Marketing is tricky. Any marketing effort can easily go to waste if not properly planned. So, before you launch any marketing campaign, it’s very important to plan it adequately before implementing it.

Social media marketing simply entails using social media to reach out to potential customers and spreading word about your products and services. And it’s presently one of the most effective marketing strategies around because most people now spend a significant fraction of their day in social media.

The success of your social media marketing campaign hinges largely on the planning that precedes it. A well thought out and well-planned campaign will most likely yield the desired results. So, if you will be leveraging the power of social media for your business, it’s more than important for you to know how to come up with a powerful social media marketing plan. I advice you read on to learn and understand what goes into an effective social media marketing plan.

Writing a Social Media Marketing Plan – Sample Template

1. Executive summary-: Although this is the first part that appears in your finished social media marketing plan, it is usually the last part to be written, as it is a summary of everything the whole plan entails.

In case you are wondering why the last part to be written last has to be placed first, here’s why: it gives the reader a brief account of what the whole plan is all about. Since it’s a summary (as its name implies), it usually spans just one or two pages, but it includes the most important details of your social medial marketing plan that any reader would be interested in.

So, if the reader doesn’t have the time to go through the whole plan, he or she would have gotten significant insight into the plan’s contents by just reading the executive summary.

Whether the reader will be interested in reading every word in your social media marketing plan depends on how well your executive summary is written. A succinct, but detailed and compelling executive summary will motivate the reader to browse through other pages in your plan. So, your summary must be well structured and straight to the point.

2. Goals and objectives-: This section is where you will highlight and explain what you hope to achieve by with your social media marketing campaign (i.e. your goals) as well as what you will do to achieve those goals (i.e. your objectives). The following are good examples of social media marketing goals:

  • To increase brand awareness for XYZ Company.”
  • To triple the number of XYZ company’s online customers by July 2013.”

And the following are examples of objectives towards achieving those goals:

  • To create attractive custom pages on all Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
  • To build massive social media followership using paid advertising campaigns.”

Now, don’t forget the SMART rules of goal setting. Those rules also apply when setting goals for your social media marketing campaign. That is, your goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. If all your goals meet these five conditions, then you have done well. And you have good chances of achieving them.

3. Target audience-: For any marketing effort to be effective, it must be channeled towards a specific audience. Social media marketing is no exception. Your campaigns on social media must be targeted at specific groups or categories of people—your target audience. Trying to reach out to everyone is a silly approach. Aside that it’s unrealistic, you will end up wasting your time and money.

Even the social media platforms understand the importance of targeting a specific audience. And that’s why they allow you to define your target audience by as many demographics as possible. So, for example, if you are running a social media campaign for a recruitment agency that caters to job-seeking graduates in Canada, you can set your target market using the following demographics:

  • Country: Canada
  • Age: Between 22-30
  • Sex: Both male and female
  • Education: College, University

4. Platforms-: The type of business you are promoting on social media will determine which social media platforms to focus on. Each of the major social media platforms we know favors certain businesses more than others.

Unless you have really run some experiments in the past, you might not be able to figure out whether you should focus more on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +. So, you need to run some tests to know which platform works best. Even if your most preferred platform can only be determined by testing, this section of your plan should still include all the platforms you’re planning to test.

5. Tactics-: This is where you will detail the various social media marketing strategies you will adopt while running your marketing campaigns in order to achieve your objectives. How you will promote interaction with your followers, how you will introduce your business to them, how you will gain their trust, and other things will be explained in this section of your plan.

6. Analytics-: In this section, you will explain how you intend you measure your results during and after your social media marketing campaign.