Social that Sells: Creating an Effective Social Marketing Plan for 2019

It’s that time of year again when every brand is planning social media marketing campaigns for the coming year. Creating an effective social media marketing plan for the next year, however, requires more than just social posting and finger-crossing - you need a plan built on goals and driven by strategic campaigns.

With so many projects planned for the new year, we get how muddled planning your social marketing strategy can get.

So, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you clarify your guiding goals, determine your campaigns, and map out actionable projects to not only plan your strategy, but execute it.


Step One: Audit Your Previous Year

When creating any marketing plan, especially one for social media, it’s important to first look back at your previous year to determine what performed well and what didn’t. What tactics and strategies brought you closer to your goals last year, and what didn’t?

Go back and audit your 2018 social media marketing performance by reviewing yearly stats and month-by-month analytics. Write down what campaigns performed well, and which campaigns didn’t produce a good return.

Then, analyze. Ask and make note of:

  • Why did your audience receive and respond to these campaigns well, or, why didn’t they?

  • On which platforms was your audience the most engaged with your brand? Why do you think that is?

  • Can you identify a platform or campaign that was the top source of new, qualified leads?

Using this information, what do you need to continue doing in the new year? What needs to change going forward? Don’t be afraid to make changes to what isn’t working, or to even step away for one or two platforms so that you can optimize what is already working!

Step Two: Define Your New Goals

What top three goals will your pursue through your social media marketing this year? Will you pursue an increase in revenue influenced directly by social media traffic? Will you pursue a number of brand partnerships, sponsorships or features? Will you push for an increase in email signups, website traffic, or membership sign-ups?

Write down the exact goals you want your social media marketing efforts to support, making them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound).

Step Four: Plan Content Output

This is where many social media marketers get lost in the weeds, as it can get tough taking the goals previously defined and determining how to actionably pursue them amongst each content platform.

We recommend making a spreadsheet with each platform.

Step Five: Map Out Major Campaigns

We believe that campaigns are best pursued and implemented quarterly. For small businesses with small teams (1-5) we recommend focusing on 1-2 major projects per quarter. Ninety days is the sweet spot for testing the effectiveness of a new campaign or marketing strategy.

Add a tab to your planning spreadsheet and break down specific campaigns by quarter, noting the paid and owned content you’ll employ within each campaign.

Step Six: Utilize a Project Management System

A spreadsheet is perfect for planning, but not for accountability and execution. We recommend using a project management system like our favorite, Asana, to break down campaigns into projects and individual tasks with due dates and team member assignments.

Here is a great article showcasing how to utilize Asana for your social media marketing projects!

Step Seven: Track Metrics Monthly

Determine which metrics are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the success of your marketing strategy.

For example, if you’re focusing on increasing sales from Instagram you’ll want to track engagement metrics, link clicks, landing page traffic and sales. When tracking engagement, you’ll want to keep a tally of comments, likes, sharing and reviews.

We recommend tracking your KPIs monthly in a spreadsheet - you can even link it as a Google Doc as a task in your project management system, Asana, and set it as a task to recur monthly so you don’t forget!

Quarterly, it’s important to dive a bit deeper into those analytics and begin making notes - what’s working this quarter, what isn’t? And make note of what needs to change in the coming quarter. Think of this as a mini social media audit!


Each year, go back to step one. Use the metrics you’ve tracked through the year to assist you in learning about the success of your previous marketing campaigns, then craft new goals and develop your next successful campaigns!

Want a team of experienced marketers on your side to develop and implement your social media marketing strategy for you? Book a call with us, we’d love to help you succeed!