How to Create a Small Business Social Media Plan

Now that you’ve decided which social media networks your business is going to join, it’s time to write out your social media plan. Why Develop a Social Media Plan?

You may be wondering why a social media plan is necessary. After all, maintaining a social media account seems simple enough—you post content, share other peoples’ content, and interact with followers. While this is true to some extent, if your posts and interactions on social aren’t driven by a carefully crafted plan, you may be wasting your time. In order to get the most out of your efforts on social, you have to determine what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them. Your content will then support those goals.

What Should a Social Media Plan Include?

Each business’s social media plan will be unique based on its individual needs. However, every plan should contain the following basic elements as a foundation:

  • Audience: Who are you trying to reach? Are they the same people on each social network, or different?
  • Goals: What do you hope to achieve by using social media? Do you want to drive engagement and repeat business from current customers? Connect with new customers? Boost traffic to your business’s blog?
  • Networks: Which networks will you be posting on?
  • Content types: Will you be posting news articles? Videos? Photos? Quotes? Will the type of content you post be the same across every network, or customized?
  • Content mix: What percent of content will you post to engage and inform your viewers, and what percent will you use to promote your business’s products, services, specials, and events? The standard mix is 80% informative content and 20% promotional content, but your plan may vary depending on your audience and industry.
  • Posting schedule: How many times a day will you be posting on each network? What times during the day will you be posting? Who will be responsible for posting on each network?
  • Customer service policy: Who will be in charge of responding to customer service inquiries? How will you handle negative feedback or angry customers?
  • Testimonials and reviews: Will you share positive feedback from happy customers on social channels? If so, what format will this feedback be presented in, and how often will you share it?
  • Contests and ads: If you plan to run any social contests or ad campaigns, make sure to include those in your plan as well. You should include your concept, budget, and desired outcome so that you can benchmark your results once the campaign has run.

How to Optimize Your Plan

Starting off with a social media plan is a great first step, but as you begin to post regularly and see how your audience interacts with your content, you’ll inevitably end up adjusting your social media plan to maximize your reach and engagement. Make sure to go back and put it down in writing; you never know when you might hand off social media responsibilities to someone else, and you’ll want your plan to be as accurate as possible for that person to follow.

The Bottom Line

Before you invest time and energy into posting great content and engaging with followers on social, make sure you have a solid social media plan in place so that your goals are clear. Then, any time you struggle to come up with content to share, you can go back to these goals for inspiration and guidance.