Can’t keep up? 6 ways to rev up your social media plan

May 22, 2012

Social Media Plan

“Why the heck am I not getting any results from all of my social media activities?”

Does this sound familiar?

Often, I hear people complain that they’re not getting any results but when I ask them what kind of results they want to get – they can’t really tell.

Okay, perhaps you have an idea of what you want to achieve. But no set goal No clear plan.

You see, we use social media for different reasons. We might use it for media distribution, for marketing, for promotions, for customer service, but it’s likely that we use it for “all of the above.”

As the adage goes, “Failing to plan is like planning to fail.”

When you lack a plan, it makes it difficult to make real commitments. It becomes difficult to set realistic expectation. It becomes difficult to measure success.

It becomes difficult to sustain.

And I won’t be surprised if sooner or later – you’re getting nightmares on your head thinkin “how on earth am I going to get ROI from this thing?” “How on earth am I going to get THIS thing work?”.

Simple.

“Have a plan”

I know.

It’s good advice, but it’s nothing new. You’ve probably known from the beginning, right? It’s pretty obvious that you won’t get this social media thing work unless you have a nice clear plan.

But how are you supposed to do it exactly?

I know.

It’s not as easy as it is. You can’t just ask someone from (on) your office, or your social media manager, to come to your office and say, “Hand me a social media plan tomorrow night”.

I admit. I, myself don’t have a plan when I first got started and its one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made.

Now, I don’t want you to have the same mistake I had. Over the past few months, I’ve poured in long hours to creating social media plans, for myself and others. Along the way, I have learned the recipe that will make up for a successful social media plan. And I guess, knowing the initial steps to take is already like winning half the battle already.

I’ve paid attention to the creating a social media plan, both of myself and others, and I’ve made a list of things that I think is essential. It’s far from all of them I’m sure, but it should be enough to get you started.

Research Extensively

I’m telling you this takes time. There are no quick fixes here.

Make your research extensive as it can be. Research on the product, the brand, the company, the target consumer, the competition, and of course, an analysis of current social metrics.

Whether you’re planning to do it by yourself or have a social media manager to work on it for you. It is important that you and your team have a clear understanding about your brand.

Don’t expect someone just pop in and create a customize plan for you in an instant.

Conduct an Assessment

Do a temperature check. Analyze your current social media status. Try to see where you’re at against your goals. What marketing activities have you lined-up so far? How can you integrate social media to benefit or amplify your existing tactic?

Use these findings to organize and build strategies for your plan.

Clarify your Objectives

Identify your objectives for your social media plan. Make a list, then, narrow it down to about 1 to 3 where you can focus for a year.

Some examples of business goals are:

  • Enhancing Brand Awareness
  • Protecting Your Reputation

Create Strategies & Tactics

Be specific about your targets, and then create the corresponding tactic.

Targets are distinct from goals because they incorporate specific number and
time values. If you have no targets to support your goals, you won’t be challenged to take action to meet your deadlines.

Some examples of targets are:

  • 20% increase in positive brand mentions in 3 months
  • 50% decrease in negative brand mentions in 6 months

You won’t win the social media war unless you win its many small battles. And you can’t do that if you don’t know how to strategize. Outline the channels you will use to reach your targets, and ask yourself why you chose those channels. Write the pros and cons. And if the positive reasons outweigh the negative ones, then you are good to go.

Set-Up a Timeline & Make Calendars

Social media is very dynamic and fast-evolving. What’s true and great now may not hold true 8 months hence. So create a timetable that’ll be more workable. Say about 2-3 months. Then make an assessment after that timeframe, and make your plan evolve as you progress.

Establish Measurement & Reporting.

How do you know how you are progressing? Make a list of results that you want to achieve, and their corresponding measurement of success. Like, how many new sales do you expect from a particular social media activity, and the corresponding increments as the months progress.

Feel free to bookmark this for future reference. :)

 

Valerie Deveza

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Hi there! My name is Val. I'm a seasoned social media manager who is passionate about helping small business owners optimize their marketing efforts through detailed analysis.

10 responses to Can’t keep up? 6 ways to rev up your social media plan

  1. I like your suggestion of having targets. I think people often overlook this step and then don’t truly have anything to measure success or improvements by. Plus, like you said, it’s motivating when you have a certain number you’re trying to hit.

  2. It’s tough when you have part of the steps going, but not all. I’ve been blogging for a few months now (by all accounts, I’m a blogging newbie). I’ve consistently put out about three posts a week and I’m starting to get traction now. I enjoy blogging, and I do it under a personal brand, not necessarily for the company I work for. This leaves me without a clear objective as to where I’m going with it. I’ve conceded to simply trying to establish credibility until I figure out what it is I want my blogging to accomplish. I use WordPress.com, so monetizing the blog isn’t an option. I’ll get there eventually. (I hope!)
    Great post. Thanks for sharing some useful points worth referring to!

  3. Hi Valerie,

    Great post! I really enjoyed how you outlined the research aspect. And this is true not just for social media, but for any new endeavor – a thoroughly researched plan makes for real success!

    Thanks for sharing!

    ~Christine

  4. Really useful post, Valerie! We’ve also found the likes of Crowdbooster, ifttt, and Hootsuite to be useful and really perk up our SM marketing!

  5. Oh yes, I know about the “Create strategies & tactics” but it really isn’t easy. Anyway, its a very good post, thanks for sharing!

  6. Great post buddy! I liked it when you mentioned to Don’t expect someone just pop in and create a customize plan for you in an instant. It really takes time.

    Perhaps you can share your social media plan next time?

  7. Very helpful as always Valerie! Great post!