How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan

Did you know sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram are now responsible for more than 30% of all website traffic, according to a study by Shareaholic.

Now more than ever it is so important to have a solid social media strategy in place for your business or brand. I work with various clients (and also on my own content for this blog and my fitness blog) and create a social media strategy on a daily basis, but also develop plans that span months and even throughout the year.

Tips For Creating The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Plan

If you’re just posting randomly and sharing content sporadically, you shouldn’t be surprised when your social media results and ROI are less than stellar.

That’s why I’m going to share a bit of my own daily strategy and include a freebie:  a weekly social media planner PDF which you can download below.

The social media planner includes:

  • Worksheets for planning campaigns around holidays and important events
  • Tools for scheduling your social media so you’re not tied down to a computer all day
  • How to use hashtags to grow your following
  • Types of content to post (tips, quotes, promotions, etc.)

Get Your FREE Social Media Planner

Here are a few of my tips and tools used when it comes to creating a social media marketing plan.

Use Hashtags

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags – they will help people find you and engage with you. I would say limit Twitter hashtags to 2-3, but with Instagram you can use as many as you want! According to Buffer, there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point when it comes to hashtagging on Instagram. Hashtag away! Here’s an interesting image (from the same Buffer article) relating to hashtags and Twitter: How many hashtags should I use on Twitter?

In order to find relevant hashtags, just do a simple google search. You can also use tools like Hashtagify and Hashtag Scout. Lastly, use the search tool on Instagram (under tags) and simply start typing keywords relating to your niche. It will give you a list of hashtags and how many people are posting under that hashtag. So how do hashtags relate to your social media marketing plan? In my workbook, there is a page where you can list all hashtags related to your brand or business. Start using these regularly in your posts in order to increase your followers, retweets, shares and engagement. Experiment with different hashtags and monitor which ones do best for you.

Get Your FREE Social Media Planner

Create A List Of Content

This is something I do on a daily basis for my clients. While this is my full-time job, it doesn’t have to be yours, so don’t worry, I will explain how you can do this quickly! Keeping a list of relevant content you stumble on means that you always have a vault of links to post on your social media platforms. You will no longer sit down at your computer and wonder, “Hm, what should I post today?” I like to use Google Docs for my list, that way I can share it with my team and have them edit/add to it as well.

I also color-code each link so I can quickly see what “theme” it is under. For example, for my fitness related client, some of my colors are for running related topics, lifting related topics, healthy recipes…you get the gist of it. So how can you do this quickly? Create a google doc, then once a week dedicate however much time you can (I suggest at least 30 minutes but whatever you can do will help you a lot), to finding links to share. Here’s how you can find them:

  • Set up Google alerts for a specific keyword, like “business tips.”
  • Search your keywords on Pinterest and share people’s links. Make sure to tag them in your post so that they see it and engage with you. Most likely, they will also re-share.
  • Search through hashtags on Twitter. When people share news articles or blog links, they’re most likely using hashtags so that others will see it and share it (hence my first point of this post).
  • Check out Stumbleupon. I have found a lot of cool and interesting links on there that I end up re-sharing.
  • Trending topics. What is trending on Facebook and Twitter? If it’s relevant to you, share it and get people talking. Ask them what their thought is on whatever the trending topic is…get people talking!

When you plug in links into your Google Doc, also add in their Twitter handle or whatever social media account you will be tagging them in. It just makes it easier to copy and paste later on into your scheduling account. I made this Google Doc template for you so you can start curating your own content. Just save it to your own account and you’ll be able to edit it. Let me know if you end up using it! 

Plan Ahead & Use Themes

I visited a social media agency a few years ago in January. Guess what? They were already planning their campaigns and promotions for Back To School time in September. Now I’m not saying you need to think that far in advance, but planning out your year really helps with your strategy, even if it’s a month or two in advance. For example, right now at the time of this publishing (December), you could be planning your campaigns relating to New Year’s resolutions, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Download my workbook to find a content theme calendar as well!

