said 1 year, 5 months ago:
That’s a BIG question, but an important one!
Everyone needs a plan if they are to use social media to gorw their business. But the plan will vary greatly and be very individualized to the particular business. However, there are a few things to consider:
Goals / Objectives
This is A MUST! You need to know why you are using social media and what you want to achieve out of it. Have a look at my blog post of the 5 questions you need to ask yourself about social media if you are looking for a place to start.
Create a place for ideas. Keep track of ideas you have and try and brainstorm often. This is especially good if you have a small team, as many heads are better than one.
You really need to decide what social networking sites you want to include. Are you going to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (or any of these), are you going to be creating a blog (a good idea), are there other smaller niche networks that will be better?
When getting started I usually recommend to people to start with one social networking site, get that running nicely, and then tackle another. Otherwise it can be overload.
What content are you going to have? Blog posts, podcasts, video, slideshow presentations, off-line activities like seminars? What are you going to be posting on Facebook to engage with your Fans?
Create a content calendar as this will help you figure out what you can post and when. Include holidays and special days that relate to your business on it. If you sell candy, for example, Halloween would be a special time for you. Work out what you are going to be doing ahead of time.
Work out who is going to be posting stuff and who will respond to people’s comments and replies. This needs to be worked out and roles given. If not, then you run the risk of the “I thought you were going to do that” and nothing gets done. This is especially important if you are running multiple platforms and a blog. Blog content can take a long time to create.
Social Media Guidelines
This is important even if you are a one-person band as it allows you to define what is okay and what is not when posting material and interacting with the public.
Reporting & Analysis
You use the reporting you get to see what is working and what isn’t. Use Excel or Google Spreadsheets to keep track of what people are responding too and measures of growth over time. You can also use some third-party apps and software to keep track of stuff for you too.
That should get you started, Joan. If you have any further questions, please ask.
If you need a specific social media plan for your business, I am available for that as well (at reasonable prices).