So many companies are getting involved with social media but don’t have a strategic plan to keep it going. We’d like to share our top ten steps on how to start a social media plan that supports your overall business goals.
1. Define your objectives – do you want to drive traffic to your website or raise brand awareness? Which social media tool(s) will you use, e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook etc.? Each will need specific objectives and strategies.
2. Plan resource requirements – what will you use to monitor your presence effectively? Who will respond to feedback (positive, negative, general enquiries, and so on)?
3. Culture of the social networks – check out the competition, how are other companies using the networks; learn from what they do.
4. Agree measurement targets – how you will measure each success criterion? Ensure you set up the measurement tools and agree the specific metrics, e.g. likes, friends, referrals, subscribers, followers, views.
5. Understand customers’ needs – What will make people interested in what you have to say and engage in a conversation with you? What information or knowledge will satisfy the needs of online searchers?
6. Create an integrated plan – define how your social media presence will work with your other marketing channels (online and offline).
7. Build relevant content – plan relevant website content that adds value to your social media community. Integrate this content with your primary website and ensure it is optimised and beneficial to site visibility.
8. Identify brand ambassadors – find out who endorses your brand and encourage them to become ambassadors to spread your message across their networks.
9. Monitor and respond – track to see if your audience is shifting to other social media sites and regularly evaluate performance against the objectives and goals you set.
10. Remember offline messaging – ensure all offline material has social media mentions and promote them consistently across all marketing tools.
This is what you need to know, now you just need to do it! Share your thoughts in the comments section below or on Twitter.