If your New Year’s resolution is to get your business in order, then putting together and implementing social media plan to help you use the Internet more effectively should be top of your to do list today. If the thought of getting started has you procrastinating, then you’ve come to the right blog post to kick start your New Year online. Here is how to go about creating a social media strategy document that works for you.
Go Easy – Remember that your strategy document doesn’t need to be war and peace. It can be as long or as short as you want/need it to be but it must be documented (even if its just in bullet form) and achievable given your market economics.
Research – All great marketing plans begin with one thing: research. Before you start take time to do some research: find out what your competition is doing online, ask your clients which social networking sites they use, identify peers and luminaries in your industry and find out how they use social media. Doing this will help put social media in perspective and will allow you to set realistic goals.
Your Social Media Plan Should Include
Overview – Your plan should of the current situation so that you have a yardstick for comparisons. How many followers do you have right now? What is your social media presence and what resources you have available? The overview should also include a short statement that encompasses the purpose of your plan.
Audience – Define your target audience: ages, location, sex, education etc. Knowing who you want to target makes hitting the mark much more likely.
Goals – Define your goals in quantitative terms and make sure they are achievable given your resources. Applicable social media goals might be to increase website traffic by X%, to increase your Facebook by X, to grow blog subscribers or to build interactions (how many times people interact with your site including replies, comments, clicks etc). Remember that goals should be time sensitive.
Measure – An important part of goal setting is determining how you will measure success. If website traffic traffic is a priority the Google Analytics is a great tool to use. If it is building your network or interaction then follower count and insights should be used.
Tools – Identify and document which social media or digital networks you will use. This decision should be based on the research conducted earlier – the decisions you make here are important. If you have little time and are looking to network then Twitter’s short sharp 140 character bursts might be right for you (especially if moms, Justin Beiber fans and techs are your target audience). If you have a very visual offering then YouTube might be the most appropriate tool. The key here is to use only a few tools and choose the ones that are most likely to give you access to your target community.
Message – What is it that you want to communicate online, what impression do you want to make? Write it down! Encompass this in a few sentences and bear in mind that brand visuals and your communications style online should mirror those offline. Consistency is key and if different people are managing your presence, it is important that they “act” in the company manner online.
Implementing Your Social Media Plan
Your social media strategy plan should be an organic document that can be tweaked and enhanced as you go. Once you engage and gain experience using social media, you will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t in your community. Use your social media experiences to hone your plan so that it can evolve and become even more effective.
Not Traditional Marketing
It is very important to remember when implementing your plan that this is not a traditional marketing project. It is not all about pushing out information online, it is about building relationships, communities and interacting. Bear that in mind, build an appropriate strategy, get social and you can’t go wrong.
We Can Help
Out-Smarts provides social media and Internet marketing planning services. If your social media strategy is top of the prioirity list for 2011 but your strapped for time, call us – we’d love to assist.