Plan – implement – evaluate … fine-tune > Plan – implement – evaluate … fine-tune > Plan – implement – evaluate … &c
Planning helps you understand what to write, when or why. Without a plan, you won’t know what you are doing, other than having a vague idea based on your experience and learning to date.
With a plan, your work is focused on your strategy, targeted at specific stakeholders whom you want to receive the message you have previously decided upon.
Social media ceases to be a waste of time and becomes a powerful and effective tool in your SEO and stakeholder-engagement strategy.
Remember to beware ‘The Six Ps’ – ‘Poor Planning Permits P**s Poor Performance!’
To begin with, it’s important to analyse and understand your activities and statistics to date, so you have a clear starting point. You’ll need to get to know your audiences and the profile of active channel users.
You will also need to know your competitor’s activities – as the Chinese philosopher/general Sun Tzu said 1,000 years ago, ‘Know thine enemy’ – and it’s helpful to study the best examples from parallel industries.
This enables you to target your channels. Always refer to your strategy and keep an open mind, adjusting your content and style to the chosen channels.
Be careful always to choose objectively: it’s too easy to simply base your choices on your own preference of channel, or your hunches. Be guided by the analysis and try and incorporate a ‘media mix’, as all channels could offer potential audiences.
KPIs are important to performance because they keep objectives at the forefront of decision making. It’s essential that business objectives are well communicated across your company, so when people know and are responsible for their own KPIs, it ensures that the company’s objectives are top of mind.
The easiest way to get into the mindset to plan is to ask yourself what your audience expects to see from you.
Remember to always defer to your strategy for content building; develop your strategy by asking yourself what types of articles, posts or resources position and articulate for you best?
You’ll also need to establish who your contributors are: how will you disseminate your plan and collaborate with them on it ongoing? This is important because you can’t do it all yourself – you need to divide it up and get your colleagues to work together, otherwise your job will quickly become 24/7!
Don’t overstretch your resources – it’s a marathon not a sprint!
Key to your campaign momentum, social media successes and any associated SEO benefit is ensuring that you can sustain activity evenly and steadily ramp it up over time, applying greater resources where necessary.
Too much too soon, or too many random spikes in activity and you will lose momentum.
So you have to determine the ideal long-term broadcast plan and align it with your marketing goals.
Remember to ask yourself what are you going to focus on. Keep in mind that engaging your customers with interesting content will increase their affinity for your brand. So you need to be able to think about what your audience would like to see, read, and preferably even share with others.
Here’s an example of how a well organised plan might look:
Set up your communications in line with your campaign design, using your strategic plan and implementing its content creation and scheduling without losing sight of your objectives.
If possible, align your activity with planned or anticipated events, such as trade shows, seasonal sales spikes etc.
Leave plenty of room to adapt and be responsive to sudden changes and events – after all, social media is supposed to be spontaneous! Plus your audience’s reaction might not be what you expected or the market might not change in the way you anticipated, so make sure to adjust to keep your communications relevant.
Scheduling exactly what happens, when and by whom, and choose the best tools and support for distributing your campaign plans; don’t forget to build in lead times when establishing responsibilities. Now’s the time to be realistic. How many hours would you be able to allocate to your social media presence every week, or every day?
For the latest in our ‘social media strategy’ webinar series, we teach you how to plan your social content strategy.
You’ll learn how to design an effective campaign on social media; we’ll discuss how to set and evaluate your objectives so that they are measurable and relevant; we’ll show you how to choose your channel, how to schedule your posts and tweets, articles and blogs.
Be prepared for lots of practical tips to set you on your way.
At the end, we stay online for a Q&A session to answer your queries and help us refine our future webinars.
Please do share this presentation with colleagues whom you think would benefit.
Please listen to the recording below, and a PDF version of our presentation – How to plan your social content strategy; available for you to download.