Everybody wants to improve their social media marketing. We all want better results and there are thousands of articles online that give tips and strategies to get the best results. Unfortunately, there are very few free resources that actually provide a tangible step-by-step social marketing checklist that’s still relevant in 2017.
We hope to solve this lacuna of information by providing you with this detailed planning checklist. Once you tick all the boxes in this checklist, you can rest assured that you have a winning social media marketing plan.
So, let’s get started…
Step 1 – Prepare a Planning Spreadsheet
This is the document that you will continuously refer back to during the actual campaign. The spreadsheet should have four worksheets. The number of columns in each worksheet is specified below.
1. Overview worksheet – create five columns in this worksheet and name them; Pillar Promotion, Dates, Publishing, Influencers and Partners.
2. Calendar worksheet – this worksheet is essentially a social content calendar. This will help ensure you post content in a structured manner. Create five columns in this worksheet and name them; Week, Task, Owner, Due Date and Notes.
3. Budget Requests worksheet – this worksheet will track resource allocation as well as track goals against tactics and metrics. Create the following seven columns; Channel, Cost, Goal, Tactics, Metrics/KPIs, Notes and Link To Media Kit/Resources.
4. Goal Tracking worksheet – As the name suggests, this worksheet will track your goals on on a weekly basis. There are no rules on how you want to arrange data in this worksheet. The idea is to maintain a weekly record of your KPIs per social media channel. The KPIs you choose may vary from other people but generally we recommend that you track engagement, unique engaged users, visits and conversions as a bare minimum.
The purpose of each of the columns in the various worksheets in explained in the steps that follow.
Step 2 – Set Up Key Promotions and Campaigns
In the first column of the Overview spreadsheet, come up with pillar campaigns that all activity refers back to. For example, you may want to create a campaign for the Easter season. So, as an example, the pillar campaign would be “Easter Sale”. These pillars should be either aligned with, or better yet, set up together with the broader online marketing team.
Insert the dates of the campaign in the second column and in the Publishing column proceed and insert the type of content you intend to publish. For example, 2 Promoted Facebook Posts, 1 Twitter post every 2 hours for first 2 days, then 3x per day for following week etc etc.
In next two columns, take note of who the main influencers are and whether any partners are involved, respectively.
Step 3 – Establish goals for every promotion and campaign
Analyze the past performance of your campaigns and then set goals for future campaigns. Note these goals in the third column of the Budget Requests worksheet. These goals should be realistic and set up using the SMART methodology.
Step 4 – Come up with a creative brief
Your social campaigns require focus, creative assets, and proper direction. Come with a theme, targeting and timeline. Everything you do should map to your creative brief.
Step 5 – Develop tactics, a calendar and creative resource requests
Once you have your creative brief, come with a social calendar and allocate the tasks to different members of your team. This is where the second worksheet, the Calendar, comes into play.
Step 6 – Prepare a budget
Every marketing plan needs financial resources, so why would social media be any different? Specify how much the campaign will cost in the Cost column of the Budget Resources worksheet. Key stakeholders should sign off on the requests.
Step 7 – Benchmark and Track Progress
The final worksheet of your planning spreadsheet is just for this purpose. Track the progress of all the social networks that matter to you and decide on the metrics you want to see. Compare your results with those of your competitors to find out how you are fairing. If you don’t like the results, go back to the earlier steps and make changes where you think the problem is, then, rinse and repeat.
This checklist is not set in stone. It should serve as a basic guide to show you how a social marketing plan should be professionally prepared. If you are new to social media marketing, start off with this checklist and then tweak it as you move along to suit your needs.