06 Feb Free Social Media Marketing Calendar Template & Guide – 2019
Welcome to planning season!
For social marketers, this is the most exciting time of the year.
Oftentimes it’s the most stressful, too.
Because coming up with a social media marketing plan means making some big decisions well before the new year gets into full swing.
Do I really need a content calendar?
Yes, having a content calendar seems pretty essential. From time saving to analytics, content calendars have become a digital marketing must. Your social media calendar plan can be as simple or detailed as you need it to be. It doesn’t matter whether you sketch it on the back of an envelope or prepare a thorough spreadsheet. The important thing is that you have a plan…
The important thing is that you have a plan.
Without one, your content marketing will just be a series of random blog articles and social media posts that don’t tie together or lead anywhere. And all marketing needs to lead somewhere eventually, whether it’s signing up for a trial or purchasing your products. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you with your social media marketing plan for 2019. Regardless of your industry or audience, this approach to planning can work for you.
How to use this social media marketing plan
Step #1 – Plan
The very first thing to do is define your objective… What are you trying to achieve? Set realistic social marketing goals to align with your business objectives. Like most goal setting situations, the more specific you are, the better results you’ll get (think SMART goals here).Below are some common goals for businesses on social media alongside the metrics you can track to help you better reach those goals.
According to a study by Hootsuite, the number of people on the internet in 2018 was 4.021 billion, that is up 7 percent from the previous year! Not all of those are using social media, but Statista predicts there to be a steady incline of social media users for future years. By 2021 that could mean 3.02 billion social media users. Many social marketers’ have said their top goal is to increase brand awareness, according to Sprout Social here:
Brand Awareness Metrics
So what exactly do you track and why? Is it all about the likes, comments and shares? To a certain extent, yes.. because the more time your business spends creating content and publishing it, your level of brand awareness should ideally go upward. If not, it’s likely time to tweak your strategy.
Let’s cover a few ways social media is used to build brand awareness.
Social media leads to brand awareness
The truth is there are multiple ways to use social media for building brand awareness. And, the best part is, you can explore them all if you choose.
Here are a few ways social media can boost your brand awareness.
Social media platforms are a playground for engaging with one another. This lends it to be a great place for you to engage with customers at every stage of their journey with you. Whether they are potential leads, current members, or people you are trying to get back. What does “engagement” mean? In this table below, you will see what each of these metrics represents; likes, comments and shares effectively confirm that your content strategy is resonating with your audience. Although some might see these data points as superficial metrics, it’s essential to look at them in context. For example, a flurry of likes or comments on a specific post means that you’re capable of creating buzz with that type of content. Link clicks have the potential to clue you in on what people are interested in, eventually leading them to buy from you.
Driving Engagement in your studio by making it a community: in-club and online
A fitness studio is more than just four walls. Members stay because they feel like they are a part of a community. This means:
- In Club: members feeling like they are not alone in their fitness quest. Offering ample opportunities to socialize in the club goes a long way: i.e. group fitness, special events and member recognition.
- Online: posting relevant content on social media, creating Facebook groups, sharing relevant photos on Instagram and tagging members in these posts.
Metrics: member check-ins, amount of social media posts per week, no. of user-generated content, % of members participating in group fitness challenges.
Drive website traffic
Don’t be surprised if your customer first found you on Instagram or Facebook before visiting your website so many brands now use social media as a primary source of traffic versus organic or paid search. Through content marketing via social, you can give followers a much-needed incentive to check out what your sites have to offer. You can use Google analytics to analyze which social media channels are sending the most traffic to your site and how they are behaving once on-site (look under the “Acquisition” tab). With a Facebook pixel installed onto your website, you can engage them via re-marketing ads through custom audiences (did they sign up for an account but not purchase the trial? did they click the registration page but did not complete the process? did they view the class schedule but left the site?)
Generate new leads and grow revenue
Transforming social followers into long-term customers is the desired end-game for most marketers moving them from awareness to consideration and finally, adoption and advocacy. Making this happen means funneling your followers to your website where they can read content, check out products and ultimately convert. This also leads us to the next point of determining how you will measure your social marketing efforts by the numbers.
Lead generation metrics
Objectives & Key Results
You should set specific conversion goals to better determine your social media ROI. Although any top-of-funnel social traffic is a good sign for brands, the ability to measure the financial value of that traffic is crucial for accountability at the end of the day. By knowing what your social traffic is worth you can justify your time and money spent on social. Here is an in-depth article on measuring your social media ROI on Hootsuite.
What are you trying to achieve? Why are you bothering with social media marketing at all? Like most goal setting situations, the more specific you are, the better results you’ll get (think SMART goals here).
- Is it to increase no. of newsletters signup by 300 this quarter?
- Is it to increase no. of trials from 30 to 50 monthly?
- Is it to increase booking capacity from 50% to 80% for off-peak classes?
- Is it achieve 80% renewal for existing members with expiring memberships?
- Is it to increase referrals from existing members by 20% this quarter?
Step #2 – Brainstorm
Once you’re clear on your marketing objective, you can decide what you need to do to achieve that goal. When thinking about this, it’s sometimes helpful to consider these questions…
- Organic or paid content
- Top social media trends heading into 2019
As you start planning for 2019, consider whether or not paid social will benefit your business. Let’s quickly dive into the difference between organic and paid social and how you can boost your organic efforts with a paid social strategy.
Organic social content consists of using free tools provided by the social networks to share posts, respond to customers, and interact with your social community. All modern social networks provide native analytics and opportunities to engage followers at no cost.
Your paid social strategy encompasses content you’re paying to display, including ads (text, image, video, carousel) or sponsored messages, all targeted to a specific group of social network users based on user profile. While auditing your content from 2018, try to identify your most effective pieces.
For example, was there a specific blog post that performed better than others when you shared it on social? If so, would boosting that content with a paid advertisement make a significant impact on your lead generation or conversion rate?
Organic content is essential and your past archive of assets can still prove beneficial in the new year. However, with the changes announced by Facebook last year which will change how its News Feed works, playing up status updates from friends and family and de-emphasizing news articles and anything published by brands, consider paid content a key component of your social media strategy. Think of ways you can retarget or update your content to ensure that what you share on social is reaching your target market through the right channels — and don’t be afraid to invest (or reinvest) in your top-performing posts.
Top social media trends heading into 2019
Trends come and go. Social marketers probably know this better than most. However, there are a number of trends and behaviors that have become staples of social media and industry best practices. Understanding social trends will not only enable you to diversify your content but will keep your business competitive in the over-saturated social media environment. Here is an article on the emerging trends we think you should consider as part of your social media marketing plan. We hope they provide some much-needed inspiration as you brainstorm your content for 2019. You can also google similar businesses overseas with best practices that you can get “inspiration” from, you don’t need to be original and invent new content, you just have to have quality content that resonates with your audience.
Step #3 – Schedule
Now that you have lots of content ideas, it’s time to organise them. It can be helpful to categorise ideas by type or theme and schedule them consistently. Eventually, your audience will come to expect certain types of content on certain days. To begin with, plan for 3 months, test and measure and tweak your strategy.
- Begin by inputting any activities that aren’t flexible
- Then add content that builds excitement for, or supports these activities
- Lastly, add the content that doesn’t have fixed dates, organised by type or theme
And with that, you’re ready to start planning your 2019 social media marketing strategy. Best of luck and happy planning!