How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy (Free Template)

Creating your social media marketing scheme doesn ’ thyroxine need to be afflictive. Create an effective plan for your business in 9 bare steps. A social media marketing scheme is a compendious of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on sociable media. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you ’ rhenium future or fail .
The more specific your design is, the more effective it will be. Keep it concise. Don ’ t make it so gallant and broad that it ’ second unachievable or impossible to measure .
In this post, we ’ ll walk you through a nine-step design to create a winning social media scheme of your own.

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own scheme. besides use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients .

What is social media marketing?

sociable media market is the rehearse of using social media channels to sell or promote a brand, product or service .
social media selling helps businesses :

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Build engaged communities
  • Sell products and services
  • Measure brand sentiment
  • Provide social customer service
  • Advertise products and services to target audiences
  • Track performance and adjust larger marketing strategies accordingly

What is a social media marketing strategy?

A social media strategy is a document outlining your social media goals, the tactics you will use to achieve them and the metrics you will track to measure your progress.
Your social media marketing scheme should besides list all of your existing and planned social media accounts along with goals specific to each platform you ’ rhenium active on. These goals should align with your business ’ s larger digital market scheme .
finally, a estimable social media design should define the roles and responsibilities within your team and outline your reporting meter .

How to create a social media marketing strategy in 9 steps

Read on for detailed steps to creating a social media scheme. Or, watch this video where Hootsuite ’ s own Senior Manager of Social Media Marketing, Amanda, guides you through our free social media marketing scheme template, step by step :

Step 1. Choose social media marketing goals that align to business objectives

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals

The first footfall to creating a winning sociable media scheme is to establish your objectives and goals. Without goals, you have no manner to measure success and return on investment ( ROI ) .
Each of your goals should be :

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

This is the S.M.A.R.T. goal model. It will guide your actions and ensure they lead to very business results .
here ’ s an case of a S.M.A.R.T. goal :
“We will use Twitter for customer support and lower our average response rate to under two hours by the end of the quarter.”

Track meaningful metrics

Vanity metrics like numeral of followers and likes are slowly to track, but it ’ randomness hard to prove their real value. rather, focus on things like engagement, click-through, and conversion rates .
For divine guidance, take a expression at these 19 substantive sociable media metrics .
You may want to track different goals for different social media networks, or even unlike uses for each network .
For exercise, if you use LinkedIn to drive traffic to your web site, you would measure click-throughs. If Instagram is for mark awareness, you might track the number of Instagram Story views. And if you advertise on Facebook, cost-per-click ( CPC ) is a coarse success system of measurement .
social media goals should align with your overall marketing objectives. This makes it easier to show the value of your sour and procure buy-in from your emboss .
Screenshot of chart showing how social media goals should align to business objectives for an effective social media marketing strategy.
Start developing a successful sociable media market plan by writing down at least three goals for sociable media .

Step 2. Learn everything you can about your audience

Create audience personas

Knowing who your consultation is and what they want to see on social media is key. That way you can create content that they will like, gossip on, and plowshare. It ’ sulfur besides critical if you want to turn social media followers into customers for your business .
When it comes to your target customer, you should know things like :

  • Age
  • Location
  • average income
  • Typical job title or industry
  • Interests
  • etc.

here ’ s a simple guide and template for creating audience/buyer persona .
Get to know your fans, followers, and customers as real people with actual wants and needs, and you will know how to target and engage them on sociable media .

Gather data

Don ’ t make assumptions. Think Facebook is a better network for reaching Baby Boomers than Millennials ? Well, the numbers show that Facebook ’ second largest age demographic is actually 30-49 .
Chart: Social Media Usage Among U.S. Adults
social media analytics can besides provide a long ton of valuable information about who your followers are, where they live, and how they interact with your trade name on social media. These insights allow you to refine your scheme and better target your audience .
Jugnoo, an Uber-like overhaul for auto-rickshaws in India, used Facebook Analytics to learn that 90 % of their users who referred early customers were between 18- and 34-years-old, and 65 % of that group was using Android. They used that data to target their ads, resulting in a 40 % lower cost per referral .
Check out our lead to using social media analytics and the tools you need to track them .

