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What Is Social Media Marketing? [Complete 2023 Guide]

This complete guide will help you get started with social media marketing and follow the right best practices from day one.

More than three-quarters of the world’s population aged 13+ uses social media. A whopping 4.74 billion people are active social media users.

Social media marketing provides a unique opportunity to connect with this massive audience on the platforms where they already spend their time.

But what exactly does social media marketing entail? Is it right for your business? How do you “do” social media marketing, and how do you get started?

In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about marketing your brand on social media.

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template   to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is the practice of using social media platforms and tools to promote a business and connect with existing and potential customers .

The intended outcomes can range from the somewhat abstract (like brand building ) to the very specific (like selling products through social commerce ).

At its core, social media marketing is about building relationships with your audience in the places they already spend their time online.

Unlike traditional advertising, social media marketing allows for two-way communication between individuals and brands. There’s also potential for building a sense of community, which creates brand loyalty.

Social marketers do a lot more than scroll through TikTok all day.

All in a day's work 🥱 Shout out to all the social media managers juggling so many hats while keeping their social channels afloat. You're all the true MVPs 🌟 pic.twitter.com/7jtsbgkbhK — Hootsuite 🦉 (@hootsuite) December 8, 2022

Social media marketing activities can include:

The benefits of social media marketing

Social networks are the second-most-popular type of website or app, topped only by chat and messaging.

top types of websites visited and apps used

Source: Hootsuite’s Global State of Digital 2022 Report (October Update)

They offer incredible reach and opportunities to engage with an audience in ways that are simply impossible in any other marketing format.

Here’s what that looks like in terms of real benefits for any brand that gets social media marketing right.

Build brand identity and awareness

From the smallest business to multinational corporations, every brand needs to stand for something if they want to connect with consumers. Social media gives you a chance to consistently show the personality behind your brand.

How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? On social, you can participate in conversations, encourage engagement, and even interact with your audience in real time.

Create community and brand loyalty

People naturally organize themselves into communities on social media. That might mean a Facebook Group or a hashtag like #DIYTok. When brands support and engage in these communities, they gain credibility with people who are naturally inclined to be interested in their products and services.

Providing helpful resources, information, or even entertaining content on social media helps people identify with your brand. They become loyal brand advocates who make repeat purchases and spread the word about your brand through their own social media channels.

Test ideas in near real time

Social media networks are an ideal platform for testing , as the feedback gathered through social media analytics tools shows you almost immediately what works and what doesn’t in your marketing.

This allows you to refine your marketing strategy very quickly, and reveals lessons you can apply to areas of marketing beyond social, too.

Support business goals

Social media marketing doesn’t always get credit for its contribution to the bottom line. Social media can drive customers to your website and generate sales leads . Social marketing efforts can even support social commerce sales, in which customers purchase from your brand without ever leaving the social platform.

Your social media marketing team also supports (or sometimes provides) social customer service .

graph of teams that are responsible for providing customer service through social and messaging apps

Source: Hootsuite 2023 Social Trends Report

Customers expect to be able to connect with your brand on social media for service and support. Having an easily accessible and responsive social care team can win back annoyed customers or provide the extra boost of confidence needed for first-time customers to complete a purchase.

Top networks for social media marketing

There’s a social network out there to connect with every audience. These are our top picks, sorted by number of users.

the world's most used social platforms 2022

Facebook is still the world’s most-used social platform, with 2.934 billion global active users. It’s also the “favorite” platform of the largest number of social media users. And it accounts for the vast majority (71.64%) of web traffic referrals to third-party websites.

Check out our guide to marketing on Facebook .

Instagram is the next-most-popular social network with 1.386 billion active users. It’s known to sometimes be a source of frustration for social media marketers because of its frequent feature updates and algorithm changes.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hootsuite 🦉 (@hootsuite)

But the frustration is worth it, because nearly half ( 44% ) of Instagram users shop weekly on the platform.

Learn more about how to market your brand on Instagram .

TikTok has skyrocketed seemingly out of nowhere to become an incredibly important social network for marketing in the last few years. It has 1 billion active users, a year-over-year increase of 14.6%.

And here’s an interesting fact – if we’d sorted this list by average time spent on the app, TikTok would have come out on top. Users spend an average of 22.9 hours per month on the platform, more than any other social network. That addictive quality makes it an important network for brands to understand.

We’ve got all the details you need to know in our post on how to create a TikTok marketing strategy .

LinkedIn is unique on this list in that it’s a social network specifically focused on business life. That means its 875 million members are primed for business discussions and purchasing research. It’s a critical platform for anyone working in B2B, or for any companies that hire anyone, ever.

Business to consumer brands can find success on LinkedIn too. We explain all the details in our post on LInkedIn marketing for both B2B and B2C brands .

Snapchat may get less press than TikTok, but it’s still an important platform with 576 million active users. It’s far from fading into obscurity – in fact, the platform is still growing, adding 38 million users from Q4 2021 to Q4 2022.

Snapchat is particularly useful for brands targeting an audience ages 18 to 24. We explain all the details in our post on how to use Snapchat for business.

Twitter has been in a bit of turmoil since its purchase by Elon Musk in October 2022. But social marketers still have the network’s 544 million active users on their radar, and its value as a marketing platform remains strong heading into 2023.

Twitter is especially useful for brands looking to participate in real-time trends and conversations, as we explain in our Twitter marketing guide .

Pinterest has the lowest number of active users on this list at 433 million. But it’s an important platform for social media marketing because of the way people spend time there.

The top reason people say they use Pinterest is to follow or research brands and products. The very top reason! That’s a key distinction from most of the other platforms, where people tend to focus on connections with people over brands.

Learn how to use this shopping-oriented usage pattern to your advantage in our post on using Pinterest for business .

Most important social media statistics

Here are the most important social media statistics marketers need to understand in 2023.

People spend nearly 2.5 hours per day on social media

Nearly half of internet users seek out brands on social

internet users age 16-24 use social for brand research over search

Social media users play the field

Short-form vertical video is critical

5 essential social media marketing tips

1. research your audience.

In order for your social media marketing to be successful, you need to understand who you’re trying to reach. This will involve some audience research .

You can start your research by understanding the different demographics of each social platform. We’ve done a lot of the work here for you, comparing the key demographic details you need to know:

But this is just the starting point. You need to understand your specific audience, so you can get a clear picture of how to tailor your social media content, which platforms to use, and how to develop your brand voice.

As you come to understand who you want to reach, it can be helpful to develop audience personas .

2. Understand social media goals and KPIs

Everything you do on social media should be underpinned by a solid strategy based on realistic social media goals. Each of those goals will be tied to measurable data in the form of key performance indicators (KPIs).

For inspiration on what kinds of goals to set for your social media marketing efforts, look to the advantages of social media outlined at the top of this post. For example, you could aim to:

We’ve got a whole blog post filled with examples of social media marketing goals , if you need some help getting started.

One critical element of goal setting is determining how you will track and measure your success. That’s where KPIs come in.

chart of business objectives with social media goals and metrics

Fortunately, social media analytics make it quite straightforward to track and report on your social media performance. For details, consult our post on everything you need to know about social media analytics .

3. Plan and schedule your content in advance

Creating effective social content takes planning. Rather than creating your content on the fly, take the time to map out your posts in advance . This allows you to be strategic and consistent in your messaging across platforms.

Creating and scheduling content in batches allows you to make much more effective use of your time. Instead of interrupting your work multiple times per day (or night) to post on social, you can create content in dedicated blocks of your workday, then schedule your posts to go live on the right networks at the right time. A social media marketing dashboard like Hootsuite will help you schedule all of your posts in one place and keep a bird’s eye view of your content strategy at all times.

Hootsuite Planner - calendar view

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This advance planning also allows you to bring multiple people into the content creation process, so you can access more skill sets or just have a fresh set of eyes look at your captions before you post.

4. Involve your community

Social media marketing is unlike marketing on any other platform. It’s a two-way street, with communication flowing from the brand to consumers and consumers back to the brand.

So, it’s important to get your community involved in your brand. You could try a social media contest , or use a branded hashtag to collect user-generated content to share on your feed.

Above all, make sure to respond when your followers engage with your content. Answer comments, thank particularly active users, and be sure to stay on top of your DMs.

5. Monitor your competition

Social media is an incredibly effective platform for competitor research. You can see what your competitors are doing in real time, and even listen in on the conversation happening about competitive brands.

Social listening is a great jumping-off point for your competitor research. Using automated tools, you can track mentions of your competitors, even when they’re not tagged. You can see what’s working for them, and what strategies might backfire.

This is extremely valuable information as you develop your own social marketing strategy. You don’t want to copy your competitors, but you can certainly learn from their successes and mistakes. You can also learn about new promotions, products, or company shakeups in real time.

Helpful social media marketing courses and resources

Hootsuite academy.

Hootsuite Academy offers social media training and certification through online courses taught by professionals in the marketing and social media industries. More than half a million people have taken courses through Hootsuite Academy, and more than 1,000 universities are enrolled in the programs.

Once you pass the exam for a Hootsuite Academy program, you receive a digital certification you can display on your LInkedIn profile to highlight your expertise.

Native training and certifications from the social platforms

The social platforms want brands to find success with their tools. To that end, many of them have created their own social media marketing courses along with training and certification resources to help businesses and social media marketers learn how to use all of their features.

Udacity Nanodegree in digital marketing

This three-month online program takes you from the fundamentals through to immersive projects that help you understand how digital marketing really works. You get access to a mentor and career support.

Insider Intelligence

Insider Intelligence is known for its forecasts and analysis. Full access requires a subscription, but you can gain plenty of insight from the freely accessible articles and podcasts.

In particular, their daily Behind The Numbers podcast is packed with digital marketing insights, and is available wherever you get your podcasts.

The #AskGaryVee Podcast

Gary Veynerchuk accepts questions on Twitter using the #AskGaryVee branded hashtag, then answers some of the most pressing in every episode.

If you’re an audio learner, there are plenty of podcasts to help you develop your social marketing skills. We’ve compiled a list of some of our faves .


Whether you join in the weekly #TwitterSmarter Twitter chat or listen to the podcast, you’ll gain important and up-to-the-minute insights on how best to incorporate Twitter into your social media marketing strategy. Host Madalyn Sklar is a top expert in the Twitter space, and regularly participating in #TwitterSmarter will help you, well, do Twitter smarter.

Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement

This textbook by social media strategist Dave Evans, founder of Digital Voodoo, offers practical tips on how to establish a social media strategy and increase engagement with your social followers.

This book also gets into the details of how to connect social media throughout your organization. Rather than focusing only on the social media team, it explains how to use social media for customer service, employee engagement, and even product development.

Google Scholar

If you want to dive into the latest academic research on social media marketing, Google Scholar is the place to start your search.

Some interesting reads include:

Should you do social media marketing?

So, is social media marketing right for your brand? Let’s look at a few of the arguments for and against.

