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Social media has become a staple component in not only marketing and promoting your brand, but also in handling communications related to customer service issues. These days customers and potential customers are more inclined to make contact with a company on Twitter or Facebook, rather than a website. It’s much easier to find a business on social media than it is to find their website, search for a contact page and then fill out a contact form and hope for a response. On social media, there is no doubt that the business received your inquiry…and it is public for all to see. Social media makes customers feel like they have power. Your audience and customers have also begun to expect brands to rapidly respond to online complaints. A slow response time or a badly handled response can mean doom for a business, and savvy businesses understand the importance of this aspect of customer service. Because of all these reasons, it is incredibly important for you to Create a Social Media Plan. If you have never created one,  the task of getting started may seem staggering. But, by taking small steps every day in crafting a social media marketing & customer service plan, you will be up and running before you know it.

How to Create a Social Media Plan For Beginners

Choose The Appropriate Social Media Platforms For Your Business’ Audience

It is tempting to want to be on all social networks when you first get started. This is a BIG mistake. While we do recommend that you claim your pages and handles on all social networks, trying to market all over the place will make your task overwhelming. You’ll have tons of content to create, schedule, analyze…and you’ll end up dropping the ball. This is what you need to do instead:

Analyze Your Demographics: One very important consideration is choosing the platform that appeals to your brand’s demographics. Pew has information related to demographics of Social Networks that will help you choose the right social network for your goals. What do we mean exactly? If your audience is suburban moms, they probably won’t be on Snapchat, but on Pinterest and Facebook. This is probably the most important thing you can do, understand who your clients and audience are so you know where and how to market to them. Now you need to ask yourself a few questions about them:

  • Who is the audience for your content? Create a persona.
  • What does this ideal audience want to know about your brand
  • What social media platforms do they use?
  • Who influences my audience? What social media platforms do they use?
  • What kind of tone would this audience like? Educational? Funny? Serious?
  • What other places besides social media does my audience like?

Choose Three Social Networks: Now that you know your audience, pick between 2-3 social networks they frequent. You can always expand as time goes on, but understand that your brand does not have to be on all social networks.

Have A Clearly Outlined Goal

Everyone thinks they have a goal. Not everyone does. If you haven’t already, actually sit down to write it down and discuss it with your team. You may be surprised at what you come up with. Then, make sure that this goal is discussed prior to every campaign that you put together. Ask your team and community managers to place this in a prominent area so that it can be thought of every time a social media post is created. This will help you and your team stay on track. You may have more than one goal…in truth, you will probably have about three of them. Make sure that each goal is achievable, that you can measure this goal, and that it can be achieved within a time frame.

Start off with simple goals, for example

Improve customer engagement
Increase lead generation
Increase brand awareness
Increase ROI
Increase website traffic
Increase customer retention

Then refine said goals

Increase Facebook response time to 1 hour
Get 30 new leads by EOM
Increase retweets by 20%
Have a 10% increase in sales revenue
Increase click thru from social media 5%
Have a 90% re-up rate

Create a Social Media Calendar (click the link for a sample calendar)

An example of a social media calendar for the year

You can’t just post willy-nilly on social media….ok…you could….but you won’t want to. Keep your goal on top of your content calendar. Then sit down to figure out the type of content you can post to achieve this/these goals. A few things you need to consider prior to crafting your first content calendar:

  1. Who will create content (does their content need to be approved)
  2. How often will content be created
  3. What is the audience for your content
  4. How often will you promote this content
  5. Where will the content come from (your blog, industry leaders, client testimonials, memes…)
  6. How much content will be promotional and how much will be engagement driven (a good rule is 20/80)
  7. Is there anything that should not be discussed
  8. Will this take coordination with your website/blog/sales/technical team
  9. Are there events that need to be pushed out
  10. Are there holidays that can be promoted to achieve your goals

These are just a starting point and will point you in the right direction.

Get Inspiration

AKA – Time to do some spy work.  Make lists of industry leaders, competition, and your customers/audience. Check out what they are talking about and what they are posting. This will give you a good idea on the tone of voice you need to take, and what is relevant to your industry. See what is performing well for them and take inspiration from it.

Create the Content

You’re probably going to be sharing content you own as well as content from others. If you’re going to be sharing your own content, this is fantastic. Driving traffic to your website or blog makes it much easier for you to track your ROI. If you don’t already have a website or blog, start one. Then, once you’ve created that content you can begin to repurpose it.

