Social Media Marketing Plan: Start to Finish

Hatch Chiles Social Media Campaign overview

About six months ago, I decided I wanted to grow peppers.  I had no idea what I was doing, but had some friends who have grown peppers very successfully.  I was a complete newb to the common gardening jargon like, acidic soil, germinate, full sun, and so on.  But, I was excited to grow my first peppers, even though I had no idea what I was doing.

I’d imagine that social media marketing could feel the same way.  Understanding the terminology, figuring out how to get started, and ending with the results you had in mind could be hard to envision, unless you have a plan.


Social Media Marketing Plan: Start to Finish

I like to think of this plan like my first gardening experience. Start out by educating yourself on best practices, pointing yourself in the right direction, choose the way you’re going to get there, check in regularly to make sure you’re plan is on track, and have some fun along the way.  In the article below, I’m going to give you the steps to create a SM plan and an example of how it was effectively used with this years Hatch Chile promotions.

Step 1: Choose your goal

Step 2: Choose your social network

Step 3: Find your voice and tone

Step 4: Pick your posting strategy

Step 5: Analyze and test


Step 1: Choose your goal

Let’s start by saying that a sale is always the end goal, not matter what the marketing function.  But when it comes to social media marketing, they path to sales comes in many different forms and we need to cultivate those sales over a period of time and with various messages


Here are some examples of Social Media goals, which have been proven to lead to sales:

  • Increased reach/exposure to a product/brand
  • Engagement: Likes, Comments, and Shares
  • Website Clicks

#HatchMatch Example: The goal for Hatch Chiles was to increase exposure in specific regions of the country


Step 2: Choose your social network

Each social network has its own quarks, strengths, and methods of engagement. This is why it’s important to understand best practices, and be active on social media.


Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right social network for your campaign:

  • How much time will it take to manage the campaign
  • What resources to your have/need to make the campaign successful
  • What are the demographics of the network and do they align wit your Tone/Voice


#HatchMatch Example: The primary social networks we utilized were Facebook and Instagram


Step 3: Find your voice and tone

The temptation here might be to jump right in and start sharing. However, the campaign will be more focused and more on point, with what your audience is receptive to, if you come up with a voice and tone for your content right off the bat.


To do this right, ask yourself with questions like these:

1) If your brand was a person, what kind of personality would it have?

2) If your brand was a person, what’s their relationship to the consumer? (a coach, friend, teacher, dad, etc)

3) Describe in adjectives what your company’s personality is not.


After you have worked through these questions, you should have a handful of adjectives that describe the voice and tone of your marketing messages.


#HatchMatch Example: Fun, Educated, Straight forward


Step 4: Pick your posting strategy

One of the strategies that has been working for us is the 4:1 Strategy

This strategy name was coined by Buffer’s co-founder Joel Gascoigne. It works like this:


Start with the basic five types of updates we will post: Links, images, quotes, reshares, plain-text updates

Choose a “staple” update (#HatchMatch example: images), a single type that will make up the majority of your posts.

Create a 4:1 ratio of sharing: for every four “staple” updates, publish one different type for variety.  Or, Image, Image, Image, Image, Link (sub “link” for “reshare” next cycle)


(Note: You won’t want to post the exact same updates across each of your social networks. Consider composing your updates in a unique way to complement each network’s own best practices, culture, and language.)


Step 5: Analyze and Test

The more you post, the more you’ll discover which content, timing, and frequency is right for you.


We’ve gained some insight from looking at each of thee main statistics and the composite engagement stat on a per-post basis. The resulting stat gives us a great look, over time, of how our social media content tends to perform, and we can then test and iterate from there.


Here’s one way we analyzed the #HatchMatch campaign:

Set a benchmark. After two weeks of sharing, we went back through our stats to find the average number of clicks, shares, likes, and comments per post. This was our benchmark going forward. We reviewed and updated this number as the campaign went on.



Having a social media marketing plan is a great way to instill confidence in your team. If social media looks exciting and overwhelming all at once, start with a plan. Once you see the roadmap in front of you, it’s a little easier to see what lies ahead.


Choose your goal

Choose your networks

Find your voice

Choose your strategy

Analyze and test

…and you’re on the way to success!


If you’re curious to see the engagement that came from our #HatchMatch campaign, I’d encourage you to go to Instagam and search the hashtag #HatchMatch.

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