How to Make a Social Media Plan #marketingmonday

June 30, 2014 in Marketing Monday

Honestly, the first and biggest place that people FAIL MISERABLY with their social media is that they dSocial Media Plan - Hatcher Media - Massillon, OH, Bradford, PAid not take the time to plan.

Failing to PLAN is PLANNING to FAIL.

If you expect your social media to be entirely organic, and as it happens, you’ll be sorely disappointed with the results.

Let me give you a few pointers for building a social media plan.

1. Start by defining your target.
Know how you are trying to reach, and how you want to reach them. And don’t just say, “We want to reach everyone.” This simply isn’t true! WHO is your target demographic? Narrow it down. Having trouble defining that? Look at who you ARE reaching – because that’s the people who are interested in what you are selling. People like THEM are your target. (You can realign your target, if you are NOT reaching the people you want to be reaching.)
Step 1 should probably not be in this list, but I add it as a reminder, because so may businesses just forget how important it is to know to WHOM you are communicating!

2. Make a calendar.

For me – I create a spreadsheet in Google Docs. One document per month, so that I don’t get distracted or confused. Then I make a column of dates, and a column of days of the week, and a column for each social network that I use.

Social Media Plan - Editorial Calendar - Josh Hatcher Media
And then I start planning my posts.

3.  #hashtags
Here’s just a little tip to help you get started on your plan.
Pick a day of the week, and make THAT day about a particular thing you want to promote.

For example, for Hatcher Media – we have #marketingmonday and #wisdomwednesday

And that way – EVERY week, we have something we can post or blog about on that day.
You can do something for every day of the week if you want! It gives you something to start from… a consistent branded idea so that you aren’t stuck GUESSING for what to write about!

Here are some suggestions:


or WHATEVER. You can use a popular existing hashtag, make up your own – or not even USE a hashtag – but assign a day of the week to a particular theme.

4. Write. Write. Write.
Start writing your posts  – If I’m writing a blog, I create a new document in Google Docs, or write it directly in wordpress. But if it’s just a social post, I write it directly in my spreadsheet, so that I can copy and paste directly from that to my scheduling software.

Having trouble knowing what to write about? Do a google search for QUOTES related to your area of expertise.  You can fill a whole day a week or more with quotes from industry leaders or others that fit your company’s vision.

5. Rule of thumb.
You only have four fingers and one thumb on each hand. I recommend sharing four “added value” posts – posts that are free, informational, or fun before you post a hard sales pitch. Why? because social media is kind of like church. It’s very personal. And if you were to stand up in church and tell everyone that you were going to give them 10 percent off their lunch today at your restaurant, it would be uncomfortable.

So when you are posting – try to post four to five informational, inspirational, or fun posts before posting a clear call to action or a hard sales pitch. You are building a relationship, and that relationship will give you the right to try to sell something. You have to put in the time.

6. Schedule
You can use Facebooks “schedule post” feature to post your stuff LATER… so that you can actually work ahead, rather than have to spend a lot of time every day on it.
There are other services you can use as well – hootsuite and buffer which will allow you to schedule posts in advance, rather than lose good content, and constantly feel like you are behind the eight ball.

I’d encourage you to carve out one day, and work several months ahead at a time.

7. In the moment.
Don’t just “set it and forget it” – once you have your schedule and your plan set – you should STILL watch for those perfect social media moments that just HAPPEN. Someone interesting walks in your shop – snag a picture. You find yourself with a surplus of chicken soup – run a special. A really good thought pops in your head and you don’t want to wait to share it…
This allows your PLAN to run things in the background, and allows you to be free to ACCENTUATE it with real life, in the moment, exciting stuff.

8. Hooks
Social media marketing is fishing.
Social media will work BEST if you have all of your hooks in place.
Think of each post like the bait… and your hooks are your occasional calls to action – as well as making sure your PROFILES have the right information – phone numbers, business hours, website links – and your website is updated with the right information as well.

Your social media should build a relationship with your clients, get them to nibble on the bait, and then you HAVE to make sure your hooks are ready to set when they get it in their mouth!