Has your social media strategy been lacking? Want to be more intentional about how you market your business, even with the frequent platform changes?
In this article, you’ll get a multi-point social media marketing checklist for developing and executing a plan that works in 2022.
#1: How to Plan a Social Media Strategy
To get the value you expect from social media marketing, your business needs a strategy.
What Is a Social Media Strategy?
A social media strategy is the framework your team uses to market your business on social media. A good strategy typically clarifies:
- Goals you intend to accomplish via social media marketing
- Metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to track progress
- Social media channels you’ll use to reach your target audience
- Types of content you’ll publish and campaigns you’ll create
If your business isn’t new to social media, there’s a good chance your team already has a pre-2022 strategy. But it’s a good idea to review and update your strategy regularly—at least once a year.
How to Create a Social Media Strategy
With routine strategy updates, you can make sure you’re always working toward relevant goals. You can also adjust to account for inevitable changes to social media platforms and features in 2022 and beyond.
Conduct a Social Media Audit
First, review what your team has already accomplished on social media. With a social media audit, you can see what’s working, identify if you need additional resources, and measure your results against the competition.
Start by pulling social media analytics for the entire time period you’re auditing—such as the past 12 months. Get content and audience analytics for each channel so you can assess performance and growth over time. Then follow these steps:
- List all your company’s social accounts and note whether they’re active.
- Check the branding on each account—including logos, cover images, bios, and URLs.
- Review competitors’ accounts and compare their results to yours.
- Find best- and worst-performing content to identify what works for your audience.
Clarify Social Media Goals and Metrics
Next, set or update goals for your team. It’s helpful to use the SMART goal approach:
- Specific: Be as exact as possible, and think about the reason for the goal. For example, you may want to generate more leads so you can drive more revenue.
- Measurable: Choose goals with results you can quantify. For example, decide on the number of clicks or the cost per action (CPA) you want to reach.
- Achievable: Focus on goals that are realistic, given your time frame and budget. For example, increasing leads by 50% in three months may be realistic, given past results.
- Relevant: Pick social media goals that align with your company’s marketing and business goals. For example, improving lead generation complements increasing annual revenue.
- Timely: Set a firm deadline for your goals so you can assign resources and plan effectively. For example, you may opt for quarterly goals and set monthly milestones.
Then confirm the metrics that align with each goal. For a lead generation goal, you may want to track leads, clicks, and reach. That means you don’t necessarily need to focus on metrics like comments and followers—and you can avoid wasting time on metrics that don’t really matter to your business.
In addition to choosing metrics to track, it’s also a good idea to set KPIs for each social profile. Use past social media performance to identify benchmarks. Then use those benchmarks to confirm KPIs for each week, month, or quarter.
Revisit Your Buyer Persona
To maximize the value you get from social media marketing, you have to know your audience. If you already have a buyer persona, review it with your team and decide if it needs any updates. If you don’t have one yet, use this buyer persona guide to get started.
Because audiences can vary from channel to channel, it’s also helpful to check your follower demographics. That way you can be sure you know exactly how to create the most effective content for each channel.
For example, Meta Business Suite audience insights give you an age and gender breakdown for your Facebook and Instagram accounts. This analytics tool also shows your followers’ top cities and countries so you can make sure you’re reaching people in the right locations.
Social Media Marketing World Comes to YOU!
If you couldn't get to Social Media Marketing World in 2024, we have great news. The conference can come to you.
There is still time to grab an On-Demand ticket and get recordings of all of the amazing content! That’s full access to recordings of every keynote, workshop, and session—the ones people travel thousands of miles to see. Don't wait. Get your On-Demand ticket and make 2024 your best year yet!YES, I WANT THE RECORDINGS
Know Your Social Media Platforms
Your company may have a presence on several social media platforms. But that doesn’t mean it’s on the right social platforms. Some channels you’ve been using forever may no longer provide value. And some new-to-you channels may be great fits for your audience.