Pros of social media marketing

Cons of social media marketing

For most businesses, the advantages of social media marketing far outweigh the risks. If your audience is already on social media, they expect to find you there. Without an active social media presence, you’re missing out on an important way to grow your brand.

Fortunately, it’s easy to get started. You don’t need to do everything all at once. The first step is building your social media marketing strategy .

Social media marketing FAQ

Social media marketing is the practice of using social media platforms to promote a brand and connect with customers.

The intended outcomes can range from building brand awareness to increasing sales.

How do beginners start social media marketing?

If you’re a complete beginner, start with research. Identify a few competitors, find their social accounts, and take note of what seems to be working for them. Then, create accounts on the social platforms that best fit your audience demographic and start creating your own content. Post consistently and closely watch your performance stats to get an understanding of which strategies are the most effective — and do more of what works.

What skills should I learn for social media marketing?

Important social media marketing skills include copywriting, graphic design, community management, marketing strategy planning, and performance analysis.

Manage all of your social media marketing from one place with Hootsuite. Create and schedule social posts, interact with your audience, track your results, and keep an eye on competitors from one easy-to-use dashboard. Try it free today.

Get Started

Do it better with Hootsuite , the all-in-one social media tool. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.

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Social Media Marketing Business Plan

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If you are planning to start a new social media marketing or digital marketing company, the first thing you will need is a business plan. Use our sample social media marketing business plan created using upmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.

Before you start writing your business plan for your new social media marketing agency, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of  advertising and marketing-related business plans.

Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for and also it will show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

We have created this sample Social Media Marketing Business Plan for you to get a good idea about what a perfect social media marketing business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Social Media Marketing Business Plan Outline

This is the standard social media marketing business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample business plan into your business plan and modify the required information and download your social media marketing business plan pdf or doc file. It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

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Social media marketing plan

How to Create a Winning Social Media Marketing Plan

As a business/startup owner or even a social media marketer, one of the most daunting and time-consuming tasks is to create a social media marketing plan that delivers the business goals. However, it is also one of the essential tasks to make sure the team achieves all the business milestones.

Table of Content: Social Media Marketing Plan

What is a social media marketing plan, why should you have a social media marketing plan in place, set social media marketing goals, research your target audience, identify and select target social media networks, create a post schedule and calendar, test, analyze, adjust, and optimize, automate and engage.

Ignoring social media and treating it as optional is a self-imposed suicide mission for your business since more than half of the world’s population uses social media.

percentage of social media users

Social media marketing plan is a set of activities that you put together to achieve your quarterly or yearly goals. It summarizes all that you plan to do or the outcomes you want to accomplish at the end!

For example, at Social Champ, our social media marketing goals are;

Similarly, an ecommerce store or one that sells a service instead of a product might have a different set of goals. There is no single social media marketing plan that fits all. However, there are a few steps that one could follow to create a working plan for the brand.

Having a plan before executing tasks is always a good idea, whether you are hosting a party or planning a trip to outer space.

Similarly, having a social media plan in place has the following benefits;

A social media marketing plan helps increase brand awareness by highlighting the strategies, approaches, and networks.

Featured Article: 10 Steps to Create an Epic Social Media Campaign

6 Steps to Creating a Kickass Social Media Marketing Plan

Creating a social media marketing plan from scratch might seem like a lot of work, but the exercise can yield excellent results if done systematically. Building from the ground up, here are the six significant steps that you need to take.

Using this guide, you can also tweak and adjust your already using social media marketing plan!

6-Steps to social media Marketing Plan

Before anything else happens, you need to set the goals and objectives that you want to achieve. This would make all the other steps a breeze, and you have clear expectations about how well your plan works out.

Most of the time, all businesses want to increase their sales through social media. However, they cannot just go and directly ask people to buy their products. They need a strategy that spans over multiple elements to convert a visitor into a paying customer.

Let’s take the example of an ecommerce business.

Sara is a t-shirt shop owner with a pretty nice following on social media. She aims to increase brand awareness and drive people to her website.

She can upload pictures on her Instagram with the link to her shop using the Shopping tab. This is not directly pushing people to her website; instead, she can nudge them in the right direction.

While setting goals, always remember that you need to align your short-term and long-term social media goals with your overall business objectives. This way, all teams are working towards a shared aim.

If you are an already established business, the chances are that you already know who your target audience is. So if you are just tweaking your social media marketing plan, you can skip this step.

However, if you create a plan to launch a new product or make your very first strategy, try to figure out your audience.

Check out your competitors to see who they are targeting and what they lack in their research. Fill those gaps, run small research groups, and talk to people on the internet to identify who needs your product.

The next step is pretty essential but requires a lot of effort on your end. Each social media network has its audience and “best practices.” There is an overlap in terms of features, but they all have a pretty solid primary use case.

Here is the breakdown of the popular options:

Facebook users

Pinterest audience

It is best to use different social media networks and not just rely on one to get your plan across. This would give your brand more exposure and allow you to capture a broader range of audiences.

Once you identify the mix of social media profiles you are using, start optimizing them or creating them if you don’t already have them.

Here are a few optimization pointers:

Having a posting schedule and sticking to it is one of the most crucial parts of a social media marketing plan. If you have nothing to post on social media, what good is your plan anyway?


Stop Stressing, Start Planning!

Social champ helps you automate all your social media marketing processes so that you can put on your thinking hat and create creative content.

This is the moment of truth!

In this step, you will take your social media marketing plan live. In the first couple of weeks, execute your plan to the T and jot down the results in a sheet. Analyze the results and check out how well you are doing.

Ideally, it is best to use a social media management tool that can help you monitor platform-centric analytics. Create reports and see how well your plan is doing.

The final part of a social media marketing plan involves you having help and a process!

You cannot humanly handle posting, scheduling, and tracking on your own. This is where a kickass social media marketing tool comes into play.

Tools like Social Champ enable you to create and design content, schedule it, create a calendar, and track the analytics. It helps you fully automate the process so that you can focus on all the other tasks!

Once you have a plan in front of you, the rest of the steps get easy!

Happy planning, folks!

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Marium Fahim Khan

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How to craft an effective social media content strategy

Written by by Sarah Aboulhosn

Published on  May 2, 2023

Reading time  10 minutes

The content you post on social media can turn your brand into a household name and your followers into fans. This kind of impact only comes from having a solid social media content strategy .

The best way to stand out on social media is to identify specific goals, create valuable posts that align with them and distribute the right content on the right platforms.

There isn’t one cookie-cutter social media strategy that will guarantee success. Your strategy will differ depending on your industry, audience and performance over time. There are, however, specific ways to build a long-term plan that grows your brand and business.

In this article, you’ll learn how to create a content strategy for social media. Feel free to jump ahead with this list:

Free social media content strategy templates

Putting it all together: craft your social media content plan, 1. identify and set goals.

The first step toward a long-term social media strategy is to set your content goals . Having goals in mind will help you start planning out the type of content to create.

A graphic illustrating the top goals for social marketers on social. The starts read as follows: 70% increase brand awareness, 59% sales/lead generation, 48% increase community engagement, 46% grow my brand's audience and 45% increase web traffic.

This process involves digging deep into your brand values as well as researching your audience.

Start by getting clear on your overall marketing goals and how you want your social media content strategy to serve them. The more specific your marketing goals are, the better you will be able to tailor your social media content to meet them.

For example, if your main marketing goal is to convert more sales from social media, then your strategy should incorporate publishing and promoting posts that move people to a landing page or another part of your social media marketing funnel —like including a link CTA in your content.

A screenshot of a Tweet on Chewy's Twitter highlighting a promo on their website. The posts reads, Happy #NationalPetMonth! Let the spoiling begin! Snag yourself a free $30 egift card when you spend $100 + we'll donate to pets in need. They've included a link to their website after the copy.

2. Research your audience

You can’t create great social content without knowing who it’s for. Having buyer personas for social—or fictional representations of your ideal customers—will help guide your social media content plan.

Start by using your data to surface basic demographic information like age and location. Then take this further by gathering insights about how your ideal customers talk about your brand, industry and products—this will help you paint a clearer picture of who they are, what they care about and what kind of content they might want to see from you.

Sprout’s social listening solution helps you take this further by surfacing brand keywords and conversations—even when you’re not tagged—that can reveal pain points and opportunities for your content to fill.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's Listening tool. In the screenshot, there are words in a word cloud like #coffee, morning and drinking. At the bottom of the page, related keywords and hashtags are listed and analyzed.

Additionally, talk to your customer care team to hone in on your audience’s common FAQs, what they love and what frustrates them.

3. Analyze your social media competitors

To understand how your social media content strategy is performing, you need to look beyond your own data. A competitive analysis will help spark ideas for your content (i.e. what are they doing that you can do better? What formats do they use?) and create better benchmarks and goals for your strategy.

The right tool will make pulling insights from your competitors (for example: average engagements, growth rate and top content) at scale easy by automating the process. All of which helps you shape data-driven goals and strategies to make better content.

4. Audit your current social content

Once clear on your audience and goals, it’s time to conduct a social media content audit on what you’ve created so far.

A content audit is one of the best ways to know how to create a content strategy for social media that fits your brand. This will help you substantiate what you think is working well with quantitative data that shows you how each post performs.

Look at which posts performed well, which ones didn’t and what you posted on each platform. What you look for in the audit should align directly with your content goals. For example, if one of your goals is to improve brand awareness, look at your follower count and impressions or reach on each platform, and identify which posts resulted in new followers.

If you’re using a social media management platform like Sprout Social, you can look at all of your social media data and analytics in one place. Use Sprout’s Report Builder for a holistic view of how all of your posts are performing.

A screenshot of Sprout's custom report builder where you can create custom reports based on the data that matters most to you.

Even without a social media tool, you can analyze your data by exporting each platform’s analytics into a spreadsheet . Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest Business and LinkedIn Business accounts let you easily export your post and page analytics directly from the platform.

You might notice a disconnect between posts you think should do well and the actual top performers. In this case, look closely at the language and tone you’re using on the underperforming content. You may have strayed away from your brand’s authentic voice . Your followers may interpret those posts as inauthentic or irrelevant, causing a decrease in engagement. Or, there may be new or trending content formats that your audience prefers. According to The Sprout Social Index™ , 66% of consumers think short-form video is the most engaging in-feed content. Are you keeping up with what your audience likes?

Graphic of most engaging types of in-feed social media content, where short form video is at the top followed by images and live video.

Some posts serve to help you meet bigger marketing goals. But even promotional content should be on brand and true to your voice. Remember: Your audience began following you for a reason. Stick with your unique voice and style as much as possible and create content that authentically markets your brand. For example, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has a witty, comedic voice on Twitter—a voice that not all similar organizations share.

A tweet from the Oklahoma department of wildlife conservation that says if this gets 1M likes our boss will let us name her baby "armadillo." Twitter do your thing.

While you’re doing research, also take note of which platforms your content succeeds most on. You might want to target every social platform but it’s unrealistic to expect to perform well on all of them. You want to allocate your resources to the platforms that serve your brand and your audience the most.

