Guides and Templates

Social media marketing playbook

A summary of best practices and creative techniques for using social media to engage your audiences, encourage advocacy, manage reputation and increase purchase intent

How will this social media marketing playbook help me and my business?

Today many companies are posting updates across social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and YouTube. However to make the most of the many opportunities social media marketing provides, while managing any potential threats, a social marketing plan will help you build a communications and content strategy as well as an editorial plan, so you can monitor and measure business results from your social tactics.

Our social media planning playbook is structured as a checklist, to help you review your current approach to social media and manage your organic social media updates as well as any paid social advertising in a more effective manner. It is split out across 7 key areas of social media marketing, and includes questions to ask yourself at each stage and recommend resources to help you. We cover strategy and tactics in more detail in our Social Media Marketing Learning Path, but this playbook gives you a top-level view of the key activities you should focus on within your strategy.

This template shows you:

  • What needs to go into your social media plan
  • How to set objectives and measure your social media marketing
  • Social media governance advice including reputation management
  • How to create an effective content strategy to engage your audience with organic and paid ads
  • How to integrate social media with your website and other digital channels
  • Practical issues to manage for using the core social networks
  • Tools to track and manage your social media marketing

What is a marketing playbook?

A marketing playbook defines the types of communications, best practices and optimization techniques that should be used to maximize return-on-investment for different marketing objectives. They are designed to help you prioritize where you need to focus your efforts, with quick links to relevant resources to help you in each area.

Playbooks help a business make the most of today’s marketing opportunities by approaching each communication channel in the most effective way, by considering:

  1. Investment priorities and best practices for communications
  2. Audience media use
  3. Communications orchestration
  4. Goal setting and measurement
  5. Integration of activities
  6. Marketing technology and data

Who is this guide aimed at?

This playbook is aimed at marketers responsible for integrating a brand's social media communications, typically as part of other communications. These include:

  • Marketing directors, VP of Marketing, CMO and marketing managers
  • Digital marketing or Ecommerce managers
  • Social media marketing managers

What does the social media marketing playbook cover?

Our playbook will help you review your approach to managing social media, with topics set out in a checklist format to guide your planning. The 7 key steps included are:

  • Step 1. Review your social media marketing capabilities and set goals
  • Step 2. Devise your social media strategy (organic and paid ads)
  • Step 3. Set up / update your social media listening
  • Step 4. Define content and engagement strategy
  • Step 5. Define social media communications strategy
  • Step 6. Improve your approach for the main social networks
  • Step 7. Evaluation, tracking and optimization

Resource Details

  • Author: Dr Dave Chaffey, Smart Insights’ co-founder and industry expert
  • Editor: Amelia Cooper, Smart Insights
  • Format: A detailed checklist of 20 activities to review for better results from your social media marketing
  • Related resources: Visit our Social media marketing hub for all the guides and templates used by premium members to create a social media strategy and guides to best practices for all the main social media networks. You can also explore our Social Media Marketing e-learning course which takes you through step-by-step advice on how to create a winning social media strategy.

About the author

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave is co-founder of Smart Insights and creator of the Smart Insights RACE Planning Framework. For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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