If your business isn’t connecting with the right people or if it needs to expand its reach, consider adding one of the top social media platforms to your strategy:
- Facebook: 2.9 billion users, making it the largest social network
- Instagram: 1.5 billion users, increasingly focused on short-form video content
- LinkedIn: 830 million users, best for professional networking and B2B content
- TikTok: 1 billion users, great for reaching Gen Z and millennials with video content
- Twitter: 436 million users, best for creating engaged communities
- Snapchat: 557 million users, ideal for reaching Gen Z and millennial customers
- YouTube: 2.5 billion users, great for short- and long-form video content
#2: How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar
Next, draft a calendar with social media content that speaks to your audience and fits with your marketing goals.
What Is a Social Media Content Calendar?
A social media content calendar outlines the posts that your team intends to publish on each channel. It’s essential for plotting campaigns, planning content, and creating a consistent publishing schedule.
With a content calendar, you can decide what to publish days, weeks, or months in advance. That means you won’t have to scramble to write or design posts at the last minute.
How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar
From brainstorming ideas to scheduling content, follow the steps below to create a social media content calendar.
Collaborate With Colleagues
First, get a list of upcoming company initiatives. That may include efforts like product launches, seasonal sales, and promotional content. Map out where everything fits into your sales funnel, and then plot your content on a shared calendar.
Shared spreadsheets like Google Sheets are ideal for planning content as a team. With Google Sheets, you can create your own custom calendars. Then you can note the content and campaigns you plan to publish, even linking to external assets. To simplify planning, you can create a color-coded system that designates different types of content or funnel stages.
Produce Social Media Content
Next, start producing the creative assets you’ll publish on social media. Although a mix of content types is ideal for reaching a wide variety of people, it’s important to focus on the formats each platform prefers.
In 2022, most social platforms prioritize short-form video. Fortunately, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube all have similar short-form video dimensions. You can repurpose videos across channels and use native effects, stickers, and music to optimize for each platform.
Apps like Airtable are helpful for creating social media content databases and using your assets to plan posts. You can use Airtable to draft posts and upload creatives for various social channels. Then you can add your posts to the built-in calendar so your team can perfect the timing and pacing.
Find the Best Time to Post
Before you start scheduling social media content, it’s a good idea to find the right time to post. Each platform has its own set of analytics to help you pinpoint the optimal time.
Attention Agency Owners, Brand Marketers, and Consultants
Introducing the Marketing Agency Show–our newest podcast designed to explore the struggles of agency marketers.
Join show host and agency owner, Brooke Sellas, as she interviews agency marketers and digs deep into their biggest challenges. Explore topics like navigating rough economic times, leveraging AI, service diversification, client acquisition, and much more.
Just pull up your favorite podcast app, search for Marketing Agency Show and start listening. Or click the button below for more information.
For example, Creator Studio shows you when your followers are on Instagram. You can view average follower numbers by hour, making it easy to find the most popular times to post.
Schedule Social Media Content
Once you’ve done all the planning, schedule content on each platform. Social media scheduling tools like Business Suite let you collaborate with your team and preview and publish content. You can use Business Suite’s planner to create drafts for your team to fine-tune or approve.
Social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube also support scheduling. Keep in mind that some native tools or specific types of content (such as Reels) may not be available for scheduling. That means you may need to publish select posts in real time.
#3: How to Start Social Media Advertising
When you want to achieve bigger goals faster, paid social can complement or reinforce your organic efforts.
What Is Social Media Advertising?
With social media advertising, you can pay to promote your business, products, and services on your choice of platforms. Using paid social, you can reach and retarget specific audiences and scale results much faster than you could with organic social media alone.
How to Create a Paid Social Strategy in 2022
In many ways, the workflows for creating paid and organic social strategies are similar. The biggest difference is the audience targeting capabilities that come with social ads.
Confirm Advertising Goals and KPIs
First, choose the social media platform(s) most popular with your audience. Then set realistic goals and KPIs for your campaign. If you’ve run similar campaigns before, you can use past benchmarks as a guide.
If your business is testing out a new platform, use advertising benchmarks for your industry. You can always run a test campaign or start with a small budget to gauge results before scaling.
Build a Funnel
Next, design a funnel that leverages the platform’s objectives and ad formats. No matter which platform you choose, it’s always a good idea to create content for all three stages of the funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversion.
