It may be trite, but failing to plan typically means that you are planning to fail. Without a plan, your social media marketing will not be successful. That being said, your plan does not have to be fancy, or complicated, but here are some helpful concepts to remember when crafting a social media strategy… that works.

Have a goal in mind.

If you don’t know where you want to end up, how will you know how to get there? Whether your goal is to get more brand recognition or to increase audience engagement, you need to have a specific (and measurable) goal in mind. We see so many customers who say “I just want more fans”, and while a goal of more fans is well and good, a better way to phrase that might be “I want to grow my followers by X followers per day/week/month”. Would you rather have 1,000 fans who do not engage with your content or 100 fans who are active participants on your page (commenting, sharing, liking)? We would rather have the 100 fans because those fans become your brand advocates and will help generate metrics that can drive your business. Once you have your goal(s) in place, you can create content that will support those goals.

What metrics do you need to measure your goal?

It is wonderful to say that you want your social media to generate more revenue, but unless you have remarketing or another tracking in place, it will be hard to precisely ascertain what is driving revenue growth. Thus, it is important to make sure to know which metrics matter to your specific goal(s). Think of it this way, how would you describe how tall someone is without knowing a measuring system (inches/feet/meters)? Make sure you know which metrics will influence your goal.

How does your social marketing support your organizational goals?

Social media marketing is great (granted, we might be a bit biased), however, if your social media is not working in conjunction and in support of your overall marketing strategy, you are not optimizing your time, efforts, or platforms. It is critical to craft social content that works within your overall marketing strategy and supports your organizational goals. This might mean you need to re-evaluate your social media goals, but that is ok. It is better to re-evaluate early in the process than to waste time and realize that your efforts are not working toward your desired end-state.

Is your plan realistic and achievable?

This may sound trivial, but make sure you are setting goals and creating a plan that is realistic and attainable. It is wonderful to say you want to have 3-5 new posts per day and that all those posts will drive the overall goal, but it would be better to have one strong post and not try to cram so much into your already busy day/week/month. Remember, plans are easy, execution is the hard part. Make sure any plan you make is feasible and will not become a burden.

Remember, a social media strategy is only useful if it is utilized, so take the time to create a strategy that is realistic, measurable, and that works toward your organization’s overall business goals.