Written by Laura Farkas

Updated April 27, 2023

The Secret Sauce of Winning Social Media Marketing Plans in 2023 that Will Not Cost You an Arm and a Leg

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If you want to build a house, you need solid foundations, a good location, and amenities around. The same applies to social media marketing plans or any marketing strategy. You will have to create a plan that is tailored to your goals and business objectives. Many business owners underestimate the importance of social media planning. In this blog post we will cover why it’s a huge mistake. 

Why Build  Social Media Marketing Plans

The answer will be different for every company. For startups, it’s all about awareness and branding. For growing businesses, it is brand reputation and lead generation, maybe research. For those who want to go really big, it’s all about the sales, baby! 

The main purpose of building a plan for your social media marketing is to get better results from your activities. Just like you would not send out a direct mail campaign to people who are living in London to attend a convention in Scotland (unless you know they are travelling there anyway), you would not want to target the wrong people. And getting to know who’s most likely to buy your product takes a lot of research. 

I have come across businesses that posted whatever they felt like whenever they felt like, wherever they felt like. It’s crazy, It’s like shooting in the dark. You might think that you are hitting something, but you cannot be sure, until someone screams! 

Social media is the fastest changing area of marketing, and you will have to be on top of your game if you want to outsmart your competition and stay in front of your ideal audience. That’s why consistency is the key. Unfortunately, most of the businesses have “posting on socials” at the bottom of their priority list. You will have to make it a priority if you want good results. That’s probably why you need to create a social media marketing plan. 

Why Social Media Marketing Is Like Dating In the Dark

I’m not sure if you’ve seen the series “Dating in the Dark”. It’s pretty strange, and – I will confess – I have only watched about 5 minutes of it. But it reminded me of social media marketing. Let me explain why. 

On social media, you will only see an image of someone who is acting the way they think will impress you. We all create an image of ourselves unconsciously on social platforms. So, you’ll have to dig deeper to find out more about what they really stand for. Most of them will not tell you about their main struggles; you will have to get it out of them. Just like the contestants ask the questions in the series. 

You will really not know the essence of a person until you engage in a meaningful conversation with them. So, if you just “pop up” every now and then, you will not have much success with getting to know them, gaining their trust, and getting that “first date” which might be a visit to your site, a free consultation, a sale, or a share (depending on your business goals).

The Main Stages of Building Social Media Marketing Plans

I hope that now you do understand the importance of building social media marketing plans. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of how to create one and what you have to do to prepare yourself for success. I need to warn you; these steps are not the same ones you have read on any blog in the past. It’s all about strategy, research, and careful planning. And yes, it does involve automation, because it can save you a lot of time and trouble, plus it is smart. And we love everything that’s making our lives as social media strategists easier. 

Get to Know Your Ideal Client

Warning: if you miss this step, you are setting yourself up for failure. You might think that you know who you want to attract, but – believe me – you don’t. In fact, this changes as your business evolves. 

Without nailing down your ideal clients, you will never be able to create a strategy that sticks. If you know who they are, you can find out where they hang out, who they follow, what they are interested in, and what their main issues are. You can also find a complimentary service they are already using, so you can team up with other companies for collaborations. And that’s where the magic happens. 

If you are not sure about your ideal clients, you might want to download our free worksheet or register to one of our upcoming free events where we guide you through the process of discovering who you really want to work with. We are really serious about targeting. Without it, your complete marketing strategy will fall apart.  

Choose the Platform

Once you know who you want to reach through social media, it will be much easier to determine where they hang out. Generally, B2B clients can be found easier on LinkedIn and niche websites. eCommerce companies will find buyers through social media selling, and Pinterest is a great place to start. Creators and companies that are looking to grow brand awareness can utilise YouTube shorts, TikTok, and Instagram stories. 

You will need to tailor your content to the platforms you picked; more fun for Instagram stories and TikTok, but less for B2B posts. Find the right mix of content and get to know the algorithm of the social media site. The sooner you get interaction and comments (on all platforms) the better your posts will do. But there are some ethical and fun outreach strategies as well that you can learn. Keep an eye out for our workshops to learn about the latest “tricks”. 

Create a Content Strategy

So, once you have the social media platform(s) picked, you will have to start brainstorming. This is important, as you will always forget about this unless you allocate time in your diary. You’ll have to review some of the best performing posts on the platform in your niche first. Then, you will have to determine the message you want to get out there. Finally, you should develop a brand persona for each social media platform.

When we start working with a social media marketing and branding client, we usually ask the question about the “feel” of the brand, the main messages, and the likes and dislikes. This should be a really good starting point for you, too. 

