How to create a social media marketing plan from scratch

Written by Anagha Khare

On October 31, 2019

Your digital persona matters more than ever before.

If you want to make it big in the digital world, you are not alone. As brands and businesses continue to jump on to the social media bandwagon, it’s time you mastered the art of making it big on social media. Luckily, it’s not such a big deal as it’s made out to be. So if you are having trouble building your image in the world of social media or if you happen to be one of those who go on a posting rampage without a purpose, well, this post is just for you.

Read on to know how you could crack the code to social media success. Let’s begin.

Not without a strategy

The only way to level up as a social media marketer is to have a strategy. Setting out on a social media journey without strategy is like going on a holiday without a destination in mind. It will get you nowhere. The easiest and the most effective ways to begin plotting your strategy is to ask yourself these 5 basic questions – Why, Who, What, Where and When. In essence, you need to ask yourself why you want to be on social media, who do you want to address, what you think would interest them, where or which platforms you should use for sharing and when do you intend to share.

The thing about social media strategy is that you can have a different one for all your social media channels; one for Facebook, one for Instagram and so on. But this is something that’s going to require practice. For starters, you can work on building an overall strategy that will address all your objectives pertaining to building your presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

Why be on social media?

You need to answer this most critical question first as it would define your goals and give you a direction. Are you here to promote your products, or drive traffic to your website or to have a conversation with your customers? Typically, your goals would revolve around these basic requirements:

  • To create brand awareness
  • Increase website traffic
  • Generate leads
  • Boost revenue
  • Foster brand engagement
  • Build your community
  • Offer better service
  • Create a buzz around your brand

Now, as a brand, you may have multiple goals or different teams may have different goals within the same organization. So the sales team may be focused on generating leads while the support team may be keen on listening to brand conversations. Either ways, it helps build the brand in meaningful ways.

Who are you targeting?

Now this is one question that will have a huge impact on the kind of content you post. If you are a travel company, your target audience is largely going to comprise those who are always on the lookout for exotic places to travel. Travel tips, budget travel, shopping avenues etc. would most definitely interest this group of people. If you are an investment company, the conversations would largely be around savings, future planning, inflation information and so on.

We recommend creating marketing personas. Who we are talking to, what they are interested in, what income group do they belong to, which are their favorite hangout platforms, how would your content help them are some questions you need to ask right away. Do their profiling; understand what excites them and then work towards bridging the gap between what they need and what you offer.

This should be a fairly simple exercise if your business has been up for a while now. And even if you are a start-up, it would go a long way in understanding what drives your target audience.

What should you share?

Before you start thinking about individual posts, why not think from a larger perspective and have a theme or a content plan before starting to post? The famous luxury couch brand ‘Burrow’ has been posting memes on its Instagram account while the underwear brand MeUndies shares posts from their customers along with pictures of their products to engage with followers on its Instagram profile. The point we are making is that you need to know what works for you and then slowly and steadily work your way to the top of their social media feed.

The Durex guys have fun with their social media campaigns without ever digressing from their sole intent of keeping the ‘fun’ alive in your personal lives. What’s interesting is that they manage to spice up their posts irrespective of the social or topical issues they are addressing. The idea is to keep the social media engagement creative, compassionate and yet extremely engaging in a way that your followers feel the connect on a much deeper level. No matter how often you are engaging with your customers, you should never shy away from promoting your products. If you think you are being too pushy, you should know that Investment bank Piper Jaffray through their survey on 8600 American teenagers found out that 70 percent were inclined to having brands contacting them about new products through Instagram. Again, the point is- how well do you understand your audience?

Where should you share your content?

Well, the temptation to be on every social media platform out there can be huge. While there are quite a few, experts still believe in the unshakeable power of the 4 biggies – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. When people go searching for you online, your presence on these 4 dynamic platforms is simply hard to miss. Perhaps why we insist on one thing again and again – know your people. Know what excites them, what is it they are looking for, how often do they browse online, and are you picking on the digital footprints their online searches leave behind? Youngsters may be looking at stuff their friends are looking at while the older demographics may be pursuing hobbies or looking for lifestyle upgrades. Your target audience is talking all the time, the question is- Are you listening?

And sometimes, the big things lie in the smaller details. So what is your X factor, what it is that sets you apart? Perhaps you are selling the same thing as a thousand others are selling in the neighborhood, but the difference might be in your after-sales service. May be you sell cycles like most others but you also offer cycling lessons which they don’t. You get the point? Know what’s different about you, and if there isn’t a differentiating factor start working on having one.

When should you engage with your audience?

This is one question that’s gonna require a bit of homework. You need to observe the behaviors of your target audience before you go on a posting spree. So whether you want to post a few times a week or on a daily basis, you will have to understand the best time to do so. Sports fanatics will follow a page just before the event kickstarts and will stay glued all through the season or event. Travel enthusiasts will be looking at travel ideas and places over the weekends or during their commute to or from work. You should plan your posts accordingly.

Never forget to respond

Having a strategy is fine, posting content is also fine, but do you have a team in place to do all the talking? Your audience is going to like, criticize or interact. Newton’s law of motion applies here too what with public sentiment being too strong about products and brand offerings. So to every post, there is going to be an equal (likes & shares) and opposite (condemn & criticize) reaction. As a responsible brand, you should be ready with answers and must respond without delay. Social customer care is precisely what we are talking about and it’s up to you to make timeliness your top priority. Luckily, there are excellent social media platforms such as Ryzely that take care of all the nitty-gritties and help you engage with your audience effortlessly and effectively. Nike, Netflix, Spotify, Starbucks are all doing one thing right and their followers love them and how. They respond and show that they care in incredibly simple ways.

Know what’s okay and what isn’t

Look at Missguided, the fast fashion retailer. Its content is varied yet structured. Tutorials, back in stock, fun shit, #babes and love island are just a few categories and hashtags it has to its credit. The brand offers a crazy mix – user generated content, lifestyle posts, product promos, offers and more. A tie-up with Love Island spiked its sales by 40%. Talk about improving ROI on social media spends. Clearly, you can learn a lesson or two from Missguided. Likewise, Domino’s went all out flaunting its digital technology and establishing its dominance in creating better mobile experiences for its customers. Tweet-to-order got it a lot of attention and the introduction of ‘DOM The Pizza Bot’ made ordering so much easier for its patrons. The key is to know what works and what doesn’t.

In closing

The above are just a few basic pointers to consider while chalking out your social media marketing plan. We will cover other pertinent parameters in detail in our series ‘how to create the perfect social marketing plan for 2020’. There are countless things to factor in while devising a social media plan.

Stay tuned until we return with more. At Ryzely, we’ve got all your needs covered.