Without plans, some of the biggest achievements in the history of mankind could simply not have happened. We couldn’t have put man on the moon by just ‘winging it’, and there is no way the Great Wall of China was constructed on a whim.
Plans throughout history have allowed us to achieve moments of greatness. It’s in your hands really. As they say – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
When it comes to organising digital marketing, especially social media, the importance of planning shouldn’t be underestimated. Though it may not seem sexy, planning takes the hassle out of the day to day, giving you something to refer back to and reducing last minute stress.
Running great social media requires lots of love and attention in order to make it something people engage with and get excited about, but it’s easy for it to fall by the wayside when you’re busy. This is where a social media content plan can help.
Why do we need a plan?
Talk to people who work in social media, or read articles from leading social gurus online, and you’ll find a common love for social media planning. Why? Well, without it, teams are effectively operating in the dark. Creating consistent, quality content for social media channels is one of the challenges many businesses face. Planning is vital if you’re trying to align social with other marketing activities, tie it to campaigns or offline events, and help build a following – all at the same time.
Putting together a plan that shows what content is being published, what collateral needs to be created, what’s going to be coming next, as well as key dates/times helps to set clear actions from the outset. It also keeps your posting consistent and gives you more time to focus on other activity or projects that boost your business. Doing this in advance allows time for working out seasonal implications, posts around specific events you’re attending, or content around the launch of a product, for example. You’ll never miss a great social moment again.
Bottom line? A social media plan keeps you sane.
Creating your social media plan
Although this might sound complicated, it’s actually really achievable. The more specific you make your plan, the better. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure from the beginning, so investing time in making sure that it’s clear, specific and achievable from the outset will help you as you put things into action.
When it comes to putting the plan together, here are a few things to consider:
- Assess your platforms. Where is your audience hanging out online? Make sure you’re focusing your planning efforts on the platforms where your audience are most active.
- Look at analytics data from your social activity last year. What drove the most traffic, or helped you achieve your goals? Did certain types of content, like video, do the best? If so, you can replicate and build on this for the months ahead.
- Consider your goals. What are you trying to achieve as a business this year? How can your social activity help you get there? Use this to inform your plan.
Armed with all of the information you’ve already gathered, you can now start putting together the content that’s going to help you achieve all your business’s hopes and dreams – whether that’s boosting revenue, reaching new markets, or making people laugh. Undoubtedly for us fun-loving creative types, the real excitement comes when we get to create content. But if you spend time nailing down your audience, where they’re at and what they’ve liked before, then creating content becomes a whole lot easier and more effective.
From images and videos to blogs, news updates and interviews, there are tons of types of shareable content out there. A strong social media plan includes everything from how often you’ll post, to the networks you’ll post on, links to the images that you’ll include, and what time of day you’ll schedule it for. Content is the lifeblood of social media, so make it work for you.
Check out the downloadable template our training provider, Giant Campus, has created to help you plan your social media strategy for 2018. Fill in the form below and then check your inbox. Let us know how you get on!