5. Choose your content types

This is where you can have fun with data-driven creativity. We already mentioned that short-form video is extremely popular—but when crafting your social media content plan, think back to the social buyer personas you set up, and think about what formats they’re likely consuming.

Change up the types of content you’re publishing, as well. According to the Sprout Social Index™ 2022, consumers like to see brands they follow highlighting their product, service or personality, or posting demos and customer testimonials.

A data chart from The 2022 Sprout Social Index™ that reads: Types of content consumers like to see from brands they follow on social. Posts highlighting products or services is first at 51%. Customer testimonials and demos is the second most popular with 39%.

Repetitive or overly promotional posts may turn fans away. So change up your content. Here are a few ideas:

The best way to know what content types and formats will work for you is to dig into your data. Looking at your most successful posts will help you decide what to create. For example, Sprout’s Post Performance Report enables you to analyze your most successful posts across all of your channels, sorted by your top metrics.

Sprout's Post Performance Report, which shows your top performing content across all of your social channels, individually or all together.

6. Build a content calendar

Once you know what performs best and you’ve identified your primary goals, it’s time to build a social media content calendar . A calendar will let you take a big-picture approach to your social media content plan. It will help you visualize your ideas and organize them, making your strategy easier to execute. Your content calendar will be a hub for everything you post.

The publishing calendar in Sprout Social where posts are being dragged and dropped into different days.

When planning content, don’t be afraid to repurpose content and schedule it across different platforms to get the most out of it. When deciding where to post what content, also consider what performs well on that platform based on your audit.

Keep in mind that there are best practices when it comes to the best times to post on each platform . If you want to make finding the right posting times easier, Sprout’s ViralPost® feature collects data from your followers and puts together reports that tell you when you post to achieve the most reach.

Sprout Social Viral Post feature and publishing calendar.

Your strategy will involve the collective knowledge of a lot of different people within your organization. A content calendar makes it easier to collaborate on social media posts with different people across your company. This also aids in cross-team collaboration to create a more well-rounded plan.

A data visualization that reads "Teams that contribute to their organization's social strategy." The chart demonstrates that customer service, corporate communications, product, HR and R&D teams contribute to their company's social strategy.

7. Promote and distribute your content

Your social media strategy goes beyond what you post on your social channels. A good strategy involves finding ways to actively distribute your content to maximize brand awareness. Here are a few ways to plan your distribution:

Schedule your content ahead of time

Social media tools, like Sprout’s scheduling and publishing features, make content distribution a no-brainer—especially if you post multiple times a day, like Netflix does on Twitter . Plus, this helps you post at the right time.

A tweet from Netflix announcing the return of the show Our Planet.

Recognizing when your audience is active and sharing posts at the right time will help you reach more people. If you’re only posting on social media the minute content goes live, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity for optimizing your reach.

Encourage others to share your posts

Other people sharing your content is excellent social proof as well. Your social media content strategy should include responding to or reposting people who share your content. Encourage your audience to engage with your content by asking a question and encouraging them to share their answers, on social media or in the comments section of a blog post.

And leverage your company’s employees to spread the word, as well. An employee advocacy strategy can drastically increase the reach of your company’s content. Employees are, in a way, “influencers” for your brand. A tool like Sprout’s Advocacy platform enables you to scale your program, and integrates your advocacy workflow into your social workflow seamlessly.

A screenshot of a Sprout post on LinkedIn reshared by an employee.

Use platform-specific features

Individual social media platforms have ways to help you maximize reach, as well. On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, utilizing hashtags  is a great way to distribute your content further. Hashtags help you reach people who not only follow you but are following a specific trend or interest. On LinkedIn and Facebook, join groups related to your industry and share content when it relates to the conversation.

Collaborate with creators

Another good distribution strategy involves networking with bloggers and content creators in your niche. Other brands are more likely to share your content with their audience if you have a relationship and will return the favor. Just remember that anything you share with your audience should still be valuable to them and relate to your brand.

@sproutsocial How to become a content creator with tips from @J A Y D E. ✨ creator creatorrevolution creatoreconomy socialmediamarketing socialmediamanager socialmediatips ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

8. Measure results

The last step to an effective social media content strategy is measuring the results. Proper tracking is vital to creating a strategy with longevity. Keeping detailed metrics will help you tweak and optimize your plan over time.

You can also use your results to A/B test types of content. The  Atlanta Hawks , for example, tested whether polished or more casual videos performed better on social. They discovered that casual content was a winner for them.

A screenshot of a TikTok video from the Atlanta Hawks social account highlighting a Hawks superfan in a casually-filmed vertical video.

Analyze your content every month to keep track of what’s working. Take a top-level view of how each piece of content performed and the variables that contributed to it. Assess how well the content supported the goals you set in step one. A few of the most important social media metrics to measure include:

Sprout’s Competitors by Network or Cross-Network Reports make it easy to set benchmarks for yourself on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with a top-level, quantitative look at how your channels, and your content, stack up.

Screenshot of Sprout Social Instagram Competitor Report.

And the Competitor Analysis within the social listening solution reveals qualitative insights on how your audience feels about your competitors vs. you and your share of voice in the industry.

A screenshot of the competitive analysis in Sprout's listening tool. This page shows a graphic breaking down a brand's share of voice, engagements, sentiment and potential impressions vs the brand's competitors.

Like you did with the content audit, relate the analytics to your overall marketing goals. Using your goals as an anchor can help you accurately adjust your strategy. By measuring analytics each month, you’ll just have to make small tweaks to keep optimizing your social media content strategy.

When it comes to enhancing your strategy or building an entirely new one, getting started is the hardest part. So we have a number of social media content strategy templates that will help you dive in right away.

Use these templates to start growing your strategy:

Content strategy templates

Content templates

Reporting and analytics tracking templates

Effectively planning a social media content strategy is an ongoing cycle, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Plan your process with the ideas and resources above and stick to these essential strategic steps to develop great content.

Streamline your entire strategy and set yourself (and your channels) up for long-term success by trying Sprout Social free for 30 days . From measuring content and scheduling posts at optimized times to facilitating employee advocacy, Sprout will help you manage and scale your strategy end-to-end.

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Sprout Social helps you understand and reach your audience, engage your community and measure performance with the only all-in-one social media management platform built for connection.

More From Forbes

10 tips for successful social media marketing even as trends (and platforms) change.


The social media landscape is in a constant state of flux, with new platforms and trends coming and going all the time—with recent uncertainty surrounding potential TikTok bans in several countries leaving businesses wondering how to best maintain their social media presence. Despite these challenges, businesses must stay adaptable and learn to navigate these changes to succeed in their social media marketing efforts.

To help you ensure success in an ever-changing social media landscape, members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their tried-and-true social media marketing tips for businesses.

1. Strengthen The Organic Aspects

Spend time building the organic parts of your business. From killer SEO to just good regular content, having a strong wireframe is going to matter when popular social platforms inevitably change. If your SEO is strong, your audience will be able to find your product—whether it's on Instagram or TikTok or whatever the next platform is—even as you figure out the algorithms. - Kaitleen Shee , GROW

2. Have A Direct Line To Your Customers

If your entire brand is built on the back of any one platform—social or otherwise—you likely don't have a real brand or business. We always ask ourselves, "If Instagram, YouTube, Facebook or the like were to disappear tomorrow, would people still know we exist?" If the answer is no, then focus on building first-party customer data, such as email and SMS. Having direct lines of communication with your customers is key. - Jeff Cayley , Worldwide Cyclery

3. Develop A Core Strategy

Have a core strategy that will keep your online presence established and active, even as trends and restrictions come and go. Keep using platforms and content styles that work for you. Occasionally, shake things up with your audience with offbeat viral challenges, collaborations or contests to raise brand, product or cause awareness and engagement. Influencers and celebrities can help with such tactics. - Bryce Welker , Big 4 Accounting Firms

Best Travel Insurance Companies

Best covid-19 travel insurance plans, 4. establish a consistent brand identity.

Building a strong brand presence that transcends individual social media platforms can provide stability in a changing landscape. By establishing a consistent brand identity, businesses can create a loyal following that remains engaged regardless of the platform. This includes developing a unique brand voice and delivering consistent messaging across all social media platforms. - Candice Georgiadis , Digital Day

5. Diversify Your Presence

Similar to investing, diversification is key. Each business should be on multiple social media platforms, not just to capture the differences in audience demographics, but also to hedge their bets on any one platform. While Instagram and TikTok dominate in reels, those can also go on Facebook. While Facebook performs well with written updates, those can also be amplified on Twitter. - Joel Mathew , Fortress Consulting

6. Create High-Quality Content

Focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your target audience, regardless of the platform. By prioritizing content quality, businesses can adapt to changing social media trends. Authentic and engaging content that connects with the audience will continue to drive engagement regardless of the platforms or trends that may come and go in the ever-evolving social media landscape. - Abhijeet Kaldate , Astra WordPress Theme

7. Build A Community

Social media isn't simply about promoting your business—it's also about building a community. By focusing on building a community, you can have a more engaged audience who is truly interested in your business. It's easier to achieve success on social media if you focus on building a community rather than using it merely as a marketing platform. - Thomas Griffin , OptinMonster

8. Stay Flexible And Adaptable

To ensure success, businesses should focus on the larger strategy and stay adaptable and flexible in their approach as they anticipate the landscape changing. Work toward building a strong brand presence across diversified channels and keep up to date with the latest trends and platforms. Continually monitor your analytics and keep an eye on customer feedback to use as your North Star. - Kevin Getch , Webfor

9. Prioritize Creativity

Many brands stick to an evergreen format for their marketing assets. While that may work for their primary promotional channels, they need to have an edge and an ability to pivot as social platforms and consumption habits evolve. By prioritizing creativity, companies free up resources to constantly think about new ways to engage audiences and produce exceptional content. - Firas Kittaneh , Amerisleep Mattress

10. Focus On Your Audience

Before launching any sort of presence on social media channels, you as a business should clearly understand your personas and what social channels they are using. When you provide relevant content to your personas on the channels they love, there's no need to chase new social media trends and hypes. - Anna Anisin , DataScience.Salon

Expert Panel

A social media plan helps an organization determine their target audience, the social networks to join, and the type of content to develop and share. It is a vital part of your overall marketing strategy . Once you have a plan outlined, you can get to work refining your content and cadence, analyzing follower engagement, and building deeper relationships with your audience.

Nearly every business has a social media presence. But succeeding on social networks takes more than just posting daily updates. Do you know what your goals are and who you are trying to reach? Do you understand the type of content that your audience truly cares about and why they would want to engage with you? Answering those questions and moving beyond ad hoc social presence requires a strategic plan .

How to build a social media plan

Most marketing teams build and refine social media plans a few times per year. This likely happens alongside other team-level and company-level planning. You might also build separate social plans for special launches or campaigns — these would also support the broader social media strategy. Follow these steps to build a plan that drives real results:

Define social goals and KPIs

The first step to an effective social media plan is reviewing your broader marketing goals and initiatives. Your social goals should ladder back to top-level marketing goals — these objectives inform your social strategy.

