social media marketers on your team
    • Produce and schedule content — aim to schedule your batches 30 to 90 days out 

    Once your calendar is all set up and your posts are scheduled, you’re good to go! 

    From there, you’ll monitor and analyze your social media performance and adjust details as needed. 

    Then, use a social media listening tool like Buffer or Mention to spot branded mentions, collect user-generated content, and respond to people who are talking about you or to you. This is key to building loyal relationships with your leads and customers on social media. 

    Wrap Up

    And there you have it! Today, we walked you through how to create a social media marketing plan in three simple steps.

    Your next order of business? Meet with your social media marketing team and begin putting these insights into action. Assign subject-matter experts to each marketing role you need, plan your tasks and workflows, and finalize your timeline.

    Then, make your plan a reality. 

    Track your marketing efforts, engage with your followers, and refine your approach as you analyze your performance. Rinse and repeat.

    That’s it, for now, marketers. 

    Here’s to your success! 

    PS: Need a complete content solution with full support from strategy planning to tailored content? We’ve got you covered. Discover how Rock Content can help you establish a strong social media presence, today

    This is a guest post written by Addison Burke from Wordable
    Addison is a freelance writer who teaches businesses how to grow through better digital marketing tactics.


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