How To Create An Effective Social Media Marketing Plan For Your Startup

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would agree that social media is a powerful marketing tool. So much so that many startups depend solely on their social media marketing plan to create brand awareness about and/or sell their products.

Social media has the power to kickstart a startup and catapult it to success. This is largely attributed to the fact that social media caters to a wide global audience. Startup marketing success for startups is only possible if there’s a strong social media marketing plan in place.

It may be a bit overwhelming to come up with an effective social media marketing plan, given that there are so many platforms, content styles, and varied strategies.

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From chasing user-generated content to using AI-powered chatbots, social media marketing is a space that moves forward at breakneck speed. Precisely why we have put together a quick guide to help you come up with a social media marketing plan that’s not only effective but also simple to create.

8 Step Guide To Building A Killer Social Media Marketing Plan

1. Be clear about your goals and objectives

It is easy to get influenced by what you see around you, especially on social media. You may be tempted to emulate other brands’ but it is essential to focus on building a social media marketing plan that takes into account your startup’s goals and objectives and not someone else’s.

This makes it important for you to first chalk out your goals and objectives that need to be achieved through your social media initiative.

For instance, if you are running an apparel brand with a sizable Instagram following, the focus could be on enhancing sales as opposed to, say, only creating awareness. Instagram’s visual format allows brands to display their product in a beautiful way to the right target audience. 

On the other hand, if you are running a B2C tech product startup, you could use Youtube videos to spread awareness about your products. You will probably have to start with the kind of content that users are looking for and make your product relevant through the content.   

So the first step is to understand where your company stands in its lifecycle, the kind of products or services that it offers, and then write down your objectives.

2. Different missions for different platforms

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is to miss the context-to-content approach. While it is possible to share similar content across all of your social media channels, sharing the same content is not the best approach.

Social media marketing plans need to consider the uniqueness of every platform and develop a separate mission statement for each one of them. 

Let’s say your company builds AI-powered toy robots that can answer questions and have conversations among other things. 

Maybe the mission statement for each of your social channels will look like this.

Youtube – to inform existing and potential users about your products through interesting use-case videos, explainers, and humanize the brand.

Instagram – to engage existing and potential users with short videos that make them happy and pictures that make your product aspirational

Twitter  to engage with and build a community of tech enthusiasts through participating in AI and the future of IoT conversations. 

3. Work well in advance

Another common mistake young and new teams make is to think that they will be able to create a great volume of content on the go. Social media demands consistency in content publishing.

If you are new to this, you could think that it is possible to create content all the time. In all probability, you will later realize that perpetual content creation is a bit ambitious.

A better way of managing your social media marketing plan is to work well in advance. From planning to content creation, you need to run a few weeks ahead of your schedule to be able to manage your brand’s social channels really well.

Working in advance also allows you to take advantage of future events and occasions. For instance, working ahead of time will allow you to plan for fixed events like World Environment Day and others (that are relevant for your brand).

Having time to work on these thoughts and ideas mean that you can create good quality content as opposed to something average when you work the last minute.

To help you come up with content ideas for the future, there are tool available online such as:

  • Hubspot’s Topic Generator
  • Google Trends
  • Buzzsumo
  • Alltop

This blog by Quicksprout lists . These tools are pretty useful to plan your social media content as well.

4. Research and Respond

Research plays a big role in the success of any social media marketing plan. You will need to put in the time to understand events, trends, and occasions that need to find space in your social media calendar.

Another key aspect of social media marketing lies in the ability to respond to trends. When there is an interesting conversation going on, your team should be capable enough to add something of value to the conversation. 

There is some new trending topic every other day and this reiterates the point that it is important to work well in advance. It is essential to ensure that the team is equipped to respond to trends as opposed to having to deal with trending topics and fixed events on the same workday.

Another tactical point is to respond with a valuable reply when an audience member comments. This goes a long way in making the audience member want to come back and become an active part of your online community.

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5. Use Scheduling Tools

A good social media marketing plan isn’t just about planning in advance. It is also critical to schedule your content well in advance to ensure that you do not have to deal with that task every day.

Blocking off time to do this earlier also makes you more efficient. Some of the popular scheduling tools include:

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Sprout Social
  • Tweetdeck
  • CoSchedule
  • Later

These apps help you schedule content in advance. While some of the apps work across platforms, others are focused towards specific ones. These include Tweetdeck which is great for Twitter and Later which works really well with Instagram.

6. Get creative with content formats

Gone are the days when digital content only meant text heavy blogs. Not just content platforms, even new content formats get introduced regularly these days.

So if you are looking to create an impactful campaign, then your social media marketing plan may want to make space for interesting content formats as well.

These include photo-captions, , gifs and emojis. In fact,  and These stats tell the story of user preferences. 

As a brand cracking these content formats with interesting messages on a consistent basis could mean regular viral success on social media. You can also check out our article on to help you plan this better.

7. Harness The Power Of User-Generated Content

Another interesting strategy to add to your social media marketing plan is working with UGC or User Generated Content. There is some extra effort required to build systems and processes to get UGC going. Once it works, it is a win-win for the brand and its community.

Brands get interesting and relevant content without having to create it themselves and followers get featured on the brand’s platform getting them a lot more exposure in return.

Here are some ways in which you can make UGC work:

  • Hashtags and handles on Instagram: Get your followers to use your dedicated marketing hashtag or get them to tag your handle on Instagram. You can then choose content that is contextual to the brand and give a shout out to the contributor
  • Instagram takeovers: Some brands, especially startups, even let some of their loyal community members take over their Instagram account. The brief is to keep curating the hashtagged pieces of content as long as they are relevant
  • Twitter takeover: Just like an Instagram takeover, some brands also let their community members take over their Twitter accounts. These takeovers let them share content, reply to other community members and plan content for the period when the takeover is on
  • Contests: This one is a classic UGC tactic. Contests allow the audience to share content with the brand which may help them win the contest prize. In most cases, brands build in terms to get permission to reuse contributed content. 

8. Measurement and review

The most important part of the process is to measure and review your campaign’s performance. There are various tools available these days that go beyond likes and comments. Social listening tools provide data like sentiment analysis, influencer activity analysis, etc.

Some of the well known social listening tools are:

  • Brand24
  • Youscan
  • Buzzsumo
  • Hootsuite Insights
  • Brandwatch

These tools can help you measure the impact of your content and campaign. Analyzing these results on a regular basis will let you refine your social media marketing plan, and enhance the impact of your activities.

Final Thoughts

So those were our seven steps to building an effective social media marketing plan. Here is a quick recap:

  1. Define your goals
  2. Define the mission for every social channel
  3. Work in advance
  4. Research and respond
  5. Schedule it
  6. Innovative content formats
  7. Experiment with UGC
  8. Measurement and review

Social media is a tremendous opportunity for brands and startups. While it does take some effort to get your social media marketing plan right, it can drive sales and awareness for your startup at a fraction of the cost incurred by traditional marketing.

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