Social media goals typically fit into the following categories:

Increase share of voice

Gain new followers

Drive traffic to your website

Generate new leads or trial sign-ups

Boost community engagement and loyalty

Triage customer support requests

Depending on the size of your team, you may want to pursue more or fewer goals. For example, if you do not have a team member from customer support available to monitor social media, you may not want to provide in-depth customer support on social networks. Instead, direct support requests to email or a help desk.

Next, you are ready to align social goals with relevant KPIs. If your goal is to drive website traffic, for instance, meaningful KPIs would include click-through rates on social content and referral traffic from specific sites. Many teams make the mistake of tracking every metric available on social networks (e.g., followers, influence scores, post reach, shares, and likes). Lots of data can be useful but it is often simpler and more effective to trim KPIs to those that directly correspond with intended objectives.

Know your audience and competitors

Revisit your existing buyer personas to gain a better understanding of who you should be targeting and what kind of content will boost engagement. This may require a bit of guesswork, but you can also use social media analysis tools to identify key demographics, track interests, and gain insights about a competitor's audience.

Then, look at how your competitors use social media — evaluate the networks they use, the type of content they share, and how often they post. It is up to you to decide if you want to have a social presence on the same networks as competitors or if you would prefer to target channels that are more relevant to your goals.

Choose social networks

Each social network fulfills its own niche. You do not need to have a presence on all of them. Prioritize the networks where your audience spends the most time and where your brand can be most useful. For example, if you do not develop video content, there is no sense in creating a YouTube or Vimeo channel. (This might seem obvious, but plenty of marketing teams feel pressure to be everywhere just because you can.)

Consider smaller platforms that might be uniquely relevant to your audience and market. Sites such as Houzz , Goodreads , or Behance give you a chance to build relationships with folks who have specific skills and interests.

Review past performance

Many teams use the start of a new year or quarter to audit marketing programs. If you are revising an existing social media plan, you need to review what you have tried before. Seek answers to the following:

Which networks should we continue to invest in? Which, if any, should we leave?

What type of content performs best — by reach, clicks, shares, or other KPIs?

How much time and resources have we been investing in social? Do the returns justify the investment?

What should we keep or stop doing?

Create a playbook

A social media playbook is the culmination of your strategic plan as well as smaller details that guide your daily posts — such as content themes, audience segmentation, and posting frequency. A playbook typically contains the following components:

How to implement your social media plan

You have defined the "why," "what," and "when" of your social media plan. Now let's briefly look at the "how" — all of the activities involved in creating, scheduling, and measuring your posts. There are three main areas to consider:

Identify the right tools

Social media management tools give you the ability to publish posts, monitor performance, and manage social ads. Some of these tools can be integrated with other marketing platforms that you use. Others are stand-alone.

A roadmapping tool like Aha! Roadmaps has purpose-built workspaces for marketing teams so you can set strategy, build marketing calendars, and share plans across teams. Teams generally use Aha! for building broader marketing plans and they use a purpose-built tool for publishing content and monitoring social media.

Marketing calendar in Aha!

Build workflows

Well-defined workflows harness your team's focus and momentum. You may want to develop workflows for the following areas of focus:

Research (e.g., audience, competitors, content topics, hashtags)

Community management (e.g., listening, monitoring, and responding to mentions)

Content and creative (e.g., developing campaigns, writing posts, designing images and ads)

Approvals and outbound scheduling

Measurement and analysis

Identify any workflows that you can automate — this will save time and even boost engagement. For instance, if your audience clicks on content shared at 5 a.m., it is far simpler to schedule automated posts at that time rather than designate an early bird on your team who has to set their alarm every day.

Define roles and responsibilities

Sophisticated social media management requires a dedicated team. For every workflow, map out roles and responsibilities so everyone understands what is expected. You will likely need to identify folks across the organization who can help in a pinch. For example, you may want to choose teammates on the support or IT team who can help if technical questions from customers come through social channels.

Showcase the value of social media

Finally, make a real effort to track and share results. Most of the major social media networks provide detailed engagement reports — pay attention to the metrics you identified when goal-setting. Set benchmarks and monitor your progress regularly. And use what you learn to recalibrate audience segments, content themes, and posting frequency.

The details may change but your overall strategy should remain constant. With a great plan in place, you will gain the confidence that comes with driving business results.

Build marketing plans like you always wanted. Sign up for a free 30-day trial.

Free Social Media Marketing Plan Templates

Choose from the best social media plan templates to streamline your marketing efforts. Below you’ll find free templates for strategic planning, scheduling, and tracking in Excel, PDF, PowerPoint, Google Docs, and Google Sheets.

Templates on this page include a social media marketing strategy plan, a social media content calendar, and a social media audit. You’ll also find details for creating an effective social media strategy and mastering calendar planning.

Social Media Strategy Plan Template

Create a strategic social media marketing action plan. The template features a simple layout to help you organize each stage of planning and implementation; separate sections for research, competitive analysis, objectives, and actions; and space for revising social media goals based on performance. Edit the template to meet the specific marketing needs of your business or organization. Use the social media channel plan template to help execute your strategy. 

Download Social Media Strategy Plan Template - Excel

Social Media Marketing Plan Template

This social media campaign marketing plan template includes sections for defining goals, identifying a call to action, scheduling important dates, and planning marketing tools and content. The form is easy to read and edit, thanks to alternate row colors. Create a clear campaign plan that includes social media platforms, related online marketing tools, and metrics for tracking progress. 

Download Social Media Marketing Plan Template - Excel

Social Media Planning Calendar Template

Adjust the dates on this template to create a custom daily and weekly social media calendar. Perfect for small businesses and startups, the template has an hourly schedule and sections for multiple social media networks. Plan your posts and keep track of images used, linked content, and customer engagement. 

Download Social Media Planning Calendar Template - Excel

Social Media Editorial Plan Template

Designed as an annual social media plan template, this editorial calendar includes multiple spreadsheets. Use the first sheet for an overview of important events occuring during the year, with months and quarters highlighted. Each month also has its own sheet for detailed planning and tracking. For each month, schedule social media projects while tracking target audience, editorial goals, and measurements of success.

Download Social Media Editorial Plan Template - Excel

Social Media Content Plan Template

Create a monthly and yearly content plan for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Use this template to build a comprehensive marketing plan for each month while also viewing a yearly outlook on one page. Keep track of the status of each post, whether it’s in progress or on hold or it needs updating.

Download Social Media Content Plan Template - Excel

Social Media Posting Plan Template with Dashboard

This social media plan template includes a sheet with sample data so you can see how the dashboard displays posts per week for each social platform. The schedule covers a four-week time period, so you can create a 30-day social media plan template for all content channels. Create a log of social media posts while tracking content type, topics covered, and posting stats.

Download Social Media Posting Plan with Dashboard Template - Excel

PowerPoint Social Media Marketing Plan Template

Enhance a marketing presentation with this social media PowerPoint template. Include key elements in your marketing plan for each section: target audience, objectives, strategy, and content. Use the bullet points to describe your customers, what makes your company unique, how your business and marketing goals align, and how you plan to meet those goals with social media tools.

Download Social Media Marketing Plan Template - PowerPoint

Social Media Multichannel Plan Template

Organized by month and channel, this template helps you track activities on all your social media outlets. Add or delete sections to create a yearly, six-, or three-month social media plan template. To create a detailed schedule, add rows under each social platform and list upcoming posts and publishing dates. Keep track of assigned owners, calls to action, and the sales funnel stage that matches your marketing goals.

Download Social Media Multichannel Plan Template - Excel

Download Social Media Multichannel Plan Template - Word

Social Media Schedule Template

This basic social media template provides a spreadsheet for scheduling posts. Use it as a calendar, log, and planning tool for social marketing. Columns include publishing date, post status, topics, content description, hashtags, and character count. You’ll also find a checklist with various social media outlets that offers a quick view of where you are posting and when.

Download Social Media Schedule Template - Excel

Social Media Audit Template

Conduct a social media audit to inform your marketing plans. Analyze your activity, customer engagement, audience reach, number of followers, and recent changes. Use this data to refine your social media strategy, as well as create and share more effective content. Customize the template to include all the marketing channels and KPIs you want to measure.

Download Social Media Audit Template - Excel

Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy Plan

For more templates, as well as information on creating a social media strategy and planning a social media content calendar, visit our post “ Free Social Media Templates for Excel .” We also offer a guide to social media calendars , including benefits, best practices, planning tips, and additional calendar tools. For a comprehensive marketing overview, see the “ Definitive Guide to Strategic Marketing Planning .”

social media business marketing plans

Maximize Your Social Media Strategy Plan with Smartsheet

The best marketing teams know the importance of effective campaign management, consistent creative operations, and powerful event logistics -- and Smartsheet helps you deliver on all three so you can be more effective and achieve more. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed.

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time. Try Smartsheet for free, today.

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Social Media Marketing: What It Is, How It Works

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Social media marketing, a type of digital marketing , uses social media platforms to deliver online content to a business’s target audiences. Content is generally designed to build brand awareness and promote products or services, but it can also help a business increase visitors to its website and gather information about followers that can be used in email marketing and other campaigns.

Social media marketing allows you to engage in a more direct way with your target audience, even in one-on-one conversations in some instances. It can be less expensive than other forms of marketing, but it’s also highly competitive due to continuous streams of social posts vying for the attention of consumers. Creating an intentional social media marketing strategy can help you maximize your efforts and improve your return on investment.

How to create a social media marketing strategy

Social media marketing works like other forms of marketing as far as defining goals, identifying a target audience and creating content. However, to keep an active social media presence, a business will need to post regularly on their platforms of choice and regularly monitor brand mentions and customer comments.

Determine your social media marketing goals

Plotting out your goals from the outset will help guide you in the other decisions you’ll need to make, such as which social media platforms to use and the type of content to post.

Here are some general goals that are common to social media marketing:

Increase brand awareness.

Gain customer insights.

Increase sales.

Develop leads.

Increase website traffic.

Respond to customer complaints.

Retarget visitors to your website who don’t make purchases.

Get followers to share your content on promotional events.

Draw attention to a charity or nonprofit organization you support.

When possible, be specific when setting goals, but also keep in mind that the success of some of your efforts may be hard to document. For example, it can be more difficult to measure an increase in brand awareness, but the goal of higher website traffic can be documented through marketing tools such as Google Analytics.

Define your target audience

Knowing your customers is important to any marketing effort. Customer information, such as interests, buying behaviors, pain points and demographic details like age, gender and annual income, can help you create content that will interest your target audience.

Also, demographic details may influence your choice of social media platforms. For example, if your target audience is primarily women, you may want to market on a platform that has a higher percentage of women than men. Or, if your target audience is younger, you may want to use a platform that is popular with that age group.