With a well-designed funnel, you can introduce your business to the largest group of people using the least expensive type of ad. Then you can run the most expensive type of ad for people who are primed to convert at the bottom of the funnel.
Set Up Target Audiences
The target audiences you choose should align with the funnel stage you’re advertising to and the offer you’re presenting. In other words, awareness audiences might be based on broad demographic targeting or lookalikes.
When building consideration audiences, target people who have engaged with your business or your content. For conversion audiences, retarget people who have shown high-level interest in your offer.
Keep in mind that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for ad platforms to target audience activity on third-party sites and apps. As a result, it’s in your best interest to build audiences based on your own data (such as customer lists) or native data (such as profile engagement). That way you can deliver ads more efficiently and reach your goals more effectively.
#4: How to Track Social Media Analytics
From organic posts to paid campaigns, you need social media analytics to monitor the outcomes of your efforts.
What Are Social Media Analytics?
Social media analytics allow you to track metrics, measure results, and evaluate the success of your social media campaigns. You can pull native analytics from each social media platform your company uses.
Alternatively, you can choose from countless third-party analytics tools. Most can process analytics from multiple platforms, which can streamline your team’s reporting process.
No matter what you choose, it’s helpful to review social media performance on a regular schedule—typically weekly or monthly. That way you can identify and resolve problems, change tracks, or scale efforts as appropriate.
How to Track Organic KPIs
When you review organic social media analytics, it’s helpful to get an overview of key metrics. That way you can identify unusual patterns and take them into account when planning future social media content calendars.
- Audience growth, which can help you understand if your brand is increasing or decreasing its presence on social media
- Reach or impressions, which can help you understand if you’re connecting with enough people
- Engagement, which can help you understand if your posts are resonating with your audience
After getting an overview of each channel’s social media performance, take a deeper dive into the metrics that align with your goals. For example, if lead generation is your main goal, then pay close attention to reach and clicks for your content. Metrics to prioritize may include:
Did you meet or exceed the KPIs you set? Consider setting more ambitious KPIs for the next month or quarter. Did you fall short of your goals? Pinpoint the source of the problem and brainstorm ways to address it. For example, if clicks were much lower than expected, experiment with new copy, creatives, or formats to drive more clicks.
How to Track Paid KPIs
When you advertise on social media, it’s a good idea to review analytics on a set schedule, such as once a week. That way you can identify patterns and address performance issues rather than focusing on momentary distribution issues.
Review key metrics to get an overview of your campaign performance:
- Impressions, which helps you see if your ads are delivering efficiently
- Cost per thousand impressions (CPM), which helps you set cost benchmarks
- Frequency, which helps you ensure that people are seeing your ads at the right pace
Then focus on the metrics that relate to your campaign:
- Post engagement
- Video views
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Cost per lead
- Cost per purchase
If you met or exceeded the KPIs you set, consider scaling your ad spend. If your ads underperformed, start troubleshooting. By A/B testing your social ads, you can find what works for your audience and what drives optimal results for your business.
Whether your company plans to focus on organic growth or you want to add paid social to your marketing mix, this guide can help you design a successful strategy. Use these best practices for everything from creating content to tracking metrics to navigating the rapidly changing paid social landscape.
Get More Advice on Social Media Strategies:
- Find a step-by-step plan for developing a social media marketing strategy that really works.
- Discover a four-part plan to structure a social media marketing strategy you can execute seamlessly across all markets.
- Learn a proven method for creating a social strategy that will guide you closer to your marketing goals.
Stay Up-to-Date: Get New Marketing Articles Delivered to You!
Don't miss out on upcoming social media marketing insights and strategies! Sign up to receive notifications when we publish new articles on Social Media Examiner. Our expertly crafted content will help you stay ahead of the curve and drive results for your business. Click the link below to sign up now and receive our annual report!
3 Days of World-Class Training—Zero Travel!
Travel to Social Media Marketing World off the table? Get all of the great content at a fraction of the price with an On-Demand ticket.
That’s full access to recordings of every keynote, workshop, and session—the ones people travel thousands of miles to see. Don't wait. Get your On-Demand ticket and enjoy actionable content that you can watch anytime, anywhere.