Jul 182017

7 Basic Elements Of Building Your Social Media Marketing Plan

You need a social media marketing plan for your small business!

This is a guest post from Dorien Morin at More In Media.

Social media marketing without a plan is like any kind of marketing without a plan – it’s not as effective. You might go through all the trouble of renting a storefront, ordering inventory, hiring staff and opening the doors for customers to come see you… and then… nothing! The only difference is that with social media, it’s done online.

If you want social media marketing to work for your business, you need to have a plan of action in order to measure growth, success, and ROI.

Here are 7 basic elements of building your own social media marketing plan today!


What are your goals of being on social media?

Drive foot traffic to a brick and mortar store?

Increases Online sales?

Website Traffic?

Brand Awareness?

Email Signups?

More Sales Overall?

Expand territory?

Grow online community?

Grow Team?

You can certainly add your own goals to this list.

Then, identify your main goal as well as 2-3 secondary goals you want to accomplish.

The first step of your social media marketing plan is done!

Target Audience 

Identify your “customer avatar,” a/k/a your ideal client.

To do that, ask yourself the following questions:

Who is my most profitable customer?

Who is my most loyal customer?

What age is my ideal customer?

Where do most of my customers live?

What is the disposable income of my target audience?

How often does my target audience purchase a service/product like mine?

Does my target audience buy online or offline (what are their buying habits?)

What social media sites does my target audience frequent?


Answering these questions will help you create ‘the ideal customer’, your avatar. Now all your marketing efforts should be focused on engaging that avatar! That includes writing ads and creating videos that will make an impact on that specific avatar.

Second step is done!


Having a marketing budget is essential to building your social media marketing plan as you will need to budget for staff wages, consulting fees, content creation (photography, video and copywriting), advertising, automation tools and more.

Without a budget, your hands are tied – you can try to build your brand and online community for ‘free’ but it will still take a huge resource – your time!

Once you’ve completed your budget, the third step is done!

(Social) Media Audit

Without knowing where you are as you start, you can’t measure growth and success as you move forward.

You will need a (social) media audit to find out where you are currently visible online (platforms) as well as offline, what marketing efforts are working and what is not, what your website traffic is doing (Google Analytics), how your Facebook Ads are doing (if you are running any) and the status of your email marketing as well as your offline marketing efforts.

Throw this data into a Google doc and you’ve got your audit done. Use this data to measure growth in all areas; weekly, monthly, yearly.

Step four, done.


Your competition is one of the best resources available to you if you are ready to create a written social media marketing plan.

Why reinvent the wheel? I suggest picking 3-5 industry and/or local competitors and make a spreadsheet with the following data.

Check their Website – are they using video? Is there a blog? E-commerce? A Podcast?

Check Facebook – what type of posts do well? How much engagement do they have? How often do they post? Do they go LIVE?

Check Twitter – are they active? What do they tweet? How many followers do they have?

Check Instagram – do they have an account? How often do they post? Do they mainly post pictures or video? What hashtags are being used?

Check all other platforms, including review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor etc if relevant.

Use this data not to copy what your competitors are doing, but as a starting point for best practices. If their audience engages well with video, why not create an awesome video series? If there’s nothing much going on with Twitter in their/your industry, maybe put that on the back burner, unless you think there’s an opportunity to engage relevant constituencies there. It’s hard to know without trying – test it, then adjust accordingly.

Step five is complete.


You will need automation and creator tools for social media. This includes subscriptions to software, email marketing or CRM systems, as well as access to (stock) photo sites. Do some research and find out how much to add to your budget for tools – you will need to tools to be efficient!  A few of the tools you’ll want to consider include:

Canva – graphics creation

Buffer – scheduling

Camtasia – screen capture

mailChimp – email marketing

infusionsoft – CRM

Asana – project management

Slack – team projects

That’s step six, but in reality, your research on tools will be ongoing.


Content creation isn’t free! You might need to hire a videographer for the day, or a video editor. You might need a photographer for an event or for website pictures. You will most likely need a copywriter and a webmaster to keep your website up-to-date and yes, that falls under social media, too. Creating a social media marketing plan includes the need for a monthly content calendar with content ideas to be worked out by the marketing team. Understand that creating content isn’t the end –there needs to be a budget to promote this content as well, as such promotion is essential to social media marketing success!

And that’s step seven!

These are seven building blocks of creating your very own social media marketing plan.

I suggest you create this plan in a written format that it can easily be shared with your team!

Refer back to this plan as you execute it, at least on a monthly basis to make sure you are still on the right track and create a new, updated plan every year!


Dorien Morin