However, with daily users numbering in the millions on many popular platforms, your target audience may be well represented on any platform. Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are a few of the platforms that offer audience insights tools you can use to learn about the people using the platform. Talking directly to your customers about which platforms they frequent most can also help inform your social media strategy.

Pick your social media platforms

You may choose to target even more niche social platforms based on your type of business and customers, but here are some of the most popular and how they’re used:

Facebook: Text, image and video sharing. A Facebook business page can provide important information about your business and build community.

YouTube: Video sharing.

Twitter: This social networking platform is mostly used for text-based Tweets, but you can also incorporate images, videos and GIFs.

Instagram: Photo and video sharing.

TikTok: Video sharing. Compared to YouTube, this is best for shorter videos.

Pinterest: Image sharing.

LinkedIn: A professional networking platform, LinkedIn is primarily used to market to businesses rather than consumers, or to increase brand awareness by participating in industry-specific forums.

Snapchat. Instant messaging, image and video platform.

Reddit: Forum-style discussions.

Assess your content needs

The type of content you’ll post on social media will depend on your business, goals and which platforms you’re using. It can range from promotional to educational and should reflect the human characteristics and voice that best define your brand, or your brand personality. For example, if your business sells outdoor gear, your brand personality might be rugged and adventurous. Or, if your business sells products and services for small children, your brand personality might be playful but nurturing.

Social media content can include text, images and videos. You may also be able to link to other content you’ve created such as articles, blogs, e-books and videos. Depending on the platform, there may be limits to what can be included in posts. For example, on Twitter, a Tweet can contain up to 280 characters plus up to four images, videos and/or GIFs.

Your social media marketing efforts might also include the use of digital ads on multiple social media platforms and search engines such as Google and Bing. Each platform will have its own requirements for ads and typically offer content recommendations. For example, YouTube offers step-by-step instructions on creating video ads, with pre-made templates and other tools.

» MORE: Free or low-cost ways to advertise your business

Post consistently

Posting consistently is an important factor in successfully promoting your business on social media . Each business’s posting cadence, whether it’s daily, a few times a week or weekly, will depend on its goals and audience. You’ll also want to factor in the time it takes to produce quality content — a video or high-quality photos may take longer than a text-only Tweet, for instance.

Creating a posting schedule can help your business post consistently — and marketing software can help automate the process. While you can post the same content on all your platforms, it’s better to customize the content for the audience of each individual platform. Plus, as discussed, each platform has unique requirements for postings.

Posting regularly can help a business to:

Increase brand authority, credibility and reputation.

Build followers.

Gain familiarity with the platforms and tools.

Establish its brand voice.

Improve content rankings on platform feeds.

Support paid advertising efforts.

Monitor mentions and respond quickly

It’s important to monitor the mentions of your brand and comments made on your posts. Customers frequently take to a business’s social media when they have customer service questions or complaints. In those instances, responding quickly and positively is key, but aim to resolve the issue privately, by encouraging them to direct message or email your business.

Monitoring mentions — and encouraging customers to post about your business (while tagging your account) — can also help you identify brand advocates and gather user-generated content to repost, which can ease the burden of content creation.

It may take months before you see noticeable progress toward your marketing goals, but social media management tools like Hootsuite, Zoho Social and Buffer can help you monitor your content as well as help with posting, scheduling and measuring results.

On a similar note...

What is a Marketing Plan & How to Write One [+Examples]

Clifford Chi

Published: December 08, 2022

For a while now, you've been spearheading your organization's content marketing efforts. Your team's performance has convinced management to adopt the content marketing strategies you’ve suggested.

marketing plan examples; person writing the best marketing plan for their business

Now, your boss wants you to write and present a content marketing plan, but you've never done something like that before. You don't even know where to start.

Download Now: Free Marketing Plan Template [Get Your Copy]

Fortunately, we've curated the best content marketing plans to help you write a concrete plan that's rooted in data and produces results. But first, we'll discuss what a marketing plan is and how some of the best marketing plans include strategies that serve their respective businesses.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic roadmap that businesses use to organize, execute, and track their marketing strategy over a given period. Marketing plans can include different marketing strategies for various marketing teams across the company, all working toward the same business goals.

The purpose of a marketing plan is to write down strategies in an organized manner. This will help keep you on track and measure the success of your campaigns.

Writing a marketing plan will help you think of each campaign's mission, buyer personas, budget, tactics, and deliverables. With all of this information in one place, you'll have an easier time staying on track with a campaign. You’ll also discover what works and what doesn't. Thus, measuring the success of your strategy.

Featured Resource: Free Marketing Plan Template

HubSpot Mktg plan cover

Looking to develop a marketing plan for your business? Click here to download HubSpot's free Marketing Plan Template to get started .

Keep in mind that there's a difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy.

Marketing Strategy vs. Marketing Plan

A marketing strategy describes how a business will accomplish a particular goal or mission. This includes which campaigns, content, channels, and marketing software they'll use to execute that mission and track its success.

For example, while a greater plan or department might handle social media marketing, you might consider your work on Facebook as an individual marketing strategy.

A marketing plan contains one or more marketing strategies. It is the framework from which all of your marketing strategies are created and helps you connect each strategy back to a larger marketing operation and business goal.

For example, your company is launching a new software product, and it wants customers to sign up. This calls for the marketing department to develop a marketing plan that'll help introduce this product to the industry and drive the desired signups.

The department decides to launch a blog dedicated to this industry, a new YouTube video series to establish expertise, and an account on Twitter to join the conversation around this subject. All of this serves to attract an audience and convert this audience into software users.

To summarize, the business's marketing plan is dedicated to introducing a new software product to the marketplace and driving signups to that product. The business will execute that plan with three marketing strategies : a new industry blog, a YouTube video series, and a Twitter account.

Of course, the business might consider these three things one giant marketing strategy, each with its specific content strategies. How granular you want your marketing plan to get is up to you. Nonetheless, every marketing plan goes through a particular set of steps in its creation. Learn what they are below.

How to Write a Marketing Plan

1. State your business's mission.

Your first step in writing a marketing plan is to state your mission. Although this mission is specific to your marketing department, it should serve your business's main mission statement. Be specific, but not too specific. You have plenty of space left in this marketing plan to elaborate on how you'll acquire new customers and accomplish this mission.

For example, if your business's mission is "to make booking travel a delightful experience," your marketing mission might be "to attract an audience of travelers, educate them on the tourism industry, and convert them into users of our bookings platform."


Need help building your mission statement? Download this guide for examples and templates and write the ideal mission statement. 

2. Determine the KPIs for this mission.

Every good marketing plan describes how the department will track its mission's progress. To do so, you'll need to determine your key performance indicators (KPIs) . KPIs are individual metrics that measure the various elements of a marketing campaign. These units help you establish short-term goals within your mission and communicate your progress to business leaders.

Let's take our example of a marketing mission from the above step. If part of our mission is "to attract an audience of travelers," we might track website visits using organic page views. In this case, "organic page views" is one KPI, and we can see our number of page views grow over time.

These KPIs will come into the conversation again in step 4.

3. Identify your buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a description of who you want to attract. This can include age, sex, location, family size, and job title. Each buyer persona should directly reflect your business's current and potential customers. Therefore, all business leaders must agree on your buyer personas.


Create your buyer personas with this free guide and set of buyer persona templates. 

4. Describe your content initiatives and strategies.

Here's where you'll include the main points of your marketing and content strategy. Because there is a laundry list of content types and channels available to you today, you must choose wisely and explain how you'll use your content and channels in this section of your marketing plan.

A content strategy should stipulate:

5. Clearly define your plan's omissions.

A marketing plan explains the marketing team’s focus. It also explains what the marketing team will not focus on.

If there are other aspects of your business that you aren't serving in this particular plan, include them in this section. These omissions help to justify your mission, buyer personas, KPIs, and content. You can't please everyone in a single marketing campaign, and if your team isn't on the hook for something, you need to make it known.

6. Define your marketing budget.

Your content strategy might leverage many free channels and platforms, but there are several hidden expenses a marketing team needs to account for.

Whether it's freelance fees, sponsorships, or a new full-time marketing hire, use these costs to develop a marketing budget and outline each expense in this section of your marketing plan.


You can establish your marketing budget with this kit of 8 free marketing budget templates . 

7. Identify your competition.

Part of marketing is knowing whom you're marketing against. Research the key players in your industry and consider profiling each one.

Keep in mind not every competitor will pose the same challenges to your business. For example, while one competitor might be ranking highly on search engines for keywords you want your website to rank for, another competitor might have a heavy footprint on a social network where you plan to launch an account.


Easily track and analyze your competitors with t his collection of ten free competitive analysis templates . 

8. Outline your plan's contributors and their responsibilities.

With your marketing plan fully fleshed out, it's time to explain who's doing what. You don't have to delve too deeply into your employees' day-to-day projects, but it should be known which teams and team leaders are in charge of specific content types, channels, KPIs, and more.

Now that you know why you need to build an effective marketing plan, it is time to put on the work. Starting a plan from scratch can be overwhelming if you haven’t done it before. That’s why there are many helpful resources that can support your first steps. We’ll share some of the best guides and templates that can help you build effective results-driven plans for your marketing strategies.

Ready to make your own marketing plan? Get started using this free template.

Build out your marketing plan with this free template.

Fill out this form to access the template., types of marketing plans.

Depending on the company you work with, you might want to leverage various marketing plans. We compiled different samples to suit your needs:

1. Quarterly or Annual Marketing Plans

marketing plan examples: forbes

Forbes published a marketing plan template that has amassed almost 4 million views. To help you sculpt a marketing roadmap with true vision, their template will teach you how to fill out the 15 key sections of a marketing plan, which are:

If you're truly lost on where to start with a marketing plan, this guide can help you define your target audience, figure out how to reach them, and ensure that audience becomes loyal customers.

2. Social Media Marketing Plan

This type of plan highlights the channels, tactics, and campaigns you intend to accomplish specifically on social media. A specific subtype is a paid marketing plan, which highlights paid strategies, such as native advertising, PPC, or paid social media promotions.

Shane Snow's Marketing Plan for His Book Dream Team is a great example of a social media marketing plan

A successful book launch is a prime example of data-driven content and social marketing. Using data to optimize your social strategy spreads more awareness for your book, gets more people to subscribe to your content, converts more subscribers into buyers, and encourages more buyers to recommend your book to their friends.

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]

Snow wrote a blog post about how the waterfall's content strategy helped him launch his new book successfully. After reading it, you can use his tactics to inform your own marketing plan. More specifically, you'll learn how he:

You can use Snow's marketing plan to cultivate a better content strategy plan, know your audience better, and think outside the box regarding content promotion and distribution.

3. Content Marketing Plan

This plan could highlight different strategies, tactics, and campaigns in which you'll use content to promote your business or product.

