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“You HAVE to be on social media,” everyone tells you. 

Yes, that’s true. But it doesn’t tell you the whole story. 

What they don’t tell you is that establishing a social media presence requires a lot of forethought and careful planning. 

What are the right tools and social media channels to use? You can’t use all of them. 

Sure, you could indiscriminately sign up for every platform out there, but all that will guarantee you is that you’ll spend a lot of time using social media. It won’t necessarily lead to results. 

When you’re planning your organization’s approach to social media content marketing, you need to do so in a way that maximizes your return on investment while minimizing time spent developing and executing your plan. 

To do that, you’ll want to come up with a social media marketing strategy you can repeat and customize over time. For that, you’ll want a social media strategy template.  

In this post, we’ll determine the best practices for how to develop and what to include in your team’s social media marketing strategy template, and how Content Marketing Platform’s software can help you do that. 

Why You Need a Social Media Marketing Plan

The first question any marketer should ask is why you need a social media marketing plan or strategy. The answer is simple: a coordinated approach is much more likely to get results. 

Which social media platforms will get you the best results? What kind of content should you develop? 

What are your social media goals? How about your overarching business goals? Or your marketing goals needed to build brand awareness? 

These are the kinds of questions you should be asking before you start posting on social media. They’re the ones that define your strategy. 

A lot of people within your organization play a role in your social media marketing strategy – your C-suite, creative team, and other relevant stakeholders. When you develop a strategy that addresses their input, it’s more likely to align with everyone’s vision and achieve the goals you’d like to accomplish. 

You may have a social media strategy you deploy for every social media campaign. But sometimes, you’ll have different campaigns that may align but require different goals and objectives. 

When that’s the case, you’ll want to have a social media marketing strategy template in place that you can easily repopulate every time you launch a new campaign. 

What Your Template Should Include

Your social media marketing strategy template will vary depending on what sector or industry you’re in. However, there are some basic building blocks you can expect to include no matter what kind of organization you have. Below are some of the most critical sections you’ll want in your template: 

  • Mission
  • Goals
  • Target audience
  • Tactics
  • Metrics
  • Timeline

Below is a summary of how you can get the most out of these sections of your social media marketing strategy template. 

Define the Right Metrics

Let’s begin at the end. Marketing metrics are what you’re going to evaluate – either while your campaign is either ongoing or finished – to determine your success. 

Yes, it’s true you measure these after the campaign has launched. However, it’s crucial to identify them well before you begin as they should inform your marketing efforts. 

Your metrics should include key performance indicators (KPIs) that represent what you’re evaluating. One example of KPI could be engagement (likes, clicks, shares, impressions, etc.) on social media posts. 

Your metrics will inevitably change based on what you get out of the campaign, but some things will remain true no matter what you use: 

  • By definition, they should be measurable. There should be numbers associated with your metrics, so you can gauge improvement – tools like Google Analytics will be helpful here. 
  • They should be specific to your campaign. What works for one campaign won’t necessarily work with another. Your choice of platforms should align with your goals.
  • They should be ambitious but attainable. Setting standards that are either too high or too low won’t give you a true measurement of how well you’ve performed – be realistic when identifying your KPIs.

The Role of Social Media Content in Your Strategy

Most important of all within your strategy is your social media content strategy. Your content is the material you post to each platform intended to inform, persuade, and educate your target audience. 

Your content should support your mission – whether that’s to spread a message, make more sales, or build brand awareness. That’s why you’ll want to develop it with a strategic eye. 

Each platform requires different types of content to drive traffic, whether you’re relying on influencer marketing, Instagram stories, or other types of strategies.

Twitter is for short-form messaging, while Instagram and TikTok are more visually focused. Other platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can support different types of media such as blog posts or memes, but play better to different audiences.

The bottom line is that creating content can’t be done in a vacuum. You need to consider how it fits within your marketing ecosystem. 

One of the best ways to organize your content – and one thing you’ll want to include in your strategy template – is an editorial calendar or social media content calendar. Your calendar should be a week-to-week (or month-to-month) account of what content you plan to post and when. 

Your editorial calendar will highlight important dates, milestones, and holidays with content developed in line with those dates. It should last as long as your campaign is expected to run. 

A calendar helps you refine your brand voice by plotting out when and where you house your content. It extends across platforms and encompasses all the information you want to convey to your target market. 

It’s your way of ensuring you’re integrating all of your social media networks with content that speaks to the right people at the right time. 

The Importance of Pinpointing Your Target Audience

Of course, developing the right messaging hinges on whether or not you know you’re talking to the right people. You’ll want to speak to the specific pain points of the audience your campaign is trying to reach. 

Let’s say you have a leaky faucet in your kitchen sink. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to go tell your doctor or neighbor about the problem – the right audience is your plumber. 

When you’re developing your social media marketing strategy template, you’ll need a section that talks about your target audience for this specific campaign. Include three components in this section: 

  • A definition of the demographic. Who is this part of your audience? For example, how old or young are they? 
  • Characteristics. What research have you done about your audience? You’ll want to include it. 
  • The best platforms/channels to reach them. Every segment of your audience is different. Specify what platforms and marketing channels to use for the variety of segments within your larger audience. 

Your research and information may vary depending on the campaign, but including it as part of your template gives you an opportunity for consistency here. It also ensures that audience research is central to every campaign that uses your template.

How to Share Your Social Media Strategy Template with Your Team

There will be information about your social media strategy that most of your team members will need to know. For example, they may need to know vital login information for your various social media profiles. 

That’s why you’ll want to develop a way to easily share this template with your marketing team, so they can develop a new campaign strategy on their own or access an existing template. 

How you share this with your team is up to you. Using a generic, centralized cloud solution may be helpful, or you may opt for something specifically customized for marketers

Ultimately, you’ll want to create a seamless workflow for your team so everyone who has either input into the template or needs to access it can easily get their hands on it. One of the reasons you’re using a template is so the many people on your team can duplicate social media campaigns quickly. 

Whether it’s building a bigger or more targeted social media presence or understanding what goes into your team’s desired social media metrics, giving your team quick access to the template is critical for success. It can help everyone better understand your organization’s cross-cutting goals for social media and how you plan to achieve them. 

Content Marketing Platform’s Marketing Software Can Revolutionize Your Social Media Planning

Content Marketing Platform offers solutions for all your marketing needs in the form of software intended to help you…

  • Manage and oversee the creative process
  • Reliably develop content
  • Align and enable your go-to-market teams
  • Better deliver exceptional experiences to your various marketing communication channels

Your social media strategy plays a major role in your marketing strategy, so you’ll want to have the best tools in place to help you develop and manage it. Content Marketing Platform’s software solutions provide you and your team with the tools you need to develop not just your strategy, but a template reinforcing that strategy you can then deploy over and over again. 

With Content Marketing Platform’s tools in place, watch your team grow in both effectiveness and efficiency while you get the most out of your marketing budget. To get started with free templates or for more on how we can help.