Although there is a lot of ignorance regarding what a Social Media Plan is, it is an advisable document – or we could say mandatory – for all companies that want to be on social networks. There are companies that think that planning their presence on social networks does not make sense, or that it is something that only large corporations should do, but this is a mistake.
Certainly an SME will not have a 200-page written document, but it can be useful to carry out the reflection exercise in which it will be determined why it wants to be on social networks and in what way. That is also a Social Media Plan, adapted to the needs of an SME.
For either case, this article will help you create your Social Media Plan.
What is a Social Media Plan
The Social Media Plan is the document – or the fruit of that reflective exercise – in which the strategic lines of action for a company in social networks are reflected – generally, in writing. It will also define how it will relate to users on these channels and the objectives to be achieved.
In short, it is about stopping to think about what you want to achieve on social networks and how. It is the fundamental work tool of Community Managers or any person in charge of managing a company’s social networks.
For this reason, developing a Social Media Plan should be the first task that a company carries out before even opening its profiles on social networks. Furthermore, by governing the work bases in an area as changing as that of social networks, it must be constantly reviewed. In the same way, it will adapt to the changing needs of the company, the reality of its sector or the needs of the people it addresses on social platforms.
Steps for developing the Social Media Plan
These would be the steps that must be followed to develop a Social Media Plan. We present them in a summary and you can expand all the information in the book «The Community Manager Encyclopedia«.
-Previous analysis and collection of information. Before starting to create profiles on social networks, it is necessary to know perfectly the company whose profiles you are going to manage, as well as its competition and the sector in which it operates.
In this sense, it is necessary to ask what is known about the company and see how others (employees, collaborators and even clients) consider it. With the information collected, a SWOT analysis in Social Media can be created, which will help represent the company’s weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities.
Finally, it would be advisable to repeat the analysis but not focusing on the company itself, but on its competitors and the sector in which it operates.
-Study of the company’s online reputation (ORM). It means practicing the listening exercise and knowing how users, clients, employees… who have a presence on social networks perceive it on the Internet. It is necessary to ask what image the company has on the Internet.
To do this, you can use the Google search engine, as well as other tools that allow you to analyze the mentions that are already made about it in specialized forums or blogs.
Once the information has been collected, it is necessary to question whether or not the online reputation on the Internet corresponds to the image drawn of the company in the previous point.
-Setting the objectives. You must answer, honestly, why you want to be on social networks, what are the objectives you want to achieve. These must be defined clearly and concisely, since, depending on what you want to achieve, the strategy will have to be set in one direction or another.
The most advisable thing is to focus on only one or two objectives, to be able to direct all actions to them and not be dispersed with many goals. It is also advisable that they be realistic objectives, so as not to set unattainable goals.
-Define the target audience. What are those people we want to reach on social networks like? What are your needs? Knowing them, we will be able to guide the strategy to solve them, thus achieving the trust of those people to whom we address.
In this section it is essential to define the “Buyer persona”, that is, the company’s ideal client, taking into account factors such as age, sex, demographic situation, profession, employment, purchasing power, tastes, trends… This will obtain a Robot portrait of which people we are going to address on social networks.
-Choice of channels. It will be determined which social networks you are going to be present on, taking into account the objectives already set, the resources you have (it would be impossible to be on all social networks at the same time) and, above all, the definition of the target audience. . It seems logical to think that we will have to have a presence on social networks where our potential clients are already present.
– Definition and execution of the strategy. Now is the time to propose the actions that will be carried out on the chosen social networks to reach the target audience and achieve the goals set.
It will be necessary to define the resources available, prepare a calendar of actions in Social Media, where those responsible, the schedule, the regularity of publication, etc., are established. It is also necessary to create a Content Plan and a Dynamization Plan (how you are going to gain followers, how you are going to interact with them), how you are going to act in the face of a 2.0 crisis, etc.
-Measurement and monitoring of actions. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) must be established that will allow the performance of each decision on social networks to be monitored. For example, if the objective is to “increase the conversation”, the KPIs could be: number of interactions, number of “likes”, number of retweets or shares…