HubSpot's Comprehensive Guide for Content Marketing Strategy is a strong example of a content marketing plan

marketing plan examples: hubspot content marketing plan

At HubSpot, we've built our marketing team from two business school graduates working from a coffee table to a powerhouse of hundreds of employees. Along the way, we've learned countless lessons that shaped our current content marketing strategy. So, we decided to illustrate our insights in a blog post to teach marketers how to develop a successful content marketing strategy, regardless of their team's size.

Download Now: Free Content Marketing Planning Templates

In this comprehensive guide for modern marketers, you'll learn:

4. New Product Launch Marketing Plan

This will be a roadmap for the strategies and tactics you'll implement to promote a new product. And if you're searching for an example, look no further than Chief Outsiders' Go-To-Market Plan for a New Product

marketing plan examples: chief outsiders

When you're looking for a marketing plan for a new product, the Chief Outsiders template is a great place to start. Marketing plans for a new product will be more specific because they target one product versus its entire marketing strategy.

→ Download Now: Free Product Marketing Kit [Free Templates]

After reading this plan, you'll learn how to:

5. Growth Marketing Plan

Growth marketing plans leverage experimentation and data to drive results, like we see in Venture Harbour’s Growth Marketing Plan Template

marketing plan examples: venture harbour

Venture Harbour's growth marketing plan is a data-driven and experiment-led alternative to the more traditional marketing plan. Their template contains five steps intended for refinement with every test-measure-learn cycle. The five steps are:

Download Now: Free Growth Strategy Template

This is a great option if you want to experiment with different platforms and campaigns.

Marketing Plan Examples

1. Visit Oxnard

marketing plan examples: visit oxnard

This marketing plan by Visit Oxnard, a convention and visitors bureau, is packed with all the information one needs in a marketing plan: target markets, key performance indicators, selling points, personas, marketing tactics by channel, and much more.

It also articulates the organization’s strategic plans for the upcoming fiscal year, especially as it grapples with the aftereffects of the pandemic. Lastly, it has impeccable visual appeal, with color-coded sections and strong branding elements.

2. Safe Haven Family Shelter

marketing plan examples: safe haven family shelter

This marketing plan by a non-profit organization is an excellent example to follow if your plan will be presented to internal stakeholders at all levels of your organization. It includes SMART marketing goals , deadlines, action steps, long-term objectives, target audiences, core marketing messages , and metrics. The plan is detailed, yet scannable. By the end of it, one can walk away with a strong understanding of the organization’s strategic direction for their upcoming marketing efforts.

3. Wright County Economic Development

marketing plan examples: wright county

It includes key information such as marketing partners, goals, initiatives, and costs. The sections are easy to scan and contain plenty of information for those who’d like to dig into the details. Most importantly, it includes a detailed breakdown of projected costs per marketing initiative — which is critical information to include for upper-level managers and other stakeholders.

4. The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County

marketing plan examples: cultural council of palm beach county

This marketing plan presentation by a cultural council is a great example of how to effectively leverage data in your plan, address audiences who are new to the industry, and provide extensive detail into specific marketing strategies. For instance, an entire slide is dedicated to the county’s cultural tourism trends, and at the beginning of the presentation, the organization explains what an arts and culture agency is in the first place.

That’s a critical piece of information to include for those who might not know. If you’re addressing audiences outside your industry, consider defining terms at the beginning, like this organization did.

5. Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau

marketing plan examples: carrabus county

Carrabus County’s convention and visitors bureau takes a slightly different approach with its marketing plan, formatting it like a magazine for stakeholders to flip through. It offers information on the county’s target audience, channels, goals, KPIs, and public relations strategies and initiatives. We specially love that the plan includes contact information for the bureau’s staff members, so that it’s easy for stakeholders to contact the appropriate person for a specific query.

6. Visit Billings

marketing plan examples: visit billings

Visit Billing’s comprehensive marketing plan is similar to Carrabus County’s in that it follows a magazine format. With sections for each planned strategy, it offers a wealth of information and depth for internal stakeholders and potential investors. We specially love its content strategy section, where it details the organization’s prior efforts and current objectives for each content platform.

At the end, it includes strategic goals and budgets — a good move to imitate if your primary audience would not need this information highlighted at the forefront.

Sample Marketing Plan

Let’s create a sample plan together, step-by-step.

Follow along with HubSpot's free Marketing Plan Template . 


1. Create an overview or primary objective.

Our business mission is to provide [service, product, solution] to help [audience] reach their [financial, educational, business related] goals without compromising their [your audience’s valuable asset: free time, mental health, budget, etc.]. We want to improve our social media presence while nurturing our relationships with collaborators and clients.

For example, if you wanted to focus on social media growth, your KPIs might look like this.

We want to achieve a minimum of [followers] with an engagement rate of [X] on [social media platform].

The goal is to achieve an increase of [Y] on recurring clients and new meaningful connections outside the platform by the end of the year.

Use the following categories to create a target audience for your campaign.

For more useful strategies, consider creating a buyer persona in our Make My Persona tool .

Our content pillars will be: [X, Y, Z].

Content pillars should be based on topics your audience needs to know. If your ideal clients are female entrepreneurs, then your content pillars can be: marketing, being a woman in business, remote working, and productivity hacks for entrepreneurs.

Then, determine your omissions.

This marketing plan won’t be focusing on the following areas of improvement: [A, B, C].

5. Define your marketing budget.

Our marketing strategy will use a total of [Y] monthly. This will include anything from freelance collaborations to advertising.

6. Identify your competitors.

Use the following questions to clearly indicate who your competitors are:

7. Outline your plan's contributors and their responsibilities.

Create responsible parties for each portion of the plan.

Marketing will manage the content plan, implementation, and community interaction to reach the KPIs.

Sales will follow the line of the marketing work while creating and implementing an outreach strategy.

Customer Service will nurture clients’ relationships to ensure that they have what they want. [Hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations].

Project Managers will track the progress and team communication during the project. [Hours per week dedicated to the project, responsibilities, team communication requirements, expectations].

Get started on your marketing plan.

These marketing plans serve as initial resources to get your content marketing plan started. But, to truly deliver what your audience wants and needs, you'll likely need to test some different ideas out, measure their success, and then refine your goals as you go.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2019, but was updated for comprehensiveness.

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98 Buck Social Unveils Cutting-Edge Facebook and Google Advertising Plans

MIAMI, FL –  98 Buck Social, a leading social media marketing agency, is thrilled to announce two new comprehensive advertising plans: a Facebook ads plan for just $449 per month and a Google ads plan for only $498 per month. Designed to offer unprecedented value for small and medium-sized businesses, these innovative plans aim to help brands maximize their online visibility and customer engagement, boosting their sales and return on investment.

"At 98 Buck Social, we believe in making high-quality digital marketing services affordable and accessible for all businesses," says Robbie Sosna, President of 98 Buck Social. "Our new plans reflect our commitment to provide powerful, cost-effective ad solutions for today’s fast-paced, digital-first business environment. With these plans, our clients can leverage the enormous reach of Facebook and Google to grow their brands, reach new customers, and strengthen their online presence."

For $449 per month, the Facebook ads plan provides businesses with strategic, customized advertising campaigns designed to reach and engage the platform’s billions of active users. This plan includes ad creation, targeting, monitoring, and monthly reporting to ensure clients can measure their campaign performance and ROI accurately.

Similarly, at $498 per month, the Google ads plan allows businesses to take full advantage of Google’s immense search engine traffic. Clients will benefit from keyword research and selection, ad creation, bid management, and monthly performance reports. This plan aims to enhance brand visibility, boost search engine rankings, and increase website traffic, all while staying within a manageable budget.

These new offerings extend 98 Buck Social’s existing suite of social media and online marketing services, which include content creation, social media management, and more. The company’s team of expert digital marketers will continue to provide personal support, ensuring clients make the most of their marketing investment.

98 Buck Social’s innovative approach to social media and digital marketing has already helped hundreds of businesses reach and exceed their growth objectives. With the introduction of these new plans, the company reaffirms its mission to deliver affordable, effective digital marketing solutions that drive real results.

To learn more about these new advertising plans or to begin maximizing your online presence today, visit  www.98bucksocial.com  or call (844) 98-BUCKS.

About 98 Buck Social

98 Buck Social is a leading social media marketing agency based in Miami, Florida. The company provides affordable, effective social media management and online marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses across various industries. With a focus on client satisfaction, 98 Buck Social uses strategic, customized digital marketing solutions to help businesses grow their online presence, increase customer engagement, and achieve their marketing goals.

The post 98 Buck Social Unveils Cutting-Edge Facebook and Google Advertising Plans appeared first on New York Tech Media .

98 Buck Social Unveils Cutting-Edge Facebook and Google Advertising Plans

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Create a Marketing Plan For Social Media in 8 Steps

Social media platforms allow companies of any size to build their brand while reaching a diverse audience that spans the globe.

By effectively using social media for your business, you can develop a stronger connection with your target audience and establish your brand image and personality. Best of all is the fact that creating and maintaining a social media presence is absolutely free!

So how do you leverage social media marketing for your brand? If you want to find success on social media, the first step you’ll need to take is to create a marketing plan for social media.

A social media marketing plan is a document that lays out the goals your company hopes to achieve through social media and how you intend to achieve them.

With a social media marketing strategy in place, you can take a more organized and focused approach when building your brand and marketing on social media.

Read on to learn more about the importance of establishing a social media marketing strategy and learn how to create one for your own company. Alternatively, you can skip to any section in the article using the links below.

The 8 most popular social media platforms for social media marketing:  Facebook: 94%  Instagram: 76%  LinkedIn: 59%  Twitter: 53%  YouTube: 53%  Pinterest: 25%  Snapchat: 5%  TikTok: 5%

What is a social media marketing plan?

A social media marketing plan is essentially a blueprint for what your organization aims to achieve through social media and how you plan to meet your goals. A marketing plan for social media may include details such as:

These are just some of the elements that may be included in a marketing plan for social media. As a general rule, the more detailed your social media marketing plan is, the better.

A highly detailed social media marketing plan will help streamline the decision-making process and ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page. Changes and other adjustments can always be made in the future as you begin to see results and get feedback from your target audience.

Why is establishing a strong marketing plan for social media important?

When entering into any new venture, it’s always better to have a plan. When it comes to social media, a marketing plan can help to highlight the priorities and goals of your organization while clearing up any confusion along the way.

There are several ways in which a marketing plan for social media can help your brand. With a strong social media marketing strategy in place, you can:

Set clear goals One of the most useful parts of a social media marketing plan is that it enables you to identify and set clear, quantifiable goals. As you brainstorm goals for your social media marketing strategy, consider setting SMART goals.

smart goals

For example, perhaps you want your Instagram page to reach 10,000 followers by the end of the year or you hope to increase traffic to your website by 10% by the next quarter. The goals you set will guide your decisions when it comes to marketing on social media.

Save time A strong social media marketing strategy can save your team a lot of time. Since you’ve already taken the time to outline the content that you will post on social media channels, you won’t have to hesitate when it comes time to make that next post.

