How to make a social media plan template.
Learn how to create a social media plan template that makes it easy to stay on top of your content creation and posting schedule.
Social media management is much more than just occasionally posting a picture to Instagram. It requires immense planning to execute an effective strategy. To keep you and your team on the same page, it helps to create a social media plan template.
What is a social media plan template?
A social media plan template is a great way to keep your team organized and hold everyone accountable. It’s a blank spreadsheet that you fill in with all the information you need to build an effective strategy. That way, you won’t miss anything as you build out your next killer social media campaign.
What to include in a social media template.
Social media plan templates only work if they contain all the information you’ll need. Here are just a few pieces of information you should include as you build your templates:
- Campaign mission or goal. The goal of any social media campaign usually has something to do with building brand awareness or increasing sales. But you’ll want to be more specific. Do you want to generate new leads, drive traffic to your website, boost conversions, or improve customer service? Do you want a larger share of voice, or do you want more community engagement? A good marketing plan starts with a clearly stated goal, and the rest of the plan should focus on achieving that goal.
- Target audience. Together with goals, a clearly defined target audience is the most foundational component of a good marketing plan. Take your time with this one. Build customer personas to identify the right channels and plan content that is centered on customers. You can describe your ideal customer, but don’t make assumptions too quickly. Understand existing customers to know why and how they use your products and services. In addition to gathering demographic information, do more qualitative research on customer interests, values, and needs. Remember that social media is for socializing with real people.
- Start date. Scheduling is an important part of a social media marketing plan. Choose a date to start when you know you’ll be prepared to stay on a consistent schedule, and choose it strategically. Consider seasons and sales cycles in your industry to determine when your target audiences are more likely to take an interest in your campaign or most likely to act on it.
- End date. The campaign can’t go on indefinitely. Plan ahead for its conclusion so that it doesn’t just trail off and so that you’ll know when to measure results. It can last anywhere from a month to a year, but a shorter campaign is easier to plan and manage. Your time span will depend on your goals, budget, and other factors. Map out the plan with the number and frequency of posts from start to finish.
- Pre-campaign promotional posts. The purpose of these posts is to generate interest and leads in an upcoming product, service, or event. They can also help with testing so that before you roll out the campaign, you can be sure you’re posting on the right channels at the right times. The plan should include a schedule for these posts, as well as a preview of what they will look like, a stated purpose for each post, and a plan for testing.
- Follow-up post dates. These posts don’t need to be fully formed yet, but you should anticipate when they will occur and how they will be used. They can include emails to the list of leads you’ve gathered with specific calls to action, and they can occur in a pre-planned series or list of triggered events depending on the type of engagement that your campaign has generated.
- Social media platforms used. Don’t try to use them all. Find out which platforms your target audience uses most. You will also need to adjust your strategy for each. For example, LinkedIn posts tend to be inspirational and conversational, but they are usually more formal than Facebook posts, which can be more emotional and personal. In addition to adjusting tone, you might want to use each platform for different purposes. You can benefit from knowing the online communities in which your audience is already active. Consider whether you want to post from a corporate account or from multiple individual accounts for leaders or brand partners.
- Call to action (what you want your users to do). You’re probably hoping to make a sale, or a lot of sales, but what do you hope is the direct outcome of each social media post? You might want users to visit your website, provide an email address, comment on a post, or interact with your brand in some other way. Remember that customers encounter a brand many times before making a purchase, so the call to action should drive interaction. It should be something that anyone browsing social media can do right away. The call to action is best tied to a key metric that you’re tracking so you can measure the success of each post and make adjustments as needed.
So that you don’t forget anything, it’s helpful to download a social media plan PDF online. Not only will it ensure all the information is there, but it will also save you time building a template from scratch.
What are the common issues with social media marketing plans?
A social media marketing plan can go wrong in a few major ways. You might use a beautiful template and set up a great schedule with some creative, exciting posts in the works, but if you’re not really paying attention to your audience, working toward a concrete goal, or tracking key metrics, then your plan won’t get you very far. To avoid these issues in general, spend just as much — or more — effort on research and careful planning as you do on design.
While most plans include goals, this is one area where they commonly fall short. Your goals might sound exciting, but it’s too easy to set goals that are distant and vague. You’ll end up forgetting about them, and you won’t be able to determine if the campaign is working. To avoid these problems, use the SMART method — set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals. Then choose key metrics that will tell you whether you’re reaching these goals. For example, the number of comments or likes might not matter if you’re not getting new traffic to your website.
There are many ways you can forget to pay attention to your audience. The very first step should be to define your target audience clearly. You might know some basic demographic information or have an idea of who you think would be interested in your product or service, but you don’t really know how to appeal to them until you do more research. Find out what really matters to your audience, and design your campaign around those insights.
Once things get rolling, keep paying attention. Track the qualitative feedback you receive in posts or emails. Answer questions and change course if necessary. Social media is about building relationships. Don’t treat your posts like billboards — treat them like the first line in a conversation you want to continue.
Create fillable PDF forms to share with your team.
Spreadsheets aren’t always easy to share across devices without altering the formatting. To make sure everyone on your team sees the same spreadsheet — no matter which device they use — turn your PDF into fillable forms with Adobe Acrobat.
With fillable forms, you can share PDF spreadsheets that your team can fill in, edit, and share for the ultimate collaborative social media management process.
Discover more about how Acrobat can help you stay organized with your social media campaigns and work from anywhere.