Add that content to your newsletter.
Craft social media posts – alter them to fit the voice of the platform.
Create an infographic – share this to social media
Create a slideshare – share to social media
Create a video- share to social media (including Youtube and Vimeo).

You can do the same with content from influencers…just make sure that you credit the source properly.

Emphasize Visual Content

Photos receive more engagement than links, or text-based updates, but lately, video gets the most engagement out of any type of post across social networks. The above tweet was very carefully crafted. It received a good number of retweets because it included a deal, a gif, and clean easy to see graphics.

Keep Your Bio’s Consistent Across Platforms

Make sure that on all your social media sites your bio sections are current, consistent and accurate, including avatars and text. This is all about consistent branding and a consistent message. Think about keywords so that you can be found when people search.

When and How Often to Post

There is no “best time to post” on a particular network. Each brand and business is unique and has its own audience. If you really want to know when is the best time to post to social media, check out analytics. We suggest you use the times suggested by each platform to get started and then test different times to see what works best for your brand…or use a social media tool like Socialdraft to schedule your posts and pull reports to see what performed best.

As far as frequency is concerned…

Twitter – you can publish as often as 14 times per day, never more than once per hour; seven times per day on weekends, from 3:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., roughly every three hours. We suggest you craft 3 pieces of scheduled promotional content. The rest of the posts should be engagement posts. Then spend your time engaging your audience in conversation. You will get the most ROI from Twitter by engaging.

Facebook – 1-2 times per day, seven days a week. Many sites will tell you that only once a day works…but just think about your audience. They may not all use Facebook at the same time, this is especially so if you are a national or international brand. Check your insights to see when your audience is engaging and begin to test out to see what times get you the best engagement.

LinkedIn – 1 time per day, around 8am, no weekends (people aren’t thinking about work on weekends)

Instagram – You can post up to 5 times a day on Instagram…but again, this is only if your content is up to par. This is usually way too much for most accounts. If you are just getting started, you are better off posting once a day until you build your audience. Once you have a healthy engagement, then you can begin to test out posting twice daily.

Pinterest – Post once a day until you’ve built your follower base, then increasing the frequency. Pinterest is a strong network for driving web traffic, so each pin is a great link back to your website. We’ve seen brands do quite well posting 3 times per day.

Tumblr – 1-3 times per day is the recommended frequency.  Some brands are able to get away with more, but if you’re just starting out, keep it to no more than 3. It is imperative that your content fit the demographic or you risk losing followers.

Automate Updates

With Socialdraft’s “Drag & Drop” calendar, you can schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn with just a few simple clicks. Re-scheduling and editing is a breeze. Simply drag & drop.

You can also duplicate posts for later posting. We suggest giving some time between duplicate content so that you don’t bore your audience…and so that your messages go through.

You can also put all your evergreen content into a CSV and upload it directly to the Socialdraft dashboard. Edit the csv monthly and upload again to save tons of time. This is fantastic for holidays, reviews, and evergreen information.

And with the Socialdraft Feed you can manage, comment on, like, and take more actions such as re-tweet items from all of your social media channels. It saves you from logging on and off from multiple social networks.

Measuring Results


You will need to measure results in order to see if you are being effective or if you need to sit down and re-tool your marketing plan. An easy way is to pull social media reports. If you’re short on time, you can measure followers/following, demographics, and engagement. If you have more time, dig down on each social network to see what posts got you the best engagement, how many times your content has been shared, and how much traffic was driven to your website through social media.

This plan should put you on the right path to social media marketing.

It’s really (REALLY) easy to kill a ridiculous amount of time on social media for what it comes to consuming it – but it’s even easier to rip through hours and hours staring at that little screen trying to find the right things to say and share when you are looking to post on social media!

This is especially true if you are responsible for figuring out how to take advantage of everything that social media has to offer from a marketing and advertising standpoint. Just trying to unlock the secrets of social media success can feel like a tremendously daunting task.

Thankfully though, when you take advantage of all the insight information we are able to share with you below about how to save time on your social media marketing (and when you utilize tools to save time on social media) that’s all going to be a problem of the past.

You’ll be able to transform social media into the moneymaker that it should be!

