Key components of creating a social media brief for local business clients

If you sell digital services to local businesses, you know just how important social media is to their success. In fact, 70 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) plan to invest primarily in social media as part of their digital advertising strategy.

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So, how can you deliver unbeatable, revenue-boosting social media management services that set your agency apart—and help you get in on that social media spend? It all starts with one critical document: the social media brief. Read on to learn how to put together the perfect social media campaign brief, every time.

Why are social media briefs important?

Social media briefs serve as the north star for social marketing campaigns, from defining their goals and planning out content to measuring success and ensuring your client’s targets are being met. Knowing how to structure a social media campaign brief can help keep you organized and on track, taking the guesswork out of social media management and helping you deliver better results, faster.

Objectives of a social media creative brief

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of crafting a social media brief, it's critical to first understand the core objectives of this marketing document. Let's explore some of the key objectives that your social media creative brief should aim to achieve.

1. Identify the social media campaign's purpose

In essence, a well-executed social media brief provides a clear roadmap for your client's social media campaign, ensuring that every step taken aligns with their business goals.

SMBs often make the mistake of posting to social media out of a feeling of pressure to stay relevant, without giving much thought to what the aim of each post is. The first objective of a social media brief addresses this problem by defining the purpose of the campaign or strategy. This includes outlining the campaign's overarching goals, and explaining how the campaign will contribute to your client's broader marketing strategy.

For example, let’s say your client is a local fitness studio looking to increase membership sign-ups through a social media campaign. The purpose of the campaign might be to:

  • Highlight the benefits of the studio's classes and equipment
  • Share transformation stories from existing members, and
  • Offer limited-time promotions to incentivize new members to join

A clearly defined purpose will guide your decision-making throughout the campaign, ensuring that all efforts are directed toward achieving the desired outcome.

2. Pinpoint your client's business goals

Understanding your client's business goals and objectives is crucial for tailoring your social media strategy brief to their unique needs.

Whether they're looking to increase sales, boost brand recognition, or strengthen customer relationships, having a clear grasp of your client's goals will enable you to deliver a truly bespoke social media solution. Continuing with our fitness studio example, their goals might be to:

  • Increase the number of studio registrations from social media
  • Grow their email list with avid fitness enthusiasts
  • Build a reputation as a thought leader in the fitness space through engaging and informative content

3. Track your social media KPIs

To gauge the effectiveness of any social media campaign, you need concrete targets against which to measure performance. That’s where key performance indicators (KPIs) come into play.

A comprehensive social media strategy brief should include a breakdown of these KPIs, which can include:

  • Engagement rates
  • Follower growth targets
  • Conversion rates
  • Email sign-ups
  • Post reach, and more

By defining these metrics upfront, you'll have a clear set of benchmarks to track progress and optimize your campaign for maximum impact.

4. Craft buzz-worthy brand awareness

A well-crafted social media creative brief should also focus on building brand awareness for your client. This involves defining the target audience, creating a compelling brand narrative, and developing a consistent visual identity across all social media platforms.

By taking the time to get clear on the look, voice, and message of the brand, you'll create a strong and recognizable brand presence that resonates with your client's target audience, ultimately increasing their visibility in the digital space. We’ll dig into exactly how you can effectively define target audiences later in this article.

5. Turbocharge website traffic with a savvy social media brief

One of the key aims of any social media strategy brief is to drive more traffic to your client's website.

By integrating your social media efforts with your client's website, you can create a cohesive online experience that encourages users to explore their products or services further. To achieve this, include website traffic as a key metric in your brief and incorporate strategies for cross-promoting site content across social media platforms.

6. Transform followers into leads and loyal customers

To create a smart brief on social media, the ultimate goal of generating more sales and revenue should always be top of mind. This means that your social media campaign brief should outline strategies for targeting the prospective customers you defined in Step 4, creating engaging content that encourages conversions, and even using social media advertising to reach a wider audience.

Since different social media platforms require different strategies, these should be defined for every platform on which your client has a presence.

