Ruby Marketing & Business Accelerator

Creating a social media plan that engages with your audience

We show you tips and tricks to help you create a social media plan that targets your audience, and gets more engagement online.

The secret to successful engagement on social media is to always consider your audience. Their preferences and tastes are central to determining how you present your brand to them.

When creating a social media plan, start by identifying key influencers in your industry who have rich social media followings. Look closely at how they engage with their audience; their engagement strategies and techniques. Follow them online, watch and learn.

Get into the habit of listening to your audience and really understanding their ‘JOB TO BE DONE’ (JTBD). Put your audience at the centre of what you do on your social media pages and get to the heart of your message.

A clear JTBD statement helps you to communicate with absolute clarity what a specific group of people want in a specific circumstance — and their barriers to getting it. When you understand the underlying human need, you can talk to the customer’s need, rather than the feature of the product. Your messaging will reflect their underlying motivations and struggles, not your business objectives.

Bootcamp Series
For more help with Mastering Your Messaging, sign up to our Master Your Messaging Bootcamp Series, here or visit our short video series.

Your posts should be responsive to what your customers and prospects are struggling with.

Ask yourself:

  • How can you add value?
  • How can you make your audience members’ days better or easier?
  • How can you delight your audience?
  • How can you put a smile on the faces of your followers?

If you continue to listen, you will truly understand your customer’s need and your message will speak right to the heart of their wants.

Keep an eye on when and where they are they online? What are they interested in? What are they talking about? What content are they reading, liking, sharing, commenting on, or hashtagging?

Timing and Frequency

Timing your social media engagement is just as important as the quality of content you post. There are global engagement statistics available for the optimal time to post, but you should be keeping an eye on your own social media analytics.

Check your analytics for the times when your audience is the most actively engaged. Consider the days of the week and time of the day. You want to post when your audience is not only viewing your posts, but reacting to it, as this is what drives the social media algorithms. The more active your audience is on your feeds, the better.

How often you post depends on your audience; post too frequently and this may annoy your audience, not posting enough – you’ll soon be off the radar.

It also depends on the social media platform you’re using. Here are some general guidelines for each:

Across all platforms, the best time to engage is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, while Sunday is the worst.

When to engage: Early morning (global stats say 3am!) from Tuesday through Friday are the best days, Saturday the worst.

Number of posts: Focus on quality rather than quantity. Once or twice a day at peak engagement times.

When to engage: Mid-morning between 11am to 1pm on weekdays; avoid Sunday.

Number of posts: This is a tricky one as it depends on your goal and how many followers you have.

If your goal is to grow your following, the more often your post, the better. You should be posting at least 14 times a week. 

If you want to increase your engagement rate, you should post, you should post:

14 times per week (less than) 1,000 followers

1 times per week (more than) 1,000 followers

When to engage: The same as Instagram – mid-mornings and mid-week are the way to go.

Number of posts: Once per day or twenty times per month. A good post length is 25 words or less.

When to engage: People check their tweets first thing, so early morning on weekdays is best.

Number of posts: 3-5 times per day, although some users post more often.

When to engage and how often is not as important as consistency. Pick a schedule for yourself and make sure you stick to it.

If you have a global audience, take into account different time zones. If half your audience live on the other side of the world, stagger your posts so that some are at the peak times in their zone.

Time Saving Strategies

Social media platforms are free and easy to use, which makes them an invaluable marketing tool. But it’s hard work and many businesses have difficulty managing their social media schedules effectively.

Here are some tips to help you manage yours:

Keep a record of how you use your time, and how much of your time is taken on each. This will give you a good idea of the time investment involved and where you find places to scale back if necessary.

Schedule time during each day to actively engage on social media. You should be spending 20-30 minutes engaging directly with your audience. Schedule “time slots” according to your audience’s peak times; for example, you could spend ten minutes first thing in the morning reading and sharing content on Twitter and again ten minutes at lunchtime engaging on Instagram.

Schedule a time for social media content creation once or twice a month. Create a calendar-full of posts and schedule. This not only saves times but creates consistency in your content and brand. There are apps available in which can create a calendar, such as Canva or Later These apps usually allow you to create and schedule posts, but will not post to your social media platforms for you. For this you will need a subscription. You can also create a simple excel spreadsheet and a folder of stock posts, then, during your social media time slots, just copy, paste and post. Supplement your pre-written posts with more spontaneous, timely content as well.

When you have an idea or see something that inspires you, save it in an “idea file.” Refer to this file when you’re planning your social media calendar and easily create new content. A good place for your idea file is Google Docs or Evernote, which allow you to store GIFs, images, embed codes, tweets, videos and hashtags.

If you’re experiencing a bit of writer’s block, use your old content for inspiration and repurpose it. Here are a few ideas:

  • Reuse your favourite, images as post backgrounds.
  • Post a short clip from one of your videos (video content is the most watched on social media too).
  • Post content generated from your customers such as product reviews and comments.
  • Repost content from your other social media platforms, for example, take a screenshot from Twitter to post on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Create infographics from some of your favourite content.
  • Extract quotes from existing content and repost.

There are tools available that can help you manage your social media content and monitoring. Check our Resource page and links in this article for more. Using a 3rd party tool to schedule your posts and to post across platforms can save you a tremendous amount of time