Is your business on social media? If you ARE on social media, are you getting the results you need?

Social media provides opportunities to connect with your ideal audience, increase brand awareness, and strengthen ties with existing customers—but you’re not likely to have much success without a solid plan.

If you’re looking for help with your social media plan, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll run through the steps for creating a social media plan that helps you reach your business goals.

Step 1: Consider your social media goals.

First, spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish on social media. Are you a coffee shop trying to increase customer loyalty? Are you a new nonprofit trying to raise awareness in your local community? Are you a clothing store looking for new employees?

Get clear on your goals, and remember that you can have different goals for different social media platforms!

Step 2: Define your brand.

It may be challenging to define your brand if you’re a smaller company with a common product or service. A sandwich shop is a sandwich shop, right? All you have to do is provide a quality product at an acceptable price.

Well… not exactly. To truly be competitive, you can’t stop at perfecting your products and services; you need a distinctive brand.

Maybe you have excellent vegan options or your ingredients are locally sourced; whatever your unique selling point is, that’s the key to your business! Defining your brand is all about identifying what you have to offer that’s better than the competition, and then marketing that.

Step 3: Understand your audience.

You can’t reach your audience effectively if you don’t know who they are!

As an exercise in understanding your audience, create 2-3 buyer personas. Personas are fictional characters who represent your ideal audience.

You might invent “Sarah,” age 19, local university student as one of your sandwich-shop customer personas. What social media platforms does Sarah use? How does she spend her free time? What are her values? Do your research to create realistic personas.

Once your personas are set, it’ll be easier to write content that will resonate with your audience. You can create different social media campaigns with different personas in mind!

Step 4: Check out your competition.

Next, run a competitive analysis. Research your top competitors’ social media pages. Their top-performing content might give you clues for your own plan—for example, if you see their food videos are super successful, you might create videos with your own unique spin! Seeing where your competitors are not winning is also important—for example, if your competitor is doing great on Facebook but doesn’t have Instagram or TikTok, those platforms might be an opportunity for you.

Step 5: Set up your social media accounts and tools.

Choose whichever platforms fit your specific situation and set up your accounts! Make sure to fill out every section and include high-quality photos.

Familiarize yourself with each platform so that you know how to check things like impressions, reach, engagement rate, and click-through rate. Make sure you have your website set up properly to be able to track conversions, so that you can figure out the true ROI of any campaigns you run. Decide whether you want to supplement with social listening tools or analytics tools.

Step 6: Start creating content.

It’s time to start writing! Most of your content should be aimed toward educating and entertaining your audience, rather than directly pushing them to buy.

You don’t have to write each post from scratch; you can repurpose existing content from your website, blog, or videos. The majority of posts should be original content, but you can also share updates and information from industry organizations and repost customer content about your business.

Create a social media content calendar with a post frequency that’s manageable for you and your team.

Step 7: Audit and improve.

Now you’re up and running—congrats!

In a few months, you can do a full audit to check your social media performance. Which platforms are working best for you? Which types of posts resonate with your audience? Where are your best leads coming from? Use the data you collected to improve your plan, and set another audit for the future!

If any aspect of this seems overwhelming, don’t worry; 2XM is here to help. Contact us today for a FREE 60-minute consultation for your business needs!