There is a big gap in knowing what to do and planning what to do, and a documented strategy fills that gap.
We all know planning makes all the difference when it comes to social media marketing.
Documenting a social media marketing strategy is as crucial as having one.
Alas, most marketers dive into the social marketing abyss without a strategy and end up never finding their feet on the ground.
You must avoid such grave mistakes with a well-documented social media strategy template.
If crafting a social media marketing strategy template sounds like a mammoth task to you, we are here to share the load with our step-by-step guide.
Want something better? Download our free social media strategy template to instantly realize, create, and explain your social marketing roadmap.
What is a Social Media Strategy Template?
A social media strategy template is a document where you outline your social media goals and discuss the roadmap to achieve and measure those goals in the allocated time and budget.
In a nutshell, it is the driving force behind everything you would do on social media for marketing your brand/clients.
A template is a better way to plan, create, and spread your social media content efforts that align with your larger digital marketing strategy and work as an integrated marketing campaign.
But remember to keep as specific as possible, especially in the beginning.
After all, you don’t want to quit following your north star in the middle of the road just because the plans made were too big for you.
What to Include in Your Social Media Strategy Template?
You require a template that can not only get you started but also guide you and your whole team throughout the way.
That’s why you need to start with social media goals and circle around everything you need to achieve them.
The most common way to understand what you need to include in a social media strategy template is by answering the 5Ws.
Why: Why are you investing in social media? What are your social media goals?
Who: Who is your target audience? Decode your audience/customers and understand their behavior.
Where: Where are you going to share your content? Identify the social media platforms where the majority of your audience hangs out.
What: What content are you going to share on social?
When: When are you going to publish your content? Do you know the best time to post on social media?
The above 5 things are the most crucial information, but not limited to, that must go in your social media content strategy template.
You can go ahead and map out more information like
- What specific tools and training will you require to achieve your goals?
- Who will be responsible for specific tasks?
- What is the budget of your brand’s/client’s social media strategy?
- What is the expected return on investment (ROI)?
Now that you know what information to include, let’s learn how to find every piece of information and mold it into a structured social media strategy template.
Step-by-Step Guide to Using the Social Media Strategy Template
The steps discussed below can help you create your own social media strategy template from scratch.
However, it will take a lot of your time which, considering your profession, you don’t have enough.
Just so you don’t need to block out your personal time to create everything from scratch, we have created a social media strategy template. With the template, it will be more effortless and time-saving to perform the steps mentioned in each step.
Step 1: Define Your Social Media Goals and KPIs
You aim to create a full-proof strategy that discusses your goals first and then decides what to do to achieve those goals.
So, what are your social media marketing goals for the upcoming quarter?
It could be anything: getting more exposure, increasing followers, generating leads, driving traffic, or the good old driving sales.
Of course, you can have more than one goal, and that too for different social media channels. After all, every social media is different. So the strategies you will create for each of them will be too.
But remember, every goal should be SMART. Wait, what’s smart? I am talking about the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting technique.
Specific: Choose a specific goal
Measurable: Your goals should be measurable
Attainable: Your goals must be realistic
Relevant: Your goal should be in harmony with your overall strategy
Time-bound: You need to define a deadline for your goal
An example of a SMART goal would be,
Increase the Twitter retweets by 10% to increase our brand awareness till the end of the quarter.
Is that it?
No, let us focus more on the measurable part of smart goals. How would you know that you are achieving your defined goals?
For that, you need to pick the right metrics that align with your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase the referral traffic from Twitter, then you need to track the CTR metric.
Drop it in our template once you have finalized your goals and key metrics.
Step 2: Understand Your Target Audience
The next task is to decipher the “WHO.”
Who is your target audience? At the end of the day, it’s the people you are trying to reach, engage, and sell. Thus, it becomes crucial to know your target audience’s likes, dislikes, and pet peeves.
For example, Sleepy Owl Coffee knows its target audience is coffee aficionados who love to get their hands on new coffee recipes.
The best way to find out about your target audience is to prepare their persona. Here are some of the information you should note down to create one:
- Work profile
- Preferred networks
- Behavioral traits
- Pain Points
You can get most of this information from the analytics section of different social media networks. Rest, you will have to gather through surveys and interviews.
Chances are that you already have noted down a lot of this information if your business has been running for a while. If not, it’s time to do it, so you can make more concentrated efforts in targeting your audience.
Creating a buyer persona will let you understand your audience’s behavior, needs, and wants that you can entertain with your content on social media.
Here’s the section in our template to note down multiple buyer personas easy-peasy.
Step 3: Research Your Competitors
Unless your business sells potatoes on mars, you will have competitors on social media targeting the same buyer personas as you.
It’s time to learn what they are doing right as well as wrong by conducting a competitive analysis.
Why do competitor analysis?