Step 3. Get to know your competition

Odds are your competitors are already using social media, and that means you can learn from what they ’ re doing .

Conduct a competitive analysis

A competitive analysis allows you to understand who the rival is and what they ’ ra doing well ( and not thus well ). You ’ ll get a good common sense of what ’ second expected in your industry, which will help you set social media targets of your own .
It will besides help you spot opportunities .
possibly one of your competitors is dominant allele on Facebook, for case, but has put little attempt into Twitter or Instagram. You might want to focus on the networks where your audience is underserved, quite than trying to win fans away from a dominant player .

Use social media listening

Social heed is another way to keep an eye on your competitors .
Do searches of the rival ’ randomness company mention, bill handles, and other relevant keywords on social media. Find out what they ’ ra sharing and what early people are saying about them .
Pro tip : Use Hootsuite Streams to monitor relevant keywords and accounts in real-time .
creating a social listening stream to track competitors' mentions in Hootsuite as part of a successful social media marketing strategy
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As you track, you may notice shifts in how your competitors and industry leaders are using social media. You may come across fresh, exciting trends. Or, you might spot a specific station or campaign that truly hits the mark—or wholly bombs .
Use this kind of intel to inform your own social media marketing scheme .

Step 4. Do a social media audit

If you ’ re already using social media, take stock of your efforts therefore far. Ask yourself the come questions :

  • What’s working, and what’s not?
  • Who is engaging with you?
  • Which networks does your target audience use?
  • How does your social media presence compare to the competition?

once you collect that data, you ’ ll be cook to start thinking about ways to improve .
We ’ ve created an easy-to-follow social media audit guide and template to walk you through each gradation of this process .
Screenshot of a social media audit spreadsheet for building an effective social media marketing strategy
Your audit should give you a clear picture of what function each of your social accounts serves. If the purpose of an account international relations and security network ’ t clear, think about whether it ’ s deserving keeping .
To help you decide, ask yourself the play along questions :

  1. Is my audience here?
  2. If so, how are they using this platform?
  3. Can I use this account to help achieve my goals?

Asking these hood questions will keep your social media scheme focused .

Look for impostor accounts

During the audit, you may discover fake accounts using your business name or the names of your products .
These imposters can be harmful to your brand—never mind that they ’ rhenium capturing followers that should be yours .
Report them .
You may want to get your accounts verified excessively to ensure your fans know they are dealing with the real you .
here ’ s how to get verified on :

Step 5. Set up accounts and improve profiles

Decide which networks to use

As you decide which social networks to use, you will besides need to define your strategy for each .
benefit Cosmetics ’ sociable media coach, Angela Purcaro, told eMarketer : “ For our makeup tutorials … we ’ re all about Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Twitter, on the other hand, is designated for customer service. ”
Hootsuite ’ s own social team even designates different purposes for formats within networks. On Instagram, for model, they use the feed to post high-quality educational infographics and product announcements and Stories to cover live events or flying social media updates .
Pro tip : Write out a deputation affirmation for each network. A one-sentence announcement to keep you focused on a specific goal .
case : “We will use Twitter for customer support to keep email and call volumes down.”
One more : “We will use LinkedIn for promoting and sharing our company culture to help with recruitment and employee advocacy.”
If you can ’ triiodothyronine create a solid mission instruction for a particular social media channel, you may want to ask yourself if it ’ second worth it .

Set up your profiles

once you ’ ve decided which networks to focus on, it ’ south clock to create your profiles. Or improve existing ones indeed they align with your scheme .

  • Make sure you fill out all profile fields
  • Include keywords people would use to search for your business
  • Use consistent branding (logos, images, etc.) across networks so your profiles are easily recognizable

Pro tip : Use high-quality images that follow the recommend dimensions for each net. Check out our always-up-to-date sociable media persona size cheat sheet for quick reference point .
We ’ ve besides got bit-by-bit guides for each net to walk you through the process :
Don ’ thymine let this tilt overwhelm you. Remember, it ’ randomness better to use fewer channels well than to stretch yourself reduce trying to maintain a presence on every network .