Schedule Your Own Content

Do you have a blog? Make sure you’re sharing your content! While I always refer to the 80/20 rule (80% of your content should be from other sources, 20% should be your own content), you need to be consistently sharing your own posts and articles as well. I mainly use TweetDeck to schedule my twitter posts, but other tools are Hootsuite, Buffer, and Edgar. Edgar allows you to keep a vault of scheduled content that gets shared and reshared (instead of manually keeping a list yourself), which is pretty cool, but it is a paid app ($50/month).

Whenever I publish a new post I schedule it and make sure to schedule it for a few times that week. I would made a copy of the Google Doc I shared above and keep all your links in there as well. You should not only be sharing your latest posts, but older ones as well. Did one of your posts go viral? Keep sharing the heck out of it!

Create Branded Content

This is super easy once you create a template. I’m sure you’ve seen people share inspirational quotes or tips. Instead of re-sharing those, create your own. I create my “Lightning Quick Tips” and share across my social media profiles. I just have a blank template, and each time I want to create one all I have to do is add the tip in. Here’s an example of one:

Social Media Tips

Include your logo so that way if people do re-share it, your business name and logo will be right there. This is another thing you can do quickly if you just set aside time on the weekend to do it. I use Photoshop, but there are online tools like PicMonkey or Canva that you can use. If I’m on the go, I use the app Over to add text to an image, and the same app to add my logo to it as well. Super easy. Want more tips relating to social media and a handy dandy workbook to write down all your ideas and strategies? You can download my free Weekly Social Media Planner workbook below. Use it to get more organized when it comes to your social media and jot down your content ideas!

Get Your FREE Social Media Planner

I’m working on an audio training series now that I’m really excited about. To get more results based social media marketing tips, click to be added to my VIP Waiting List for the brand new 3-Part Kick Butt Social Media Profit Program AND receive my Social Media Planner which will have you navigating the social media minefield like an Admiral in no time.

Yes, put me on the waitlist for the “Take Your Social Media From 0-100 in 3 Days” training!

Drop your social media links in the comments if you’d like me to follow you and check out your page. Good luck with creating your plan!

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Hustle

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO and founder of VaynerMedia, has recently come out with a new “DailyVee” series which follows him around to show what he does in a day. Here’s the first episode.

I watched the first and second episodes and was motivated by it. He really does hustle all day long, as he calls it. It motivated me to work harder in my business and really look at time wasted throughout my day in which I could be more efficient. Many commenters also agreed and said things along the lines of, “Wow you really do hustle!” or saying how he inspires them.

But as I started thinking about it more and more, I wondered to myself, is that really the life I would want?

Would I really want to wake up at 4-5 am and work until midnight every day? Yes, the old saying says, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I love what I do and I love having my own business. But isn’t one of the perks of owning a business freedom?

Gary preaches about hustling daily. And I agree – we all need to do the work to achieve our goals (obviously) but I also think sometimes he takes it to an extreme. He tells people how he is up at 4am and works until midnight…every day.

As someone who also writes about health and wellness, I just do not think this is a healthy way to live. Where is the work/life balance? I understand that when you’re building up your business you need to make sacrifices, but should well-known entrepreneurs like himself be pushing people to “hustle” like he does in order to be successful?

When I watched his second DailyVee video it kind of stressed me out just watching it! My goal used to be to build up a social media agency, but now I am working on creating my own online programs and courses in order to be an entrepreneur with freedom. For me, entrepreneurs who inspire me are the likes of Amy Porterfield, Tim Ferris, and Neil Patel.

I mean, Gary still does motivate me, and I 100% agree with everything he says relating to social media and digital strategies. I highly recommend reading his books, especially Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. But I think that when it comes to the “hustle,” I think he is a bit extreme.

I’ll leave you with this story I read online which I loved:

An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long it took you to catch them?” The American asked.

“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.

“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”

What do you think of work/life balance? I’d love to hear your thoughts!