- Crucial in figuring out your target audience
- It helps you understand the market landscape
- Give your performance benchmarks
- Get to know what is expected from brands like you on social media
- Figure out brand messaging and content tone
- Find opportunities where your competitor is lagging
- Identify micro-influencers working in your market sector
So, how do you spy on your competitors?
Social listening is the best way to keep an eye on your competitors.
Start by tracking and analyzing all the keywords and hashtags your competitors use to connect with the audience.
Your aim is to understand how people react to your competitor’s content and customer support activities on social media. How well they are performing. Jot down the key metrics of performance to set industry benchmarks for yourself.
Step 4: Pick Your Best Social Media Networks
Sure, you want your brand profile fetching great engagement on every social media channel. That’s a sweet dream, right?
But going after every social media channel for the same goal isn’t a smart move, especially in the beginning, as it gets harder to maintain consistency.
Your need to understand which of the social networks are the best for your brand or clients.
It’s optimal to concentrate your budget and efforts on a few networks rather than spreading out everywhere and making no strides.
But, how do you figure out the best networks, though?
Well, the best course of action here is to
- Understand on which social media your audience is present
- Search your competitor’s strongest social channels
- Identify the channels that best align with your social media goals, brand voice, and tone
After examining all the above fronts, you will be able to filter out the best social channels for your brand.
A social media audit covers all these aspects and is the best methodology to find your best channels.
What happens next?
Once you figure out the best social media channels for your brand, carve a different strategy for each social channel that complements your overall marketing goals.
Dive deep into our comprehensive guides to strengthen your individual channel strategies:
Step 5: Come up with Engaging Content Ideas
The whole aim of creating a content strategy is to produce engaging content that brings you results.
After performing a content audit, you will figure out what content is working for you and your competitors. Give more attention to that kind of content in your social media strategy.
But, first, establish your brand theme.
Every social media channel has tons of post types that enable you to present information in multiple ways. But you need to create content that matches your brand voice, tone, and style.
Look how KFC manages to prompt its product while looping in audiences for sharing their thanksgiving stories.
Also, look at the vibrant, colorful, and outdoorsy theme LaCroix Sparkling Water always follows, no matter the content type.
Once you establish your writing voice and visual tone, it’s time to come up with content ideas you are going to use.
Here are some of the most popular content ideas:
- Ask me anything live streams
- Social media contest or giveaway
- How-to tutorials
- Curated content
- Trending hashtags post
- User-generated content
- Social media polls
- Video tips, tricks, and hacks
- Instagram Reels
- Informative carousels
With the plethora of features present on every social channel, you can leverage multiple content types to get your audience’s attention.
However, none of the content ideas will leave a substantial impact unless planned and spread out with the help of a social media calendar.
That brings us to the next step!
Step 6: Prepare a Social Media Calendar
A social media calendar is an essential tool for planning, managing, and tracking your overall social media postings for multiple channels.
With a social media calendar, you can easily plan the dates and times of each post that you will publish on multiple channels.
Having an overview of everything helps with your content efforts and maintain consistency on every profile.
Apart from leveraging upcoming holidays and every best time to post on social media, a calendar helps you decide and manage the right content mix.
See, as a brand, you need to publish all sorts of posts that cater to different social media goals. Deciding on a content mix that strategically divides the frequency of posts catering to each goal is a great way to do things.
The two most common rules to decide a content mix are called “The 80/20 rule” or “The social media rule of thirds.”
In the 80-20 rule,
On the other hand, in the social media rule of thirds,
Both of these rules might not work for your strategy. So it’s important to decide on your content mix by testing out other posting ratios and then settling for the best one.
Once you know what, when, and how much to post, start dropping everything in your social media calendar.
Wait, we have something special for you! An auto-populating social media calendar.
The SocialPilot calendar feature gives you a monthly view to keep track of every scheduled post across different channels.
Step 7: Track Your Progress
This step will not come into use while creating your first social media strategy template but will be essential while running your strategy live.
I’d recommend not treating your social media marketing strategy template as a one-off assignment. You need to keep coming back to it, to see what progress or setbacks you have achieved since inception.
That’s why you must create a corner in the template that tracks the progress of every social media KPIs relevant to your goals.
If the thought of tracking all engagement metrics leaves you high and dry, then SocialPilot’s analytics dashboard is for you. Get analytics of every social media channel on one page with the option to easily export PDF reports.
A social media strategy template will be your north star guiding you through the social media marketing path, which otherwise would feel confusing, unorganized, and resultless.
By performing all the steps in this blog, you will create an excellent social media strategy template.
However, the task will not be finished with the completion of the template.
You must keep coming back to it to adjust your strategy according to the changing nature of your business and the social media marketing landscape itself.
I’d recommend avoiding the hassle of creating a template from scratch and letting our perfectly-crafted social media strategy template do the heavy lifting for you.
When you are ready with your strategy, leverage the unparalleled scheduling, analytics, and team collaboration feature of SocialPilot to make things smoother.
Start your free trial today!