7. Ignite customer engagement for long-lasting connections

Finally, a well-rounded social media campaign brief should aim to improve customer engagement by fostering a sense of community and encouraging two-way communication between your client and their audience.

This might involve creating opportunities for users to share their thoughts, ask questions, or provide feedback, monitoring and responding to comments and messages in a timely manner, and crafting guidelines for social media management.

Component 1: Zeroing in on the ideal target audience

Setting your sights on the right crowd is key to any successful social media campaign brief. By painting a clear portrait of the target audience, you set the stage for content that truly resonates, sparks engagement, and drives conversions.

Let's dive into the essentials of defining and understanding your client’s target audience.

Spotlight on your audience: Who are they, really?

First things first: Who are the people your client is trying to reach?

The answer to this question forms the foundation of your social media strategy brief. It's not just about who might be interested in your client's products or services, but also who would benefit the most from them.

In our local fitness studio example, it might be tempting to define the audience as all fitness enthusiasts, but this is likely far too broad. The more specific you can get, the better.

Is it a studio that’s ideal for busy professionals needing to squeeze in a regular workout, or does it cater to seniors who want to stay active? Perhaps the target audience is die-hard fitness enthusiasts and serious athletes. These are three very different target audiences for the same type of business, so take the time to define a specific audience. To generate appropriate social media ideas for businesses, it’s essential to know their target audience.

Demographics and psychographics explained

Next, dive deeper into your target audience's demographics and psychographics.

Demographics include quantifiable characteristics like age, gender, location, occupation, and income level.

Psychographics, on the other hand, define more subjective areas: interests, behaviors, values, and lifestyles. For instance, two audiences with roughly the same demographics might have very different psychographics: consider the difference between holistic health and mindfulness-oriented yogis and competitive, challenge-loving fitness junkies.

Meet your customer: The art of crafting buyer personas

Finally, bring your target audience to life with buyer personas—fictionalized, detailed profiles that represent your ideal customers.

Crafting these personas involves combining the demographic and psychographic information you've gathered into a cohesive narrative of an ideal buyer.

For example, one persona for a local craft beer brewery might be "Craft Beer Connie," a 30-year-old project manager who loves trying out new craft beers and hosting social gatherings. She values supporting local businesses and enjoys posting about her beer-tasting adventures on Instagram.

Component 2:  Choosing the right social media platforms

You can’t be everywhere at once, and neither can your client’s social media presence. That’s why it’s crucial to select the most relevant and effective social media platforms for their campaign. A multi-platform approach can be very effective, but that doesn’t mean you should attempt to be on all platforms.

So how do you decide which ones to focus on? Here are some tips to help you choose:

  • Know where your target audience spends time: Different social media platforms attract different types of users, so you need to understand who your client’s target customers are and where they hang out online. Since you’ve already defined your target audience and created one or more buyer personas, you can use these as a guiding light to determine which platforms to focus on. A florist catering to brides-to-be will likely be better served by focusing on Instagram and Pinterest rather than Twitter and LinkedIn, for example.
  • Know each platform’s pros and cons: Different social media platforms have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to achieving your client’s objectives. For example, the florist using Instagram and Pinterest might note that Instagram is better suited to having conversations with customers. Meanwhile, Pinterest’s strength is that its posts tend to have a much longer life than Instagram posts, which quickly get buried.
  • Craft a platform-specific strategy: Once you’ve narrowed down your platform choices, your social media creative brief should include a specific strategy for each one. This means creating a content calendar, defining the tone of voice, determining posting frequencies and times, and choosing which metrics to follow and tools to use. You also need to consider how you’ll integrate your platforms with each other and with your client’s website and other marketing channels. A robust white-label social media management tool can help you manage multiple social media platforms from a single dashboard.

Component 3: Crafting a winning social media content strategy

It’s been said a thousand times before: content is king, especially when it comes to social media.

But not all content is created equal. You need to have a clear and consistent content strategy that aligns with your client’s campaign goals, audience, and chosen platforms. The role of social media in reputation management can’t be ignored, and a well-crafted content strategy can help your clients cultivate a sparkling online reputation while crushing their goals. Here are some steps to help you create a winning content strategy to present your client in your social media brief.

