Ten Tips to a Successful Social Media Plan

November 18, 2011

As the New Year approaches, we must plan a new annual marketing budget without repeating this year’s mistakes. This could mean launching in January with a big bang, a rebrand, or simply refreshing an old approach. It can be a lot of pressure. But, if you have the right metrics in place, you are looking back over the year with data in hand to determine what was working and not. My hope for everyone is that you have the sense to let go of bad habits and low performing tactics, and the gumption to take on new ones. Like, social media marketing.

My article, A social media planner’s guide to pleasing your boss (iMedia Connection) addresses the challenge in crafting a social strategy that will win the approval of company executives. Without buy in, we aren’t going anywhere with our big ideas. Without innovation, your company will be left behind in this fast, technology driven environment. It’s time to innovate or die. You have the power to lead change. Here is a list of ten do’s to get you through the planning process.

#10  Think strategically

An executive sees the world in the big picture, a do-er sees details of the task at hand. A strategist must be both a big picture and little picture thinker.

#9  Educate

Part of the challenge of selling in a new idea is communication. If you have a great strategy and others can’t picture your vision, you will get a resounding no to your effort due to simple lack of understanding. Consider their learning style. Are they visual, respond to story telling, or prefer spreadsheets? Educate them accordingly to bring them into the 21st century along with you.

#8  Start with a proof of concept

Is your company weary of stepping foot into social media, or anything else for that matter? Build confidence by dipping their toes in the water with a low commitment quick-win “test”. Make it short, use a single metric to determine success and make it achievable.

#7  Plan beyond the campaign

Put your long term and short term strategies in a marketing roadmap to give executives a vision for where the brand is heading by stepping into this new territory. Social marketing doesn’t end with a campaign; it’s an ongoing relationship that reaps big picture rewards.

#6  Make it measurable

Create a measurement plan to back up your big idea. If your plan works, it will be hard to argue with numbers and you will have a better chance of grabbing more marketing budget moving forward. Try not to get hung up on social media ROI right away.

#5  Execution is everything

The best strategy will fall flat without good execution. Find people smarter than you to do it right. In social marketing that means trained talent to manage a community or hiring a social strategist to help hone your marketing ideas into a feasible action plan.

#4  Build for your audience

Today’s marketing environment is all about providing value, not only through your products, but through content and interactions. Always think like a customer and consider if what the brand is doing makes sense to human beings.

#3  Step out of your comfort zone

Do not be boring because this will result in nobody wanting to participate or share what your brand has to offer. What ever your comfort level is, take it a step further.

#2  Create brand value

Consider the long term business impact. Social marketing can help to shape your brand and products. An important goal to keep in mind is to build audience. Then, keep the conversation going beyond the campaign to gain brand value (such as insights, customer retention, remarketing to an attentive audience, etc.).

#1  Make it their idea

It works in all relationships including that with management or employees. You know what needs to happen, but keep in mind people in your company want to be part of the creative process too. People tend to buy into ideas, when it’s their own.

How do you see companies innovating to thrive and survive in your industry?

  • Leave a comment
  • Twitter chat @melonie hashtag #innovateORdie
  • Join my professional group on Facebook or LinkedIn to crowdsource with social media practitioners

 

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