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The importance of having a plan is crucial in any element of business, that’s a fairly well accepted fact. Social media is no different. But for most organisations this presents a fairly major problem. The problem is that you’ve probably not done it before. So, when you’re faced with producing a plan for implementing something which is a new concept you might well feel that a well written plan is nothing more than a work of sublime fiction!
The problem you’ll face when creating a social media plan is that there can be a fairly long time between doing the actions and seeing the benefits and because of this, naturally, social media posts are sometimes the first thing to get postponed when the day gets busy…so how should you keep on track? How should you maximise the chance of social media nirvana being reached?
- It’s a much overused phrase, but aligning all key stakeholders is THE most crucial part. They all have to believe that social is an important part of the business and they have to give you enough runway to be able to get your social strategy off the ground.
- Clearly you must state what the medium-long-term goal is…what does GOOD look like? Perhaps “we will be receiving 2 inbound enquiries per day” or “we will have improved our SEO positioning for these 3 key phrases because of the guest blogging we’re doing” or “at least two of the sales team will be recognised experts in their areas” or whatever it happens to be for your business
- You must create an execution plan with a clear set of (achievable) objectives and an even clearer set of “tasks”, for example: Each of the three nominated staff (who must have a linkedIn & twitter account) will write one blog article per week for their given keywords and these will be posted alternately on the company website and another “guest blogging” site.
- The marketing team will also do the same for the “corporate” LinkedIn and Twitter accounts
- from that task there will be a series of sub-tasks – for each blog the writer will write 5 tweets and send those out Monday-Friday, each person will also Tweet about the other two staff’s weekly blog every day in the same way they do about their own.
- Each of the nominated people will also post every day on their linkedin profile once each week about theirs and their colleagues blogs.
- The marketing person/team will remind each of the nominated staff that they need to do these things when they forget (and they will forget) and collate the facts and figures of their performance such as – impressions, comments, likes, follower growth etc (and if you subscribe to a tool such as Brandwatch, competitor statistics too such as share of voice along with sentiment analysis).
- Then you need to plot the improvement on a graph…it may sound trite but a wall chart showing the gains (and there WILL be gains) is a great motivator.
- Pull together a monthly report of what has been achieved. If you add together all of the posts multiplied by each person’s followers plus the number of followers of the people who have liked/retweeted you will see that a lot…I mean A LOT of people will have seen what’s been posted. Then look at how much it would have cost to have the coverage in a newspaper of on radio. That could be your first piece of positive ROI. If you have some sales that you can attribute to social…even better.
- Present this report to your boss. Show that the exponential (the rate of increase is increasing) increase on graph demonstrates how you are getting traction, explain that the time investment (perhaps 1 hour per week for three people…and no other costs) is generating $$$ in media value alone and has already delivered three enquiries and perhaps a sale!
- Enjoy the adoration!
- I’m being a bit flippant when I say that but it’s worth noting that your boss will be impressed (well, they should be) because you will have conjured media coverage, awareness, enquiries and possibly sales out of thin air and with no budget – and that is quite an achievement.
I know you’re thinking that there must be more to it than that. And yes, there certainly can be, but this “process”, or rather the process that you develop for YOUR business is the difference between success and failure. It is more important than being an “expert” and it’s more important than having beautiful infographics and it’s more important than having a great piece of software to publish with and it’s even more important than being “right”…
And the reality is that what you need to make this really work in any business is time. You need to earn the right to have more time in order to get that big win and if it’s your passion…your dream…your belief that social media is something that your business should be doing then it falls to YOU to make it happen and THIS…may just be the launch pad that you need.
As Walt Disney once said “The way to get started is to quite talking and get started.”
We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.