1) Create a social media marketing calendar

It’s going to be absolutely impossible for you to stick to a regular social media marketing routine without first creating a social media marketing calendar. Flying by the seat of your pants is the easiest way to make sure that you waste time. You’ll be caught off guard and end up running like a chicken without a head.

You’re going to want to really think about how you hope to leverage all of the different social media platforms out there, but you’re also going to want to think about how you can intelligently stringed together these different social media platforms to build a multifaceted marketing campaign that gives you the kind of conversion numbers you’re after.

On top of that, with the creation of a social media marketing calendar (one of the best tools to save time on social media) you’ll have to force yourself to stick to a rigid schedule. This will stop a lot of the procrastination that you’ve been dealing with. Click the link on the title above to get a full guide on how to create a social media calendar. It’s a step by step tutorial that will get you on the right path.

2) Use a Social Media Scheduler


Now that you have a set calendar, you need to be smart about how you post it. Logging onto five different social networks on a daily basis is not just a waste of time, it will distract you from all other things you need to do to run your business. Instead of doing this, pick up a social media dashboard like Socialdraft which lets you schedule to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest Boards. Sit down once or twice a week and schedule out all your content. If you’re an excel fan, you can pop in all the posts into excel, and upload them all at once. And, if you are really organized, you can categorize these posts so you can easily re-use them. 

3) Make Finding Content Easier


Finding content takes tons of time. A great way to find good content is to see what others in your industry are discussing. You can use tools like Buzzsumo…and even Socialdraft’s photo search. Just enter a keyword for your industry and see the latest content that has been shared on Instagram. It’s a great place to get Inspiration. You can even share the content you find in seconds with a few clicks of the mouse.

4) Track Engagement

There are tools that will make it ridiculously easy to monitor mentions of your brand or business. Check them daily to see who is talking about your brand. Engage those people, amplify the good, and address any negative alerts so they don’t spiral out of control. If you’re on top of the situation, it can never surprise you and have you running around like a chicken without a head.

5) Hire someone to handle your social media marketing

If you are having a really tough time figuring out how to save time on your social media marketing, you’ll want to think about outsourcing this kind of work to someone else – and paying them by the hour!

This approach is not only going to clear your plate considerably so that you can focus on other higher leverage business operations, but it’s also going to force you to put a limit on the amount of time they spend on social media. After all, if you’re paying them by the hour you don’t want them wasting time, do you?

Just make sure that you are clear on your needs and that you ask them to be clear on their work.  Good questions to ask:

A. How many hours per week will they work

B. How many social media posts will go out weekly

C. Is engagement included, if so, how much

D. Do you need to provide materials (images, write ups, etc).

E. How will they show their success (reporting, etc).

F. Will they be available for calls or are they only available via email.

We’ll have a more thorough blog post on how to pick a social media firm soon….but rest assured, this is one of the best and most underrated tools to save time on social media marketing for sure!

6) Arrange Regular Google Analytics Reports

Instead of haphazardly running Google Analytics Reports, make arrangements to receive regular Google Analytics reports to find out which social media platforms are sending the most traffic to your website.

7) Make Note of Your Most Popular Content

One way to save time on developing additional compelling content is to keep track of the content that has received the most shares in the past. Studying the nature of popular web pages and articles can provide insights on similar content that may also resonate with your audience.

8) Use Socialdraft to Simplify Tasks

With Socialdraft you can merge much of your social media activity and monitor review sites, social networks and blogs in addition to mainstream media. An all-in-one simple to use social media software app. Get smart information on the top influencers to engage with your social media posts on the Socialdraft calendar.

9) Cut Back on Email Notifications

Sorting through email notifications can be very time consuming, so be selective with what email notifications you choose to receive. It’s not necessary to receive an email each time someone new is following you on a given social media platform.

10) Choose Best Time to Post

Use the available analytics on your social media platforms as well as Google Analytics to determine when your brand has the most engagement on social media. That way you will reach the upper limit of your followers when you post.

How to Manage your Social Media Accounts

Socialdraft is an all-in-one Dashboard that helps you manage multiple Social Media Acccounts. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:

Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages (and one LinkedIn account) and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports
and tons more…

If you are curious about Socialdraft, take it for a risk-free trial. You’ll get to try out all the features and decide if Socialdraft is right for you.