Hey! I would like to discuss a little bit about “how to create a successful SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN” in this article.
Ah, what a hack is that and why do we need it? You might ask. So here is my humble answer to that!
What do you mean by a Social Media Plan?
It is nothing but organizing / implementing your publishing / advertising strategy step by step.
It can be simple PPT which explains your business, to be uploaded on the blog which is getting thousand views each day, it can be huge campaign running on flashy footer on your favorite TV channel, it can be the paper Ad published on the daily newspaper without which, your father cannot take a sip of coffee.
Who needs Social Media Plan?
- Marketing Agency
- Newly established Company / Product
- Government Dept.
Why do YOU need a SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN?
Well, considering the Advertising sector – becoming the largest growing and most influential sector of the world – almost every company / NGO / government / Institution needs a good Social Media Plan. In this context, it is very much necessary and a key driving factor for running a successful campaign.
If you have reached here reading this article so far, I bet you are also trying to understand “how can I create a good smp, what if I propose to do something like this to my boss etc etc etc”
Of course, There are multiple factors to be taken into consideration when we accept the fact that, media is one of biggest platform on which people engage day by day, but here I would take a small part of it – (however I would try to cover as max as I can from the other media planning strategies too) – Social Media Plan – and show you how it works.
How to write a good Social Media Plan?
Even if you belong to ANY one of the above stakeholders, the essence of creating the successful Social Media Plan remains almost same. Here is the step by step guide which you would like to follow for creating a successful Social Media Plan –
- Setup goals
This is the first and foremost step as anything you want to start should, not wait, must have a goal. This step itself explains the things we discusses on above para, WHY part. Well depending on your organization goals can be DE factorized into short term or long term goals.
Now for creating successful Social Media Plan, your goal should be –
- Result oriented
- Well thought
- Risk evaluated
- Well accepted by officials
For example – you are working in a small to middle Scale Company. Now as a loyal employee (well I can guess so!), you would love, if latest software product i.e. an anti-virus software which your company just launched, should be used by maximum audience. (Remember this example as I would take the same ex again in next steps!).
Clearly here your goal is to reach out more and more professionals who are individual software engineers as well as organizations having large amount of computerized environment. In other words you need to engage more people in your media plan. Along with this, as a good media strategist, you also think of creating awareness regarding what is purpose of your product, how it can impact daily lives of users blah … blah …. Blah..
So you are all set. You have decided (firmly?) your goal for Social Media Plan.
- Define audience
Largely this part has already covered in above point. Yet to be precise you would find the actual stakeholders who would get involved in your campaign. One more important point you should consider here is – what you want from them i.e. your audience. You want their participation, their time, their suggestions or something else? So indeed your audience is decided Based on goals
Once you defined audience your actual work starts now.
- Select Type of content
Content itself is very big word! But equally important also when you go for Social Media Plan. I would insist to decide type of content first i.e. audio/video message, plain text emails, SMS/IM messages (believe me, IM also is an important player here), or graphical holdings / banners.
Once type is fixed, you can focus on actual body of it. That can include why your anti-virus product is unique, what is can provide which others not, is it cost effective, is it reliable etc.
- Divide task into sprints
- Decide workflow / sequence
This is very important and yet ignored factor. Fixing workflow not only decides success of your Social Media Plan but also play important role in overall long term goal fulfillment too. Assume that, in this example, you throw first message to your Audience in terms on bulk emailing that, the link to purchase it online. And then you transmit second message why you should take it and other stuffs.
Beware, stop and listen!
It is wrong. And would lead the Social Media Plan in a WRONG direction
Because first you have to prove that you are unique (I said, unique – not the BEST, and yes it is enough). Information transferred in wrong sequence can cause big problems. A rough example of a typical Social Media Plan content could be –
- Graphical charts
- A-V format
- Email SMS campaigns
- Media tools
Yes, I would say this is most important factor in deciding success of your Social Media Plan. Imagine the campaign of anti-virus is shown on ad board of railway station. How likely and how much audience would it engage? Instead on linked in group having more than 50K members?
So, here you have to decide now on which road you would love to travel. For me, the best media tools would be –
- Radio (yes, it is most reached medium even today)
- Newspaper – both digital and regular
- Toll free helpline (Best works for government )
- Bulk Email / SMS campaigns
- Now put your item here (And don’t forget to let me know about that!)
Once you have selected all OR some of above, based on your goals, Try to Engage audience with it. You may create Facebook page/group, separate twitter account initially for this. Always try to connect with your Audience (Like how I am connecting to you since last 750 seconds, and thanks for that by the way!).
Assume an email stating everything but reply-to section. Assume videos on YouTube without specifying subscribe / comment recommendations.
Do you really think those would success in engaging more audience? Certainly NOT.
Just Do it. Although this is longest part, I would not write much about it. Now that you are ready to start the actual process, follow the steps what is shown in above paragraphs. Once you have published your contents, your 70% job is done.
WHAT? What about the rest of the part ? I know, You are wondering..
Well the publishing part is done. But you have to know how it is performing among the audience. (What if your boss asks you to show the statistics?).
For that you need to take these next few steps –
- Feedback & Regular Follow ups
Take feedback from other staff. Check out successful campaigns from your competitors (yeah there is nothing wrong with it). Do regular follow ups. Use Tools i.e. Facebook page hits, Total weekly reach out, statistics, views etc.
- Call in action / questions
This is the part on which most of you would probably focus less. BUT this is very important parameter. It can be done in various ways i.e. “Like”, “subscribe” or “send me an Email for Questions”, “Follow me on twitter” etc.
Always open your side of window for further inquiries. even if, those things might change based on your campaign.
In our example (Anti-virus software launch, remember?) – Question might be related to cost, quality etc. So to sum up, this is the graphical representation (more or less!) of this article –
Hmm. So this is it. This is what I wanted to discuss with you! Actually the fact is that, Media Plan is a very huge subject, but I hope you have understood the over all idea behind it!
I would keep on posting on media plan strategies in future also. Do let me know if you have anything which is important but missing here in comments section, OR in case of any suggestions/questions. Also, please subscribe / follow this blog to stay connected!