Choose the right content mix

You’ll need to decide what type of content you’ll share on each platform, based on what works best for your client’s industry, niche, and brand. Plan to balance your content between promotional, educational, inspirational, and entertaining, so that it doesn’t feel too repetitive.

Plan your posting schedule

Next, determine how often and when you’ll post on each platform, based on your client’s budget, resources, and audience behavior. If you’re selling social media packages through your agency, you might consider matching the posting schedule in your social media campaign brief to a corresponding package.

Consider the optimal times and days to post on each platform, as well as the best practices associated with each.

Create a content calendar

Organize and plan your content in advance and map it out on a calendar that shows what should be posted on each platform, when, and how. This will help you and your clients stay on track, avoid redundant content, and ensure variety. Since staying on top of a packed content calendar can be a full-time job, this is a good opportunity for you to offer clients white-label social media management services.

Choose the right medium for your message

The same type of content can be presented through a variety of mediums, such as text posts, images, graphics, videos, live streams, user-generated content (UGC), hashtag campaigns, and more.

Consider how these different mediums convey the desired message, how well-suited they are to each platform, and how they’ll help you meet your client’s goals. For example, if you want to create an informative post, a carousel-style series of infographics might be the most effective way to help the audience learn. Alternatively, if you want to create a post that fosters a sense of community, sharing fun UGC might be a better approach.

Component 4: Presenting metrics for measuring success

A social media campaign brief is only as good as the results it produces. That’s why it’s important to determine success metrics, keep track of them, and course-correct when needed to ensure they’re met.

What counts? Defining your metrics

In digital marketing broadly, it's important to know if your efforts are hitting the mark. And that's where success metrics come into play. These are quantifiable measures that provide insights into the performance of your social media campaigns.

In your social media brief, clearly define these metrics so that everyone is on the same page about what data will be tracked and how success will be defined. Key metrics, or KPIs,  can include:

  • Reach: how many people see your content
  • Engagement: how many people interact with your content
  • Click-through rate (CTR): how many people click a link
  • Conversion rate: how many people take the desired action
  • Return on investment ROI: how much money is generated for every dollar spent on a social media campaign, and more.

Each of these metrics shines a light on a different aspect of your campaign, helping you understand its overall effectiveness.

Monitoring metrics and analyzing data

Monitoring your metrics and analyzing the data is like being a detective on a social media case. By keeping a close eye on these numbers, you can piece together a clearer picture of your campaign's performance and your audience's behavior.

Regular monitoring and analysis allow you to detect patterns, identify what's working and what's not, and understand how the audience is responding to your content. The key is to stay curious and open-minded: you might be surprised about which content delivers the best results. The insights you gain from your data can help you create more content and supports your client’s goals.

Tactical tweaks: Adjusting social media strategies

As you gather and analyze your data, you can use these insights to adjust your approach.

Perhaps your videos are generating more engagement than your image posts, or maybe your CTR is lower than expected. This is your chance to fine-tune your campaign, experiment with new ideas, and refine your social media strategy brief. Remember, a successful social media campaign is not a set-and-forget kind of thing—it's a dynamic, iterative process that evolves with audience response and business objectives.

In the end, the metrics you choose to track and how you respond to them can make or break your social media campaign. Keep your eyes on the numbers, your mind open to changes, and your strategies flexible. That's your ticket to a winning campaign.

Frequently asked questions

Why is a social media brief important?

A social media brief is essential because it serves as the strategic blueprint for your social media campaign. It outlines objectives, defines the target audience, identifies relevant platforms, and sets key performance metrics, ensuring a focused, coordinated approach to meeting your client's business goals.

Can a social media brief be used for multiple campaigns or is it specific to one campaign?

Typically, a social media brief is tailored to one specific campaign to maintain strategic focus and alignment with distinct campaign objectives. However, elements like audience insights, brand guidelines, or platform strategies may be reused or adjusted for subsequent campaigns if they remain relevant.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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