Step 6. Find inspiration

While it ’ s significant that your sword be singular, you can still draw inhalation from other businesses that are capital on social.

Social media success stories

You can normally find these on the commercial enterprise department of the sociable network ’ south web site. ( here ’ randomness Facebook ’ randomness, for example. )
Case studies can offer valuable insights that you can apply to your own social media design .

Award-winning accounts and campaigns

You could besides check out the winners of The Facebook Awards or The Shorty Awards for examples of brands that are at the acme of their social media game .
For learning and a laugh, check out Fridge-Worthy, Hootsuite ’ s bi-weekly awards show highlighting brands doing chic and clever things on social media .

Your favorite brands on social media

Who do you enjoy following on social media ? What do they do that compels people to engage and share their content ?
National Geographic, for exemplar, is one of the best on Instagram, combining sandbag visuals with compel captions .
then there ’ second Shopify. The ecommerce brand uses Facebook to sell themselves by showcasing customer stories and case studies .

And Lush Cosmetics is a great example of superior customer servicing on Twitter. They use their 280 characters to answer questions and solve problems in an extremely charm and on-brand way .

Notice that each of these accounts has a coherent voice, tone, and stylus. That ’ mho cardinal to letting people know what to expect from your run. That is, why should they follow you ? What ’ s in it for them ?
Consistency besides helps keep your subject on-brand even if you have multiple people on your social media team .
For more on this, read our guide on establishing a compelling brand voice on sociable media .

Ask your followers

Consumers can besides offer social media inspiration .
What are your target customers talking about on-line ? What can you learn about their wants and needs ?
If you have existing social channels, you could besides ask your followers what they want from you. precisely make sure that you follow through and deliver what they ask for .

Step 7. Create a social media content calendar

Sharing great content is essential, of course, but it ’ south equally crucial to have a plan in station for when you ’ ll share contented to get the maximum impact .
Your social media capacity calendar besides needs to account for the time you spend interacting with the audience ( although you need to allow for some ad-lib date a well ) .

Set your posting schedule

Your social media message calendar lists the dates and times at which you will publish types of contented on each channel. It ’ s the perfect place to plan all of your social media activities—from images, link sharing, and re-shares of user-generated subject to blog posts and videos. It includes both your daily mail and content for social media campaigns .
Your calendar besides ensures your posts are spaced out appropriately and published at the best times to post .
Pro tip: You can plan your wholly contentedness calendar and get recommended well times to post on every network based on your past engagement rate, impressions, or link pawl data in Hootsuite .
Hootsuite Analytics best time to publish

Determine the right content mix

Make certain your capacity scheme and calendar reflect the mission statement you ’ ve assigned to each social profile, so that everything you post is working to support your business goals .
You might decide that :

  • 50% of content will drive traffic back to your website
  • 25% of content will be curated from other sources
  • 20% of content will support lead-generation goals (newsletter sign-ups, ebook downloads, etc.)
  • 5% of content will be about your company culture

Placing these different station types in your content calendar will ensure you maintain the right mix .
If you ’ re starting from scribble and you ’ rhenium not certain what types of content to post, try the 80-20 rule :

  • 80% of your posts should inform, educate, or entertain your audience
  • 20% can directly promote your brand.

infographic showing the 80/20 rule for content in a social media marketing strategy
You could besides try the social media content marketing rule of thirds :

  • One-third of your content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
  • One-third of your content shares ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
  • One-third of your content is personal interactions with your audience

infographic showing the social media content marketing rule of thirds

Don’t post too much or too little

If you ’ re starting a social media marketing scheme from incision, you may not have figured out how often to post to each net for maximum employment yet .
Post excessively frequently and you risk annoying your consultation. But, if you post excessively small, you risk looking like you ’ rhenium not deserving following .
begin with these posting frequency recommendations :

  • Instagram (feed): 3-7 times per week
  • Facebook: 1-2 times per day
  • Twitter: 1-5 times per day
  • LinkedIn: 1-5 times per day

infographic showing posting frequency recommendations for social media
Pro tip : once you have your social media content calendar planned out, use a schedule tool to prepare messages in advance preferably than updating constantly throughout the day .
We might be biased, but we think Hootsuite is the best sociable media scheduler. You can schedule posts to every network and the intuitive calendar view gives you a full picture of all your social action each week .
here ’ s a promptly video overview of how schedule works in Hootsuite ’ s post composing tool .

