If you want to win business as a social media marketer you need a convincing social media proposal.

For solo freelance social media managers and marketing agencies alike, social media proposals are an essential tool for growing your business — so you’d better be prepared to knock it out of the park.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide to creating a proposal, and a free social media proposal template to help you craft your own in just a few minutes.

Quickly create your own social media proposal with our free and easy-to-use template.

What is a social media proposal?

A social media proposal is a document in which you propose a set of social media marketing services for a potential client and how your services will help them achieve their business goals.

To kick things off, you’ll need to figure out what those goals are.

Then, you can share a game plan for just how you’ll help and what success will look like.

A professional social media proposal should also include the dirty details: we’re talking timeline, deliverables, and budgets.

Throughout the proposal, you’ll also establish your expertise in the field and demonstrate why you’re the right person (or firm) for the job. After all, a social media proposal isn’t just about what a company should do… it’s about who should do it. (You! It’s always been you!)

Communication is key. Your social media proposal is a chance to outline expectations, promises, and responsibilities right out of the gate so your working relationship with a new client has no unpleasant surprises.

How to create a social media proposal

To create a social media marketing proposal that proves to your potential client that you understand their needs and (more importantly) how to solve them, you need to include these 10 essential elements.

1. Needs and problems analysis

Identify the organization’s needs and/or the problems they are facing. 

The best social media proposals start with a deep dive into the potential client’s business and existing social. Strong research and discovery make for a strong social media strategy, so don’t skimp on the detective work in this stage.

Additionally, checking out their competition let’s you identify industry trends and understand where your potential client stands in their industry’s social media landscape.

Our guide to competitive analysis on social media walks you through this process.

Spoiler alert: social listening tools like Hootsuite streams can help monitor competitors’ activity and audiences. As we like to say, “keep your enemies close, and your social media enemies closer.”

The most direct way to get accurate answers to these questions is to just ask. A standard intake form for prospects and new clients can be a helpful tool here, too, to either replace a discovery call or supplement it. The more info, the better.

Of course, this approach only works if you have the opportunity to actually connect with your potential client directly. 

If you’re responding to an RFP, you may not have the option. If that’s the case, read the request document thoroughly and make sure you fully digest all the information it provides.

For more details on what questions to ask and where to find the answers, check out our guide to conducting a social media audit.

2. Determine business goals and objectives

In this section, you’ll show your potential client that you understand the needs and goals of their business.

Keep it simple and be as specific as possible so that you leave little room for discrepancy or ambiguity. Based on your research, clearly identify the organization’s needs, challenges and objectives.

Be sure to specify the objectives of the specific project as well as the organization’s overall needs.

If you’re responding to an RFP, use language here that echoes the way the organization has defined what they’re looking for.

3. Establish measurable social media goals

Those business objectives above? They set the stage for your social media goals, which you’re going to share starting… now!

State three to five S.M.A.R.T social media goals. Remember, S.M.A.R.T. goals are strategic, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. (More on S.M.A.R.T. social media goals here!)

Each objective should specify:

  • the platform(s) being used
  • the metric(s)
  • an end date

It needs to be clear when to measure the goal, what the metric is for success, and how it ties into the overall brand goals. (For example: Increase Facebook followers by 25 percent by the end of Q4.)

4. Set the scope of work and deliverables

Next, you’ll want to bring your strategy into focus, backed by learnings from your audience research and social and competitive audits.

And (sorry to repeat ourselves, but we can’t help it, we worry!) everything you propose should tie back into those social media objectives from the previous section.

Your social media scope of work outline may include:

  • Social media promotions and campaigns
  • Content creation
  • A strategic publishing schedule
  • Social media monitoring
  • Social media engagement
  • Social selling
  • Lead generation

Importantly, this is where you’ll outline what specific deliverables you will provide to the client.

Are you actually creating and posting TikToks, or just providing recommendations for the client team to execute? Make it very clear who does what, and exactly what the client can expect to receive.

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5. Timetable and budget

You’ve pitched the potential client on what you’re going to do: now it’s time to sketch out just when and how you’re going to do it.

This could be a very detailed schedule of development, analysis, and testing work. Or, it could simply be a timeline of when you will produce each deliverable.

It all depends on how involved the client wants to be, but whether big picture or hyper-focused, make sure your schedule aligns with the timing captured in the goals.

Social Media Template Timetable example

Hot tip to keep everyone happy and informed: include milestones and check-ins on the schedule so that everyone can make sure things are on track.

This section is also the time to talk money, honey. Breakdown how you would spend the client’s total budget amount, in whatever format best suits the client’s preferences. Flat rate? Hourly fee? You do you!

6. Evaluation (KPIs)

How are you going to tell if your big audacious plan was successful if you don’t all agree on what your key performance indicators (KPIs) will be?

This is the part of the social media proposal where you suggest how this project will be evaluated.

What analytics are you going to monitor? What measurements will indicate success? An objective, quantitative way to track your progress is going to make sure wins are properly celebrated and expectations stay at a reasonable level.

Having a tool (like Hootsuite, wink wink nudge nudge) that can compare your social media metrics over time and even across different networks can make KPI evaluations much easier to track and report on, as seen below!

Hootsuite Social Advertising dashboard

7. Endorsements

Throughout the proposal, you’ve shown the potential client that you understand their business and have put in the work to create a custom plan to help them succeed with social media.

But to really sell yourself as the right person or agency for the job, it’s a good idea to showcase some of your past results.

This could be something as simple as a few key pull quotes from your LinkedIn recommendations. Or, if you’ve done similar work for another client in the past, you could write a short case study highlighting the work you did and the results.

8. Next Steps

In this section, make it clear what happens next. What action does the client need to take before the proposal can move forward? Signing a contract? Providing further information?

The ball is in their court, and this is the section where you explain just how they can, um, hit… it.

You might wish to include an expiry date on the proposal to make sure your proposed tactics, budget, and availability are up-to-date.

9. Executive Summary & Analysis

This is the first section of your social media proposal, but it’s essentially an overview of the proposal, so we highly recommend writing this part last. It can be easier to understand the most important points to include here after you’ve refined all the other details.

Think of it as the tl;dr for busy executives. Summarize the need(s) for the proposed project in less than a page. Identify the problem, share the anticipated results, and clarify the budget and resource requirements.

10. Appendix

In the appendix, you can include your comprehensive research findings or provide a more detailed budget breakdown.

It’s a good place for anything that needs additional support or elaboration. You want to keep this doc looking sleek and streamlined, after all. Keep the junk in the trunk!

Social media proposal examples

As you now know because we’ve said it 600 times already in this article, a strong social media strategy will be based on the client’s social media goals.

Examples of social media proposals might be:

What you propose is going to be unique to the brand, and to your own expertise — and honestly, we can’t wait to see it. Fill out the social media proposal template below with your big ideas and sit back and wait for your potential client to say, “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!”

Social media proposal template

Our social media proposal template is a Google Doc. To use it, simply click the File tab in the top left corner of your browser, then select Make a copy from the drop-down menu.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll have your own private version on Google Docs to edit and share.

Social media proposal template

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