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Social Media Planning, How, What, When?

Marketing through social media has made consumers more accessible than ever before. According to numbers from Statista, an estimated 3.6 billion people will be active on social media by the end of 2021. The increased concentration on major social media platforms and the tools these provide to marketers give an almost unlimited reach. But with the increase of collective exposure to advertisement comes the struggle to break through to your target groups.

Consumers are bombarded with advertisements through their social media channels, and the campaigns are losing their intended exposure. The market for social media advertising is expected to reach £43 billion by the end of 2021. The average spending per user on social media is expected to grow with 7.6% to a total of £21.91.

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How to plan your social media strategy

73% of marketers have found social media to be a valuable addition to their marketing strategy. Even though most agree that social media add value to their strategy, many find it challenging to utilize the tools provided in the most efficient way possible. Like any other way of marketing, social media requires a well-planned strategy for it to work.

First out, you’ll have to figure out what message you want to get out there. When the message and brand are ready for launch, we’ll have to set the target group and where we are most likely to find this audience. To get started with your social media planning, we can break it down into a few easy checkpoints as followed:

  1. Set social media goals. Ensure you know what you want to achieve with your social media presence and break this into measurable goals. It can be milestones for engagement, leads to sales ratio, traffic to external sites, or brand awareness, among other things.
  2. Know your budget. Your social media strategy should boost sales, leads, or traffic depending on the goals set. Reaching these will cost both time and money, and know how much you have available before you create a strategy that will be too time-consuming or expensive compared to your budget.
  3. Select the platforms fitting you. Many believe that having a presence on all the major platforms will be the best strategy, but stretching yourself too thin will only result in low-quality content or excessive work. Find a few social media platforms fitting your strategy and stick to making your presence there the best possible.
  4. Create a content calendar. Your social media strategy should be a long-term strategy. Posts should be following a silver lining, all building on each other. Create a content calendar to make sure you keep posting content regularly on all the platforms you have a presence. Nothing looks worse than an inactive account.

What should your social media planning include?

Social media marketing can be one of the most challenging things to plan in detail. Audience behavior change and social media platforms are replaced with new ones. This makes the importance of a concrete plan vital for success because of all the variables forcing a flexible schedule.

Start with the baseline statistics. There will be a starting point for most companies out there, where the engagement from social media posts mostly comes from employees sharing the content with their network. This will count as your baseline; it can only go up from here. Make sure to register the baseline exposure and regularly follow the progression to see if the strategies are working or need adjustments.

Goals and objectives have to be set. Entering the world of social media marketing might be a rough experience, and growth may hold out in the beginning. Make sure to set milestones along the road to motivate and measure progress toward the ultimate goal. Start with setting a mix of “soft” and “hard” goals with different milestones along the journey. These should be easy to understand, but require some work to reach.

Staffing should always be part of your social media planning. Interaction is an essential part of social media marketing, and this requires people. As your strategy has to be creative, flexible, and engaging, it will need more than one person to create. Make room for marketing departments to engage with the content and bring new ideas to the table. One person might execute the actual platform engagement, but a monotone campaign will have little attention.

Make sure to fit a content calendar into your planning process. The quality and frequency of content published on your platforms are almost equally important. I say almost, as spamming lousy content won’t get you far, but few useful posts with long inactivity periods in-between won’t do much good either. Create a content calendar and make sure to stick with the plan.

Reporting and analysis of the results should be part of the planning. What should be reported, and how should the results be analyzed to measure success? Set these factors in advance to ensure you get the desired results from your strategy or the proper notifications to adjust the plan accordingly.

When should you do your social media planning?

Social media planning is liquid exercise. The plan requires continuous adjustments and flexibility to adapt to new consumer behavior quickly. Progress and engagement from the strategy should be measured on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to ensure the content going out still create the desired interactions from your audience.

Social media planning should be a large part of your marketing routine as long as you have an online presence and a message or product to get across to consumers. The way consumers interact with the advertisement will change over time with new features, social settings, or technology, forcing marketers to follow suit on a running basis. Estimates forecasting a 20% increase in social media spending during 2021 will toughen competition for advertisement exposure, putting the effort back on organic growth and a strong follower base already in place on your channels.

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