Social media is just one component of an overall content marketing strategy but we find in our practice that many if not most of the companies we work with do not have a documented strategy or plan.
According to the B2B Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report published by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, fewer B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy compared with to 2015 (32% vs. 35%), even though the research consistently shows that those who document their strategy are more effective in nearly all areas of content marketing.
What needs to be in your social media plan?
First, there should be an overarching strategy and then a series of campaigns, each campaign focusing on a particular persona. That’s right, each persona needs a plan and strategy to be effective. Why?
It is likely that each persona receives their information differently – one may prefer LinkedIn while another may use Snapchat or Facebook. Content needs to be developed for each persona and for then for each social media channel. LinkedIn content may not be appropriate for Snapchat or Pinterest.
Elements of a social media plan
Let’s take a closer look at what needs to be included in each campaign plan.
- Campaign Mission – The mission statement provides a framework and purpose for the campaign. It addresses who, what, how, and why at a high level.
- Campaign Goal – Setting goals for the campaign helps focus the organization and gives you criteria for success. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART)
- Story Narrative – This is the story that you want to convey during the campaign. It will usually intertwine a number of themes that address top, middle, and bottom-of-funnel challenges.
- Leadership/Education/Themes Topics – In this section you would build out the themes that are mentioned in the high level narrative.
- Multiple Call-to-Actions – This is dependent on what we want the persona to do as a result of the campaign and will include top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel actions.
- Channel Recommendations – Here is where you determine which social channels you plan on using and why.
- Recommended Content Assets – Here is where you define which assets do you have that you can use or repackage and which content assets need to be developed.
- Influencer Outreach Plan – Develop a list of influencers that you want to cultivate and a plan to enlist them in your campaign.
- Hashtags, Keywords – Define keyword and hashtags.
- Metrics – Although KPIs were defined in the goals section, you will need to determine if you need additional tools to measure those KPIs and how often you will be measuring the campaign. Additional details regarding metrics would go in this section.
When we are working on social media strategy for major companies, the plan and the deliverable is quite a bit more comprehensive than what you see above and it is usually part of a bigger plan but it contains all ten elements.
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