Once you have your brand persona, you’ll just have to decide what you are looking to talk about on each platform. It might be that you want to inspire people before you go for a sale, so quotes will do well. Behind-the-scenes videos and posts are also great for branding, just like testimonials. If, however, you are looking for conversions, you’ll need one or two carefully crafted sales messages a week and an ongoing campaign. 

If you are struggling with what to post, you can get inspiration from this post or schedule a free social media overview

Plan the Campaigns

Once you have the 2-3 themes you would like to cover, it’s time to work on your social media calendar. If you don’t have one, you can download a free copy of the template we’ve been using for years for all our social media marketing clients. 

You have to decide which days you would like to post, and what you want to cover. We don’t recommend you starting an ad campaign until you’ve got a great brand awareness and trust. You can still invest in paid ads, but your results will be inferior to the ones you get after you’ve got some reputation on the platform. 

You will have to plan the themes first, then write out the content draft, and finally create the posts. That’s as easy as that. Allocate 1-2 days to create at least 3 months’ worth of content for your socials, so you can forget about it for a while and focus on closing deals and growing your business. 

Execute

Once you’ve got the spreadsheet with all the content, it’s time to schedule. I used to post randomly before I started my business and was still just freelancing. It was a bit of a pain in the backside and it stressed me out to be honest. As we grew the agency and took on more social media clients, we realised that we needed a system. 

We use SocialPilot, but it’s because they have the best statistics generator and it’s great for agencies like us. If you are only using a social media scheduler for one or two accounts, you can get away with Buffer, Later,  Hootsuite, or any other platform. Choose one that makes it easy for you to see what’s working, what’s getting engagement, and where your followers, likes, and engagements are coming from. 

Measure

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Logging into your Instagram account and other accounts to see your stats is good, but what if your scheduling platform gave you all the data you need on one sheet? It’s possible. 

What we usually tell people about social media marketing plans is to “keep the winners and lose the losers”. So, if one type of post or hashtag is not working, get rid of it and replace it with one that does. It sounds very basic, but – believe me – not many people do this regularly. And – as a result – their social media performance suffers. 

Improve

In an ideal world, you’d want to see improved social media performance statistics month by month. You want to have more followers, more engagement, more comments, and clicks to your site. If that’s not the case, you will have to revisit your stats and adjust your plan. It is possible that the platform’s algorithm has changed, and that’s OK. Keep an eye on the changes and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

How Successful Social Media Marketing Plans Look Like

Overall, a successful strategy for social media marketing is all about consistency and continuous improvement. It has the following elements:

  • Brand persona
  • Ideal client persona
  • Posting schedule
  • SMART goals
  • Themes
  • Measurement segments (KPIs)
  • Review dates

If you are looking to work on your social media plan in-house, you will need to allocate a person responsible for the reporting, posting, and strategy. Otherwise, at the end of the 2-3 months it will get out of control again. 

If you would like us to create a social media strategy instead, please get in touch for a quick chat!

Tools that Will Help You Plan Your Social Media Marketing

We understand that you are not a superhuman (in one or more areas we all are though). You cannot do everything from scratch, and you shouldn’t either. Here are some of the tools you might want to utilise to make your social media marketing run like clockwork. 

  • Canva: great for creating posts from scratch or templates. It has a scheduling option on the upgraded version. 
  • Social media scheduler and report creator: Buffer, Hootsuite, Later, or Sprout Social
  • Google Analytics and tag manager. This will help you measure how much traffic is referred to your site and individual landing pages from social media.
  • LinkTree account – this is a great feature, allowing you to put all your links on one page, in case the links are not clickable on the platform. You can add your Linktree link to your profile, and people can easily navigate through what you have to offer, and choose what they are interested in. 

Of course, you can go all in, but you will not need to. Start small with your marketing and expand on it later on, so you can grow organically and learn during the process. 

Introducing: Our Bespoke Social Media Marketing Plans

At LMNts, we have helped hundreds of business owners improve their social media results, and we would like to help even more. At the moment, we offer two different social media marketing services: strategy and ongoing marketing. You can have a look at the cost-effective offers on our website or have a chat with one of our advisors to find out what’s the best option for you. 

Summary of the Secret Social Media Marketing Sauce Recipe:

Planning your social media posts and campaigns can be a scary task. You might not know where to start. Get to know your ideal client, tailor your brand persona to their needs and wants, pick the platforms and themes, and automate the process. Measure your progress and review your strategy every 2-3 months to see how you can improve. 

Resources:

https://www.zoho.com/social/journal/how-to-craft-your-brands-social-media-persona.html 

https://buffer.com/library/social-media-marketing-plan/

https://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/how-to-plan-a-social-media-marketing-campaign-step-by-step/

https://startupbonsai.com/social-media-strategy/

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