Creating a social media plan

One of the things I love working on with clients is creating a plan for their journey into social media. Social media has become a pretty standard part of communicating with customers and other stakeholders, and many people jump into it without thinking about what they want to get out of it and how they will “do” their social media.

The benefit of social media is that it allows you to create a voice and a personality for your business that print ads and even broadcast doesn’t allow. All those types of marketing don’t have a function for feedback and interaction with your audience; you are just broadcasting a message out there. But tools like Facebook and Twitter let you have conversations in real time, so you can answer those questions from potential customers, give product or service information, or even just share the latest news.

Creating a plan for how you will use social media is a great exercise because not only do you plan how you will use the tools, but you should also look at what you want to get out of it. Are you looking for word of mouth advertising? Sales leads? Create alliances with other businesses in your community? There are lots of opportunities, but you need to define what you want to achieve in order to measure your success.

Some things to consider when putting together your plan are:

  • What do you want to accomplish by using social media for your business? Are your goals realistic?
  • What tools will help you reach your goals?
  • How will you integrate social media into your current communication or marketing?
  • How will your social media be managed?
  • How do you expect your staff to be involved?
  • How do you expect your staff to behave on their personal social media sites in relation to their work with you?
  • What is your company’s “voice?”
  • Who are you speaking to? Who is your audience?
  • What kind of content will you be sharing, and what will be most valuable to your audience?

There’s a lot to consider, and it’s a lot more than just throwing up a Facebook page and posting! One of the most useful pieces of advice I’ve received was from Kemp Edmonds, who gave a talk at a social media workshop I attended through the Ridge Meadows Chamber. He suggested you think about your target audience, your best customers. Think about their lifestyles and what they are interested in, and share content that will match those interests.

For example, when I was working at a renovation company, we started posting links to information about other renovation projects like painting, window dressings, easy furniture upholstery, and other home improvement ideas. It got a great response and it addressed the interests of our target audience – which was not just renovating their homes, but home improvement in general.

Creating a social media plan can be fun – it’s a look at the personality of your business and it can give you the opportunity to personalize your product or service. People are much more likely to do business with someone they know and trust, and are less likely to do so just because of an ad they saw. So what part of your company’s personality will draw your best customers?

Think it’s time to create a social media plan? If you need help, I’m happy to work with you – just send me an email through my Contact page.

Interested in learning a little more? I found this great article on Social Media Examiner (a great site – bookmark it or add it to your feed,) with 5 Easy Steps to a Winning Social Media Plan.

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