For instance, if you set up a content calendar as part of your social media marketing plan, you can use automation tools to schedule posts on different social media channels.

Maintain a consistent voice It’s important to stay consistent on social media. All of the social media content you post should reflect the voice and values of your brand. With a social media marketing strategy in place, you can clearly define your brand’s personality, values, and mission, making it much easier to stay consistent across all channels.

Measure results Every social media marketing strategy should lay out a set of goals as well as the KPIs that will be used to evaluate progress toward meeting those goals.

This makes it possible for organizations to measure results as they set out to grow their brand on social media. And by measuring results, you can identify what’s working and what isn’t and make changes to your strategy as needed.

Coordinate a multi-channel campaign A social media marketing plan makes it easier to coordinate multi-channel marketing campaigns, whether you’re sharing posts across multiple social media platforms or utilizing other channels.

A defined social media marketing strategy allows you to better identify opportunities for multi-channel marketing campaigns and cross-channel promotion. This, in turn, can allow you to reach a wider target audience and reinforce your brand identity across multiple marketing channels.

Steps to create your social media marketing plan

While creating a social media marketing plan may take some energy and effort upfront, it can help you find success on social media while saving you time and trouble in the long run.

If this is your first time developing your social media marketing efforts, it may seem overwhelming—but the truth is that you can build a social media marketing strategy in just a few steps.

Below, we walk you through each step you must take in order to create a strong marketing plan for social media.

1. Goal setting

Setting goals is one of the most crucial parts of any social media marketing plan. The goals you set will often dictate the tactics you use on social media.

As you set goals for your social media marketing strategy, make sure to set SMART goals so that you can measure results.

2. Determine your target audience

It’s important to understand who you’re speaking to with your social media accounts. Build out customer profiles to determine who your ideal customer is.

Knowing metrics such as a customer’s age, income level, geographic location, and more can help you segment your audience and find a voice that works for your brand.

3. Audit of social media performance

If you already have social media accounts for your business, take some time to look at them more closely and conduct an audit. Take a look at what’s working on your social media pages and what isn’t.

Identify tactics and strategies that have been successful so that you can harness those moving forward. You might also take a look at your competitors’ social media pages and see how you stack up to their presence and performance.

4. Optimize accounts

One of the key things to pay attention to when optimizing your social media accounts is the profile page.

Completely fill out all profile fields in order to optimize your account and make it easier for visitors to determine what your page is about. Make sure that your profile picture, bio, and any other fields are up-to-date and align with your brand’s values.

5. Choose a posting strategy

A posting strategy essentially outlines what types of content you should post and when. The type of content you post will likely vary based on the social media networks you’re using. Some social media channels are ideal for videos, while others are suited to text or images.

You’ll also want to determine how often you should post. In general, you should post fairly regularly so that your account appears active and you give followers opportunities to engage with your content.

6. Create engaging content

This is one of the most important parts of any social media marketing strategy. By creating engaging content that aligns with the social media platform you’re using and addresses the needs and values of your users, you can more effectively build relationships and grow your following.

Whether you produce videos that demonstrate the capabilities of your products or conduct interviews with experts in your industry, create content that resonates with your target audience.

7. Use social media management tools

Social media management software makes it easy to manage and organize multiple social media channels.

With a social media management tool such as Mailchimp, you can save time by scheduling posts and evaluate performance by viewing key analytics and insights. You can also use Mailchimp’s content studio to store and manage all of your digital assets.

8. Analyze performance and optimize

Once your social media marketing plan has been created, it’s essential to analyze performance as you carry it out. By regularly looking at performance data and reports , you can identify what’s working and what isn’t.

Social media marketing metrics to keep in mind while strategizing:  Reach, Clicks, Engagement, Hashtag performance, Organic and paid likes, Sentiment, Views

Don’t hesitate to make changes and tweak your social media strategy as time goes on—after all, your social media marketing plan should act as an outline, not as a definitive set of laws!

Set your goals and stick to them

Social media may seem like an enigma to many brands, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Creating a social media marketing plan can help guide you as you establish a social media presence for your company and grow your brand on social media.

By coming up with goals, identifying relevant metrics to track, and creating engaging content, you can drive engagement on social media and expand the reach of your brand.

Of course, combining social media strategies with the right tools can make it easier to build a following and connect with your target audience. Mailchimp provides social media marketing tools that allow you to schedule posts, create content, run social media ads, and view analytics.

Try Mailchimp today to make the most of your social media marketing efforts and achieve your social media marketing goals.

monday.com Blog

The step-by-step guide to creating a social media marketing plan

social media business marketing plans

Whether you’re a brand-new business or you know your company’s social media could use a little TLC, one thing is for sure:

You need a social media marketing plan.

A social media marketing plan clearly lays out your goals, strategies, and tactics for your social media presence.

Social media can be a bit intimidating. There are so many new platforms and strategies popping up regularly.

That’s why we’ve created this step-by-step guide to building your own social media marketing plan . Along the way, we’ll give you an inside look at monday.com’s social media marketing templates  to help you out.

Why do you need a social media marketing plan?

It’s clear to most marketers that social media is an extremely important tool for building a personal connection with your target audience.

One reason? Social media takes up a lot of our time. In 2020, users worldwide spent an average of 145 minutes  per day on a social media platform.

Plus, about 80%  of consumers make a purchase based on social media ads at least some of the time.

Beyond that, social media is a powerful way to understand customer needs, improve brand recognition and loyalty, and even provide immediate customer service.

To make your social media plan easy to understand and accessible to all your team members, we recommend using a social media planner  like this one built on the monday.com platform.

daily social media calendar with color-coded categories

With a planning tool like this one, you can keep an eye on your entire social media marketing strategy in one glance.

You’ll also be able to integrate your content marketing strategy and other digital marketing efforts into your social media plan .

Get started with monday.com

6 steps to creating a social media marketing plan

Now that we’ve covered why a social media marketing plan is so important, let’s dive into exactly how to create one.

Before you begin, make sure you have access to any existing social media accounts your company has. It’s also wise to review your current content strategy , if you have one, so your social media plan aligns with your other digital marketing efforts.

1. Determine your social media marketing goals

The first key step in developing a social media marketing plan is outlining your social media goals.

Like other marketing goals, your social media goals help you see the destination your social media marketing strategy is leading toward. They help you and your team stay focused and efficient.

Use the SMART goal method  to determine effective social media goals. This means your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

If you’re stuck thinking about what your social media marketing goals should be, consider these top 3  social media goals from other marketers for 2021:  

The most important thing is that your social media goals align with other digital marketing goals as well as overall business objectives .

2. Choose your social media platforms

It might be tempting to curate a presence on every social media platform there is, but you’ll be far more effective if you can narrow down your options to where your target audience actually spends time.

To choose the right social media platforms for your business, leverage buyer personas or target audience research to find out where your marketing dollars will be best spent.

While each niche will have its own nuances, there are a few general social media trends you can use to identify the right platforms.

For instance, 63%  of users worldwide use Facebook regularly versus 36% of users who use Instagram regularly. But 67%  of marketers say they’ll increase Instagram use in the future.

In general, older consumers tend to be on Facebook, while younger users are on TikTok or Instagram.

There are key differences in B2B and B2C marketing on social media as well.

B2B social media marketing fares better on LinkedIn and Twitter, while B2C companies often see better results on Facebook and Instagram.

The most important thing is to meet your target audience where they are. Rely on what you know about your customers, rather than what the trends say.

3. Brainstorm social media campaign ideas

Now it’s time to brainstorm your social media campaign ideas.

In this stage, you’ll want to think seriously about your branding, including tone, imagery, and so on.

For instance, will you be amusing and slightly snarky like the notorious Wendy’s Twitter account?

Tweet from Wendy's account referring to the old yellow Wendy's packaging.

Or will you take a more serious tone like Intuit QuickBooks?

Intuit QuickBooks tweet featuring Roy Choi and practical small business advice

It’s helpful to look at your competitors’ social media accounts to see what works well for your audience.

You can also collaborate with the sales and customer service teams to generate more campaign ideas. Sourcing ideas from many places will give you a rich and well-rounded list of possible strategies.

With monday.com, you can even build a campaign idea or request form to consistently accept ideas from around the company. They’ll be organized in a handy table for your review, like in the example below.

monday.com campaign request table with sections for new, approved, and declined requests

Remember, there are no bad ideas in brainstorming. The goal is to get everything out so you can find the best ideas for your social media marketing plan.

4. Decide which campaign types you’ll use

It’s tempting to want to focus all your efforts on the bottom of the funnel to drive conversions and sales. But it’s also a huge mistake.

Before you begin executing social media campaigns to drive conversions, you’ll need to build and maintain a decent following across your accounts.

You’ll also need to completely fill out and optimize your social media profiles.

A sizeable following and professional-looking profile provides a sense of legitimacy and authority to your potential new followers and customers.

A good example is this Instagram profile from Rothy’s. They include key branding points, a preferred hashtag, and a link that directs users to shop the latest products.

rothy's instagram profile with website link and detailed bio

The best company social media profiles will include the following:

Next, choose campaigns designed to increase your follower count.

A few ideas include:

Remember that more followers means more engagement, which means you’ll perform better in social media algorithms.

And the better you perform in the social media algorithms, the higher your follower count will grow.

5. Create a social media content calendar

Now that building your social media following is well underway, it’s time to map out your social media strategy for the next few months.

Your social media calendar is possibly the most important part of your social media marketing plan. It’s the source of truth for your entire team and will keep your entire strategy on track.

First, choose the winning campaigns from the brainstorming step. Decide what days you’ll post and what content you’ll use.

Don’t forget to consider sales, holidays, and other important events. For example, you may want to plan a more intensive campaign during your company’s peak seasons.

Then, work backward to include deadlines for creating content, designing custom graphics, and reviewing it before it goes live.

You can use a social media content calendar like this one on monday.com to organize everything. Use different colors to note different stages of the process.

You can even set automatic deadlines or reminders, so nothing falls through the cracks.

social media content calendar with color coded status tags

It’s a good idea to schedule your social media calendar at least 3 months in advance — 6 months or a year is even better.

Allow for some flexibility if the unexpected happens. For instance, many companies needed to pivot their social media strategy when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Keep an eye and ear out for what will resonate with your followers, and don’t be afraid to deviate from your calendar if you need to.  

6. Delegate tasks to the right team members

As you map out your campaigns on your social media calendar, consider who on your team is the best fit for each task.

Delegating tasks to the most skilled team member for each job helps your social media strategy be as effective as possible.

With the monday.com social media campaign planners, you can assign tasks automatically based on their status.

When a task moves to a new stage, such as from graphic design to final review, the person responsible updates too.

social media campaign planner with assigned team members

Get started

What to do after you create your social media marketing plan

With your social media marketing plan in hand, it’s time to get to work on launching it.

Follow these steps for executing and maintaining your social media strategy long after the planning stage.

1. Execute your social media strategy

Executing your social media marketing strategy is pretty simple: just stick to the calendar you created in an earlier step.

