social media proposal template
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A good social media proposal will help you win clients, and a great one will help you keep them.

A cross between a pitch and a contract, proposals formalize plans with clients, establish expectations, and—let’s be honest—show off just how socially savvy you are.

If you’re a freelance social media professional or social media manager at an agency, it’s likely that you have been (or will be) involved in creating a social media proposal at some point. Follow these steps to make sure your next proposal checks off all the right boxes. And use our free template to create your own in minutes.

How to write a successful social media proposal

Depending on the context, proposals appear at different occasions within a company’s workflow. They may be a part of a sales development process, client pitch and acquisition bid, or just a regular re-evaluation of marketing initiatives.

But, before you can write a winning social media proposal, there’s an important research and discovery process that should happen first.

Step 1: Determine business and social media goals

Start with some key questions. What are the goals of my client’s business? What are they working toward, and how can social media help them achieve those goals?

Use the S.M.A.R.T framework to make sure your social media goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Step 2: Learn about your client’s audience

Don’t make assumptions about the client’s audience in your proposal. Collect as much data as you can and use it to develop and support your strategy. Begin by gathering general social media statistics and delve into more specifics, such as social media demographics. Then, if you can, dive into industry specific statistics.

If you already have a relationship with the client, ask them to share any data they have about their audience. And if you already have access to their social media accounts, use analytics to your advantage. If not, see what data you can glean using other social media analytics tools.

Once you’ve amassed as much information as you can, consider creating audience personas.

At this stage it doesn’t hurt to go back to Step 1 and review your goals. With these audience insights in mind, do they still make sense? If not, tweak accordingly.

Step 3: Get to know the competition

Who are your client’s key competitors? Try to identify at least five strong competitors to benchmark against. Are there any brands in analogous industries that are worth looking at?

Now that you have a clearer picture of your audience, look at the brands they are following.

Once you’ve identified competitors, make use of social listening tools, like Hootsuite streams to monitor their activity and audiences. Consider creating a matrix to map out how competitor social media efforts are positioned in relation to each other. Look for white space. It may be the gap you can fill with your social media strategy.

Improve your competitive analysis skills with this quick guide.

Step 4: Conduct a social media audit

Unless your proposal marks your client’s first foray into social media, you’re not starting from scratch. A social media proposal should take into account how the client’s current social presence can be evolved or improved upon.

Do some investigating to find out which social media channels your client is currently using. Which…