Remember when social media used to be a new thing and companies would either ignore it completely or let the intern handle it?
Well, times have changed. Social media marketing has grown at a quick rate and no company can afford to skip out on this marketing channel. In fact, there are now entire departments dedicated to managing social media marketing activities.
Of course, not everyone has the capital or man-power to create a social media team. For entrepreneurs and small businesses, it pays to get organized with your social media.
These four social media templates will help get your social media plan organized, help make it more effective and keep you sane while you try to manage a growing business and still find time to tweet.
If you are only going to use one social media template, then start with this one. A social media strategy is the first step to taking control of your social media marketing.
A strategy will keep you focused on your goals, message and audience. They will make clear what you need to be doing and sharing on social media.
When you have a set strategy, you can avoid campaigns and tactics that won’t work for your audience or for your business.
Essentially, a strategy will stop you from just “winging it” and being unable to grow or see any results.
There are four steps to setting your social media strategy.
1. Establish your goals
If you don’t have goals for a marketing channel, then you probably aren’t going to get very much out of that channel. You need to set social media goals that can relate back to your business. A goal of reaching 10 million Instagram followers is great but it won’t really help your business if none of those followers are in your ideal market or are interested in your content. Your goals should be relevant to your business goals
Also, your goals should be measurable. We’ll talk more about this soon but just remember that broad or vague goals are extremely difficult to achieve. For example, the goal “Go viral” would be nearly impossible to measure because it means different things for everyone. It’s best to choose a goal that you can clearly measure.
2. Identify your target audience
Imagine going on a blind date where you know absolutely nothing about the other person. It would probably take some stumbling around in the date before you found some in common to talk about.
Well going on to social media without knowing your audience is like walking into a blind date knowing nothing about the other person. And guess what? Your audience isn’t going to hang around while you find something interested to talk about. You need to know who you are selling to, what they want, how they operate and what interests them before you try to create any content.
Surveys or interviews with your existing customers is the best way to start collecting audience research. If you have yet to launch, then consider who you want your audience to be and then go look for places they might hang out or spend their time.
For example, if you are starting a health coaching business targeted at moms, try to find Mommy Facebook groups or forums or search relevant hashtags on Instagram or Twitter.
3. Gets clear on your message and your content categories
Social media would be incredibly boring if businesses only pushed sales on their followers all day long. Luckily, everyone has picked up on a better way to use social media.
Social media gives you the opportunity to showcase your brand and build deeper connections with your customer. It is not about selling!
That means you need to figure out some content that shares your brand and resonates with your audience. If you’ve done your audience research, then you should already know what interests your followers but it can be extremely helpful to determine the different types of content you want to share.
Content categories prevent you from posting the same thing over and over or from sharing content that isn’t relevant to your audience.
Your categories should relate to your business or service and also interest your audience, as well. It’s important that your categories hit both of these requirements.
For instance, we would love to share funny cat videos all day long because we like it and we know our audience likes it. However, funny cat videos have very little to do with our service so it wouldn’t make sense for us to share them. If you are a pet store or veterinarian, then a funny cat video may be the perfect fit for you!
4. Pick your metrics
Finally, the last piece of your strategy is choosing your metrics. How will you measure your growth every week, month or quarter?
Your metrics will connect back to your goals and they will act as a guiding light for whether your strategy is working.
The next social media template is your social media calendar. Having a social media calendar will save you tons of hours and massive headaches!
Consistency is one of the biggest contributors to success on social media but it’s also one of the biggest struggles for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Now you might be thinking, “But I’m most creative on the fly and I create my best posts in the moment.”
That might be true, but in life, and in business, distractions pop up all of the time and when they do, social media posts often get pushed off until later. Later can become never or later can become an end-of-the-day task where your left thinking “Ugh, I HAVE to post something but I just don’t know what to post.” This leads to low quality content and a poor social media presence.
Even if you create a calendar, you can still post in the moment when you feel inspired and those posts will be stronger because they’re backed by consistent and strategic posts.
When you have a social media calendar you:
- Stay consistent with your posts
- Never miss important dates
- Ensure your messages are balanced
- Keep your efforts in line with your strategy
- Save yourself time
A social media calendar, allows you to create campaigns in advance, plan around specific holidays or important events and align every post with your business goals.
It’s also incredibly helpful for just getting a “bird’s eye view” of your social efforts and seeing what’s working and what’s not.
A social media calendar keeps you feeling a little bit ahead of the game and let’s face it, that feeling is a rarity when you work for yourself!
When it comes to creating a calendar, we recommend carving out a few hours once a month, sitting down with an actual calendar and your business goals and mapping it all out. Once you are done, you will feel so much clearer about what content you need and what to plan for in the coming month.
In marketing, there are going to be things that work and things that don’t work. The smartest business owners know this and prepare for it so that they can make adjustments as they go. That’s what a social media audit will do for your business.
A social media audit is a review of your current social media presence. It’s a simple and effective exercise that can give you insights into your social media efforts.
Whether you’ve had dormant social media pages for years or you are regularly active on social, anyone can benefit from an audit. There’s no need to do them every month but a quarterly or yearly audit can bring big benefits to your business.
During a social media audit, you will review your social media presence including your posts, graphics, messaging, profiles, imagery, followers, engagement and conversions.
On a surface level, an audit will show you if you are presenting a consistent brand presence across all channels.
Once you dive deeper, you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t work in your strategy so that you can start making changes. You may be able to see why you don’t see conversions or which channels present untapped opportunities for your brand.
An audit serves as a way for you to evaluate your social media strategy. If you’ve set your social media goals, you can use an audit to measure them and to set new goals.
Our last template may end up being the social media template that you use most often. We have found that one of the biggest reasons businesses can’t identify social media’s results is because they don’t bother to measure their progress or track their results.
You can measure almost anything with social media but you don’t need to keep track of every insight your Facebook page gives you. Instead, match your analytics to your metrics in your social media strategy. That way, you can be sure your efforts are moving towards your specific goals.
Tracking your analytics helps to inform your social media calendar. If you are able to match your analytics with your calendar then you can see which content is best-performing or which channel is underperforming. Use your analytics to adjust your calendar as necessary.
Also, if you save your social media analytics, then your social media audit will be much easier to do. You can simply review your analytics reports and you’ll get a perfect picture of how you performed on social.
Social media can be extremely overwhelming for entrepreneurs but these social media templates will help empower you to manage your social media like a pro!