How to Develop a Social Media Content Plan for Your Business

How to Develop a Social Media Content Plan for Your Business

We’ve discussed 95 ways to generate content ideas for your networking platforms, but have you designed a strategic social media content plan to leverage those ideas effectively while keeping your team focused, accountable, and on the road to success?

Tranquil Clouds and Deep Blue Sky If you have yet to map out a plan, it’s time to get cracking. After all, you need to understand how you’ll create social media content for your business, identify who will be responsible for executing the plan, and figure out how you’ll measure your effectiveness.

With that said, let’s look at how to develop a powerful social media content plan that makes sense for your brand.

1. Write Your Executive Summary

In a few concise paragraphs, describe essential parts of the plan the key stakeholders in your organization need to know about in order to make the right decisions. Besides explaining how the business will benefit from your social marketing efforts, be sure to highlight key goals and objectives, topics you intend to cover, the types of content you want to create and publish, the channels you’ll use to distribute your content, and the resources required to implement your plan effectively.

Tip: This section is the most important part of your document so you’ll want to follow best practices for writing a brief, but killer, executive summary that ‘wows’ the decision makers in your business.

2. Outline Your Goals and KPIs

Social media content plan goals
Your social media content plan goals and objectives should always be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

This is where you explain what success looks like to your brand in the form of goals, objectives, and key performance indicators. Every business will take advantage of social media platforms differently, but most will look toward raising brand awareness, building a loyal community, engaging customers, and converting visitors into buyers.

When mapping out this section of your plan, make certain your goals, objectives, and benchmarks align with your brand’s broader business aims and that you create your social media content accordingly.

3. Define Your Ideal Social Media Audience

Use your company’s buyer personas to identify the individuals for whom you’re creating content. You may need to conduct additional research to understand how they use social media, as well as which platforms they frequent.

Besides data regarding their demographics, education levels, interests, and lifestyles, this section should include details about the information your target audience searches for, the problems they need to solve, the types of content they prefer, and the topics they find engaging.

4. Outline Your Distribution Channels

Hopefully, you’ve identified where your prospects, customers, competitors, influencers, brand advocates, and industry bloggers interact online. While you can’t dominate every platform they use, you’ll ideally have profiles on networks where you can be most effective. In this part of your plan, you need to outline the platforms you’ll potentially use to publish and share social media content.

5. Include Your Key Content Types, Themes, and Topics Tap into conversations

Without a doubt, the types of content you create, the themes you use, and the topics you talk about should all lie within your area of expertise. However, a major part of your social media marketing strategy requires you to tap into conversations. Monitoring and listening to those conversations allows you to pinpoint themes and topics your audience is already discussing. This gives you a great opportunity to develop content that not only shows off your authority within your industry, but also touches on the interests of your community.

6. Identify Your Editorial Team’s Roles and Responsibilities

The size of your editorial team depends on your social media marketing needs, as well as the size of your business. While SMBs may have one or two people assigned to their social media content marketing efforts, larger companies will likely have an entire team of individuals working across several departments.

To ensure accountability, successful implementation, and efficient management of the plan, it’s important to identify these people, their roles within the editorial team, and their duties. Roles usually include content creators, editors, social media community managers, content analytics specialists, and content directors.

7. Explain Your Production and Distribution Strategy

Last, but not least, you need to describe how you’ll create and curate relevant and engaging content, repackage it for your chosen platforms, and optimize it for search. You should also explain your distribution or publishing plan. Consider developing a social media editorial calendar designed to assist you with your editorial workflow and improve your effectiveness.

Your turn. Does your business have a social media content plan or are you simply winging it? How do you view this type of plan’s importance to your organization? If you have a comment, question, suggestion, or tip, feel free to pop it in the box below. We love hearing from you!

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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