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4 Steps to Build a Social Media Marketing Plan from Scratch

Posted by Drew Melendy on Apr 21, 2020 4:57:48 PM
Drew Melendy

You hear the experts say it all the time- social media marketing works. That’s because social media not only holds a space to advertise businesses; it also creates a space to build lasting customer relationships at scale.

Plus, with an abundance of users, there’s no doubt that you’ll find your customers and future customers using these platforms. But how do you build a successful social media marketing strategy to reach them? 

Start with these 4 steps to define your social media goals, evaluate your resources, and choose the correct platform and content for your social media marketing strategy.

Boutique owner sits down to her laptop to work on her social media marketing strategy.

1. Define Your Goals & Resources

Before you launch a full-scale social media marketing plan, you first need to lay the groundwork. The step is defining your goals and resources. 

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish, and if you have the resources to meet those goals. Here are a few questions to get you started.

1. Do you already own one or more social media accounts? Do they have an active community of fans?

2. Are you using social media for brand awareness, foot traffic, website traffic, or as a primary selling channel? One or all can be true for your business.

3. Do you seek to build a community around your brand? Some channels are better for tighter customer relationships in a community setting.

4. Do you have expertise to share with your customer base, such as styling tips? This will help with a content strategy.

5. Will you offer promotions, incentives, or perks to followers?

6. Do you have the capacity or expertise to post consistently to these channels? If not, do you have a staff member or virtual assistant to help you?

Your answers will help you determine the next few steps.

Woman typing on laptop switches her Instagram personal account to a business account.

2. Choose Your Platform

Though there are dozens of social media platforms out there, you do not need to be on all of them, especially if you’re just starting out.

To help you determine which channel is a priority, ask yourself these questions-

1. How do they help you achieve your goals and objectives?

2. What is your target audience? Which platforms can you typically find them on?

3. What tools do you need to connect with them?

If you already have a Facebook or Instagram business account, you may already know who your customers are and where they prefer to interact with you.

If you're starting your accounts, though, consider the demographics you can find on each. Here's a quick look at these.

Facebook Users

    • 183 million Facebook users in the US
    • 75% of US females and 63% of US males use Facebook
    • 76% of people ages 18 - 24 use Facebook
    • 84% of people ages 25 - 30 use Facebook
    • 79% of people ages 30 - 45 use Facebook
    • 68% of people ages 50 - 64 use Facebook

Instagram Users

    • 120 million Instagram users in the US.
    • 43% of US females and 31% of US males use Instagram
    • 75% of people ages 18 - 24 use Instagram
    • 57% of people ages 25 - 30 use Instagram
    • 47% of people ages 30 - 49 use Instagram
    • 23% of people ages 50 - 64 use Instagram

Facebook is usually the first choice for many since it is so widely and frequently used. You’re likely to find your customers, as well as many like them, on this platform.

You can also determine which is the best for you based on the business tools and benefits they provide. Take a look at what each platform offers.

Benefits of Facebook for Business

Facebook allows you to do the following with a business account.

    • Run advertisements to targeted audiences.
    • Showcase your products and services through a Facebook Business page.
    • Highlight your contact details, store location, and brand story.
    • Get access to vital marketing metrics with Facebook Analytics.
    • Use Facebook Live to connect with customers and host live sales with real-time, two-way interactions.
    • Build a community around your brand and offer exclusive perks to members with Facebook groups.
    • Create engaging content with high visibility using Facebook Stories.
    • Instantly send relevant and timely information to customers using Messenger.

Related: How to Create A Facebook Business Page for Your Boutique


Benefits of Instagram for Business

Instagram allows you to do the following with an Instagram business account.

    • Showcase your brand, products, and services with beautiful visuals.
    • Get access to vital marketing metrics with Instagram Analytics.
    • Tag your products for Instagram Shopping.
    • Get discovered on the Instagram Explore page.
    • Leverage hashtags to target ideal customers.

Related: 10 Easy Steps to Create An Instagram Business Account

If you use both Facebook and Instagram, there are benefits to that too. Both Facebook and Instagram Stories and advertisements can be cross-posted between the two channels, making it easy to use both at the same time.

When selling on either channel, be sure to follow their community guidelines. If you violate these, you can be temporarily blocked and possibly banned altogether. This occurrence is commonly known as “Facebook Jail”.

For more information on this, get our guide to learn everything you need know about Facebook Jail.

Smiling woman reviews the content strategy she just printed out.

3. Develop a Content Plan

Creating your social media accounts is an essential first step to acquiring more customers and followers. Still, your content marketing strategy will be the most significant deciding factor when it comes to them sticking around.

If you provide valuable content, you’ll have a higher chance of increasing your followers and keeping them interacting with your brand. 

Here are the types of content that will help you deliver the most value as a business.

Entertaining Content

You may have joined social media to market your business. Still, nobody wants to see promotional content over and over again. It gets boring and is sometimes seen as downright spammy. The most successful businesses also post entertaining content to create balance and keep customers engaged.

Think of the people who regularly engage you on social media. They probably entertain you, right?

There are so many fun ways to get your audience liking and sharing while showing off your brand personality. You can use internet challenges, quotes, contests, games, and behind the scenes tours. The possibilities are endless, so have fun with it!

Informational Content

The best content plan also revolves around creating value for an audience. Without value, people won’t have incentive to follow you. Sometimes this means providing a product or service, but it also extends to expert advice.

What value do you have to provide for your customers? Can you give them styling tips? What about demonstrating your product so they can make better purchase decisions?

Boutiques that sell on Facebook and Instagram see a lot of success with fit videos. These short pre-recorded videos demonstrate stretch and fit of outfits on models. Instagram and Facebook Live styling sessions are also a popular choice to illustrate value.

Promotional Content

Of course, value can also come from promotional content. Followers will appreciate being able to see upcoming sales and new arrivals. You can do this on your business pages or use Facebook groups to offer exclusive perks and first dibs to members.

Facebook Live Sales can be used in both pages and groups. They are one of the hottest and most effective ways to promote and sell products through Facebook. They’re the perfect mix of entertaining, educational, and promotional content.
Related: 7 Types of High Performing Content For Social Sales

Group of friends on their smartphones, commenting, liking, and sharing content from their favorite brands.

4. Promote Your Accounts

Your social media accounts should be displayed wherever possible to encourage people to follow you. Consider promoting your accounts in these ways.

Website

Always be sure to add buttons for your social media accounts on your website. These buttons are commonly found in the website footer, but some people also add them to the website banner.

Make sure to test your social links after you add them. You would be surprised how many broken links are typically found in these sections.

Email

Email is another great way to get the word out about your social accounts. You can do this by sending a message to your mailing list, or adding a footer with your social buttons to your email templates.

Cross-posting

If you are using more than one social platform, cross-promote your accounts through posts, Stories, cover photos, your Facebook about section, and your Instagram bio. 

The Takeaway

There’s no wonder why these platforms have become a powerhouse for marketing and sales. With the right considerations, the appropriate platforms, and engaging content, you, too, can reap the benefits of social media marketing. 

Ready to take the first step? Get our guides on creating a Facebook business page, a Facebook group, and an Instagram business account.

Then learn about the 7 forms of high performing content for social sales.

Topics: Facebook, Instagram, Social Media

Woman sells clothing using CommentSold and Facebook Live.