5 easy steps to make your own Social Media Plan
Research and Assessment: Keep aside a week to do this. Define your target audience, likely channels / communities where they `hang out’ and the best type messaging /promotional offering that will appeal to them. You can do this by searching for your own brand, competitive brands, category, target keywords and associations of relevance. (In case there is more than one type of user using multiple channels, we will need to use the 80-20 rule to decide where to invest our time and resources).
For e.g. If your primary audience is architects then we need to join / subscribe to design related communities and blogs. We will also need to develop content that will be appreciated by this user base. It could be `Tips to save costs’ or `Listings of the best design events’ or just `Easy tips to redo your bathroom spaces’. Alternatively it could be a design contest inviting entries with an interesting prize – Featuring the work on the site homepage or a lucrative assignment.
Goal and metric setting: Once we know and understand our targeted audience, it is important to define the `behaviour’ or `information’ that we expect from them as a result of our efforts and how best to measure it with available metrics. This should take anywhere between 2-3 days.
For e.g.: Goals could include `user profiling, ` increasing followers on twitter / face book to 100 in 3 months’/ `ratio of +ve to –ve comments’ or ` getting 50 architects to participate in design content and get their contact information’…etc. Identify a clear metric that provides the most accurate data for the same.
Campaign / Project Planning: Set aside 10 or more days depending on complexity and content requirements. Basically you need to work backwards from the goal you set in Step 2 to further define what needs to be done. This includes the amount that you want to invest, the level of interaction that you want and how best to do the same.
- Advanced research to zero in on media /format (This could be a blog, microsite, forum, review site) relevant to defined goal and some `testing’ to better understand responses through subscription, memberships ...etc. Content brief creation, generation and posting scheduling. In case it is some kind of promotion or contest then complete project lifecycle to be defined.
- Contingency plans for negative comments and other unfriendly user reaction. This could be as simple as a FAQ list generation or as complex as using ORM to bury the link.
For e.g. in case you are just testing waters and don’t want to spend much, you could just join a forum, post responses and understand what users are saying and making decisions. On the other hand, if you want to actively influence the market place, you may want to start your own blog, forum or review site and be the moderator.
Campaign Execution: This is really show time can be 1-2 months depending on the project. Now that you are armed with the necessary preparation and content, you will need to roll out the campaign in small phases so that you can learn from the mistakes or gaps (there are always some) of each new media that we target.
This involves the below steps:
- Posting content
- Monitoring media for responses
- Measuring immediate results, if any
- Modifying content / strategy, if required
- If successful and budget permitting, targeting new media ( in the same genre)
Measurement This is an on-going phase and will require reviewing the progress made against goals set in step 2 and modify strategy as required.