This is the second in a series of four posts, which describe how businesses can get started in social media. If you approach your foray into social media the way that you would any new initiative for your business, you’ll find it’s fairly straightforward to get up and running.
In part one of this series we defined the goals for the social media campaign – increasing sales, brand engagement or simply more “fans” or “followers.” Once you’ve clarified what you want to accomplish, the next step is to define the steps to get you there. In this post I’ll walk you through process of creating a social media marketing plan.
The social media marketing plan is really a project plan – a series of tasks and timeframes – that you will follow. I’m a big fan of lists and use them in all aspects of my life. Think of the plan as a to-do list the end result of which is a strong and sensible social media presence that will allow you to accomplish the goals you laid out in step one.
To get started, gather all the existing information that is relevant to and would influence you plan. This information would consist of:
- All components of your existing traditional marketing campaign (print, email, etc.) – key messages, target market, dates for any marketing milestones, etc.
- All components of your sales or public relations activities – dates, location, target market, etc.
- All components of your existing internet marketing campaign (if any) – key words, ad text, demographics, dates, etc.
- Any other important dates, such as, industry-specific conferences, seminars, etc. that you will participate in.
Next you’ll create a six or twelve-month calendar that shows the marketing/sales/PR activities already planned and you’ll integrate the social media tasks. Initially you’ll need to set-up your social media profiles and establish your baseline analytics so you can measure success. The next social media tasks will be to create content and posts that support and augment your existing activities, and set you on the path to accomplish your goals.
Once you’ve organized all your activities in one document, you’ll be able to visualize social media as a natural part of how you grow your business.
In the next post I’ll provide specifics on how to implement this plan.
I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has a developed a plan that is similar or different to this one. I’m always looking to leverage best practices from our readers.