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footstep 8. Create compel subject

Remember those mission statements you created for each channel in Step 5 ? well, it ’ mho time to go a sting deep, a.k.a. provide some examples of the type of content you ’ ll post to fulfill your mission on each network .
If you ’ re not indisputable what to post, here ’ s a farseeing list of social media contentedness ideas to get you started .
The idea here is to :

  • Keep your content aligned with the purpose of each network;
  • Show other stakeholders (if applicable) what kind of content they can expect to see on each network.

This last point particularly will help you avoid any tension when your colleagues want to know why you haven ’ t posted their event study/whitepaper/blog post to TikTok even. It ’ s not in the scheme, Linda !
ideally, you will generate contentedness types that are both suited to the net and the function you ’ ve set out for that network .
For case, you wouldn ’ thymine want to waste time posting brand awareness television on Twitter if you ’ ve designated that channel for chiefly customer support. And you wouldn ’ triiodothyronine want to post ace polished bodied video ads to TikTok, as users expect to see short, gauche television on that platform .
It might take some examination over time to figure out which type of contented works well on which type of network, sol prepare to update this section frequently .
This brings us to Step 9 .

Step 9. Track performance and adjust your social media strategy accordingly

Your social media marketing strategy is a enormously important document for your business, and you can ’ metric ton assume you ’ ll get it precisely right on the first base try. As you start to implement your design and track your results, you may find that some strategies don ’ triiodothyronine bring ampere well as you ’ five hundred anticipated, while others are working tied better than expected .

Look at performance metrics

In addition to the analytics within each sociable net ( see Step 2 ), you can use UTM parameters to track sociable visitors as they move through your web site, so you can see precisely which social posts drive the most traffic to your web site .

Re-evaluate, test, and do it all again

once this data starts coming in, use it to re-evaluate your strategy regularly. You can besides use this information to test different posts, social selling campaigns, and strategies against one another. constant test allows you to understand what works and what doesn ’ thymine, so you can refine your social media marketing scheme in real clock .
You ’ ll want to check the operation of all your channels at least once a week and get to know the basics of social media reporting so you can track your growth over time .
Pro tip: If you use Hootsuite, you can review the performance of all your posts on every network in one home. once you get the bent of checking your analytics, you may evening want to customize unlike reports to show specific metrics over a diverseness of different time periods .
social media analytics report in Hootsuite
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Surveys can besides be a great way to find out how well your social media strategy is working. Ask your followers, electronic mail list, and web site visitors whether you ’ re meeting their needs and expectations, and what they ’ d like to see more of. then make indisputable to deliver on what they tell you .

Finalizing your social media strategy

Spoiler alert : nothing is final examination .
sociable media moves fast. New networks emerge, others go through demographic shifts .
Your business will go through periods of change as well .
All of this means that your sociable media marketing strategy should be a living text file that you review and adjust as needed. Refer to it often to stay on path, but don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be afraid to make changes so that it better reflects new goals, tools, or plans .
When you update your social strategy, make sure to let everyone on your team know. That way they can all work together to help your business make the most of your accounts .

Social media strategy template

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to cursorily and well plan your own scheme. besides use it to track results and present the plan to your party boss, teammates, and clients .
What ’ second next ? When you ’ re quick to put your design into action, we ’ re here to help…
Save time managing your social media marketing strategy with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can easily:

  • Plan, create, and schedule posts to every network
  • Track relevant keywords, topics, and accounts
  • Stay on top of engagement with a universal inbox
  • Get easy-to-understand performance reports and improve your strategy as needed

Try Hootsuite for Free
With files from Shannon Tien .

Do it better with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media toolkit. Stay on clear of things, grow, and beat the rival .

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Category : News


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