As you develop content for your social campaigns, you can visualize your graphics and finalized posts in a monday.com content calendar planner like the one below.

monday.com content planner with Instagram graphics and daily schedule

With monday.com’s Zapier integration, you can also build connections to your social media accounts and other tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.

By sticking to your social media plan, you’ll start taking action and seeing real results from your followers — and eventually customers.

2. Measure and analyze the results

Once you launch a social media strategy, you can’t just forget about it. You need to keep tabs on each facet of your campaign so you can see if you’re achieving the goals you set out in step one.

Social media changes constantly. It’s important to be aware of how your social media accounts are performing so you can pivot when necessary.

The best way to do this is to build a dashboard that tracks your social media goals and KPIs.

In monday.com, you can build custom dashboards that automatically import the data you need and organize it in an easy-to-read manner.

monday.com campaign dashboard template with calendar, pie chart, and bar graph

Check this dashboard every day so you can identify and address potential problems as early as possible.

You can also connect your social media dashboard to other dashboards to create a holistic view of your entire digital marketing strategy.

3. Refine and continue your social media strategy

Social media never sleeps, so you can’t sleep on your strategy.

It’s smart to conduct a monthly or quarterly social media review to make sure your strategy still aligns with overall business goals.

In these regular reviews, use everything you learned from prior social media campaigns to refine the next round.

Refining your social media strategy regularly ensures you’ll always achieve the best results and maintain your following and brand loyalty.

It’s critical to maintain a regular cadence of social media posts so your account stays active in your followers’ feeds. Neglecting your social strategy or going dark for a few weeks can have major negative effects on your brand recognition and customers’ perceptions of your business.

Create an effective social media marketing plan in monday.com

Building a social media marketing plan from scratch can feel intimidating.

By following our step-by-step guide and using monday.com templates , you can create one with ease.

Remember to set goals, draw inspiration from a wide variety of places, and above all, keep your followers’ needs at the center of your social media strategy.

And, of course, review and update your social media plan regularly to achieve the best results for your business.

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Free social media management tools - Cover Image

12 Best Free Social Media Management Tools in 2023

social media business marketing plans

Ready to supercharge your digital marketing with free social media management tools?

We’ve compiled a list of powerful online tools to help you level up your social media presence. We’re talking expert reporting, publishing, management, automation, audience insights, graphic design , and more.

Live on AppSumo

Radaar AppSumo deal

All-in-one social media management platform designed for handling multiple profiles

Metricool AppSumo deal

Metricool ↗

Analyze, manage, and grow your digital presence from one place

SleekBio AppSumo deal

Create one beautiful, simple link for your social media bio that showcases everything you have to offer

Free vs. freemium (kind of free)

You will find that most social media management tools are freemium and not free. This is where they have a free plan you can use indefinitely. But if you require extra features or need to increase the limits, you must upgrade. Most free plans will suit solopreneurs who don’t have a team to manage their social media presence.

It’s hard to find a good social media management tool that is entirely free as most tools are cloud-based and require high data bandwidth. The paid plans help fund the free plan. Hence why most tools in this post follow a freemium model.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s check out some of the best social media management tools you must not miss.

Top free social media management tools compared

social media management tools - Postly

Postly is a freemium social media management platform that lets you post to Instagram business accounts, Facebook groups and pages, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok. It’s got a lot of useful features that help you schedule text, image, and video posts.

Unique features

Postly’s free plan

The free plan has almost all the features of the paid plans (the only one missing is recurring posts), but it has usage limits. On the free plan, you only get one workspace, can connect 10 social accounts, and schedule only 20 posts.

The paid plans

When you subscribe to the paid plans, you get access to all features, and you can publish unlimited posts. Depending on the plan, you can add more social accounts and create more workspaces.

Postly offers five payment plans:

But you can get it for life on AppSumo for a one-time payment of just $69 .

2. SleekBio

social media management tools - Sleekbio

SleekBio is another freemium social media tool. It helps you create a free “link in bio” page for your social media accounts. This page makes it easy to introduce yourself and help people find your website and other social media accounts.

SleekBio’s free plan

On the free plan, you can add a maximum of five blocks, and you have access to basic analytics. Unfortunately, you can’t get rid of SleekBio’s prominent branding.

The paid plan

On the Lifetime plan, you can add up to 50 blocks, and the analytics is more advanced. The branding is also reduced.

SleekBio has three paid plans:

RADAAR is the perfect social media management platform for small and mid-sized businesses that want to save time while managing multiple profiles.

With features like the scheduler, social media inbox, monitoring & analytics, password manager, and task manager–plus support of all major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn–RADAAR will supercharge your business’s digital presence by taking care of every step in a single user-friendly dashboard.

RADAAR’s free plan

RADAAR does not come with a free version. However, through AppSumo, they are offering a lifetime deal. Instead of paying for a monthly subscription, you can purchase RADAAR today for just $59 .

The paid plans 

Once the lifetime Appsumo deal is over, you can choose from three monthly subscription plans:

4. Metricool

social media business marketing plans

How about a data-first approach to social media marketing? We’ve got the tool for you. Metricool is a social media scheduling and marketing tool that relies heavily on data from your own channels.

Complete with easy-to-use analytics tools and custom reports, you can test and invest in the social channels, post types, and trends that work best for your business. It’s a great tool for content creators, marketers, agencies, and solo entrepreneurs trying to get the most out of social media.

Metricool’s free plan

Metricool offers a free plan that’s great for solopreneurs and freelancers. It includes tools for managing a single account across most social networks, including advertising channels. However, the free version does not include a lot of analytics and reporting tools.

Metricool’s paid plans

After the free version, you can choose from five monthly paid subscription plans. Each number in the title corresponds to the number of brands you can manage in that tier. (For example, “Pro 5” lets you manage five brands.)

But you can get it for life on AppSumo for a one-time payment of just $129 .

5. Hootsuite

social media management tools - Hootsuite

Hootsuite is probably the most popular social media management platform. It’s been around for a long while and has a decent free plan. It integrates with many social networks to allow you to schedule posts.

Hootsuite’s free plan

On the free plan, you can only connect to two social media accounts and schedule five posts at a time.

To connect more social media accounts, schedule more posts at a time, and run ads, you need a paid plan.

Hootsuite has four paid plans:

Hootsuite also offers a 30-day free trial with the paid plans.

social media management tools - Buffer

Buffer is another popular social media management software that’s been around for a long while. Users love its simple interface. Also, it was the first software to introduce the slots feature, where you set time slots beforehand and add posts to them.

Buffer’s free plan

You can connect up to three social channels with the free plan and schedule 10 posts per channel. This is a nice free plan, but it’s missing some features of the paid plans.

To connect more accounts, and schedule 2,000 posts per channel, you need to subscribe to a paid plan. You also get access to extra features such as individual post analytics, Instagram hashtag manager, audience demogaphics, Shopify performance, shop grid, and boosted post insights with the paid plans.

Buffer has three paid plans:

7. Beatflyer

social media management tools - Beatflyer

Beatflyer helps you make video posts for social networks. You can use animations and effects to make your videos stand out. It is a paid tool with a free plan that lets you create unlimited videos.

Beatflyer’s free plan

The free plan is pretty generous as you can create unlimited (watermarked) videos. It includes all the other features in the paid plan, except that you can’t save projects to the cloud.

The biggest benefit of subscribing to the paid plans is that there’s no watermark, and if you subscribe to Pro Monthly, you can also save projects to the cloud.

Beatflyer offers two paid plans:

8. SocialBee

social media management tools - SocialBee

SocialBee is a social media management tool that allows you to easily schedule your posts in a calendar view and customize them for each social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google My Business, and TikTok).

SocialBee’s free plan

SocialBee doesn’t exactly have a free plan. It normally offers a 14-day trial only. But we included it in this list as you get a 30-day trial when you sign up with this special link for Sumolings . During this trial period, you can check out all the features. You also get a 20% discount for two months when you subscribe to a paid plan.

SocialBee has seven paid plans:

9. Agorapulse

social media management tools - Agorapulse

Source: Agorapulse

If you’re looking for one tool to easily schedule, engage, and report on social media for all your profiles, Agorapulse is the perfect solution. Agorapulse boasts powerful features to make social media management that much easier.

Agorapulse’s free plan

Agorapule has a limited free plan; it lacks many of the features that the paid plans have. The free plan can only have one user, three social media profiles. and 10 scheduled posts at a time.

With Agorapulse’s paid plans, you can publish unlimited posts, add more users, and connect more social media profiles. The number of users you can add and the number of social media profiles you can connect depends on the plan. You also get many other features when you subscribe to the paid plans.

Agorapulse has three paid options:

social media management tools - Later

Source: Later

Ready to spruce up your Instagram feed? Later is a tool that helps you customize your feed to create an intentional, powerful presence. It’s a freemium tool with a good free plan that lets you schedule to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Later’s free plan

You can connect one profile per social channel to the free plan and schedule 10 posts at a time for each social network. But it lacks several features that the paid plans have.

You can schedule more posts with the paid plans, and with some of the bigger paid plans, you can also connect more social media profiles and pages. Along with this, you get many more features like best time to post, hashtag suggestions, and Instagram conversations.

Later has three paid options:

11. Planoly

social media management tools - Planoly

Source: Planoly

Alternatively to Later, you can use Planoly to plan and schedule your Instagram posts. You can also schedule to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. It even has some features to help you monetize your services and content.

Planoly’s free plan

On the free plan, you can connect to either one Instagram or one Pinterest account, and you can only make 30 uploads per month per profile.

To connect both Instagram and Pinterest accounts and upload more posts, you need to subscribe to a paid plan.

Planoly has three paid plans:

12. SocialOomph

social media management tools - socialoomph

Source: SocialOomph

SocialOoomph is a freemium tool that lets you schedule posts to your favorite social channel. Although its user interface isn’t the best, it’s got a good free plan and affordable paid plans.

SocialOomph’s free plan

The free version gives you one profile, unlimited scheduled posts, and up to three posts per hour. However, you only get access to basic posting features.

To connect more social media profiles, post more times in an hour, and get access to all features, you need to subscribe to a paid plan.

SocialOomph has three payment options:

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about social media management tools

What are the best free social media management tools.

Some of the best free social media management tools are Buffer , Hootsuite, Agorapulse, Later, and SocialOomph. They are not completely free, but they offer a free plan.

Is there a free social media manager?

Some social media management tools are free, with no paid plans, but they usually aren’t good enough. However, there are a lot of tools that offer free plans that suit solopreneurs.

How can I manage all my social media in one place?

You can manage all your social media in one place by using a tool like Agorapulse or Later that integrates with multiple social networks. You can also use project management tools to organize your content plan.


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  25. Create your social media marketing plan

    With monday.com's Zapier integration, you can also build connections to your social media accounts and other tools like Buffer or Hootsuite. By sticking to your social media plan, you'll start taking action and seeing real results from your followers — and eventually customers. 2. Measure and analyze the results.

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