social media planning marketing courseSocial media has risen far above and beyond everyone’s expectations in the past decade, and where as it was once considered to be a passing marketing trend, it is now one of the foundations of a successful digital marketing strategy.

The social media landscape is broad and vast, with varying channels and tools that can often be misunderstood and misused, rendering companies’ efforts to reach their audiences useless. That is where the social media plan comes in.

The plan should define the who, where, why, what and how of you social media efforts.

Who are your customers?

You should be able to find the answer to this question in your strategic marketing plan, which outlines the entirety of your organisation’s marketing efforts for the foreseeable future. You may find that, depending on your field, not all your market segments will be active on social media. This will mean tailoring your efforts on there to the ones who are.

Where are they?

Once you have defined which market segments are on social media, you need to determine which channels and tools they are using the most. Focusing on the social media channels that contain the largest number of your target markets is a common strategy, but there is also value in targeting untapped markets by focusing on social media channels that are not currently used by your competitors.

Why are you trying to reach them?

What is the focus of your upcoming campaign? Do you have a new product/service that you want to promote? Or maybe you are running some special offers? Or you could use this campaign to boost your company’s online brand presence. Every campaign, no matter if it is time-limited or ongoing, should have a core message and measurable goals that link to this.

What are you going to do?

So you have determined your core message and what you want to achieve by running the campaign, now it’s time to decide how you will get that message across. It’s advisable to use a mixture of visuals, videos and more valuable content such as blog posts and longer articles/whitepapers unless the specifics of the campaign demote otherwise. Try to ensure the core message is maintained throughout the content, down to the tone/language used and the branding/visual elements used. And above all; be human. People interact with personality, so ensuring your brand has a strong personality on social media is key to the success of your campaign.

How are you going to measure success?

Throughout the campaign it is important to monitor the success of your chosen strategies and analyse the results to improve this campaign and future social media efforts. The success of social media campaigns comes from testing, testing, testing, and then adapting to your audience’s preferences and the changing landscape of social media.

Whatever your intentions for your business on social media, having a clear plan in place can drive the success of the campaign and your future efforts. If you would like to learn more about using social media for business, UCI’s Postgraduate Certificate in Social Media Studies is a valuable and eye-opening course.

The UCI qualification is backed by The Digital Marketing Association and offers in-depth insight into the complex social media landscape and its role in the business plan. To find out more about gaining your Postgraduate Certificate in Social Media Studies, contact our friendly support team on (0)1865 515 255 or email