How often have you heard a company express excitement about joining social media, only to follow with a story of how the page is now stagnant?
And what about the company Facebook page with stories that never quite connect? Endless #NationalDay posts, poor photos, and copy-and-paste messaging flood their timeline with no consistent tone or quality.
Many companies fall into the trap of “winging it” on social media. Social is casual, so the assumed approach is to treat the company page similar to a personal page. Add some disorganization and a fear of transparency, and social media can become a nightmare for a company’s image and credibility.
Today, companies cannot survive on social without a basic social media plan. And because goals, trends and platforms change, it’s important to assess and adjust your plan regularly. Thankfully, structure is a profound benefit of planning. Once you can answer a few strategic questions, you are well on your way to creating sense of direction for your social media presence.
Elements of a social media plan
Know your objectives. (WHY)
Make sure you are clear on company objectives and how social media should support them. Once you establish WHY you are using social media, each post or campaign should support that mission. Create a list of goals and prioritize them from highest to lowest.
WHERE will you be social?
While it is tempting to jump on as many social platforms as possible, it’s not always necessary. Where is your audience most active? How many channels can you manage reasonably? There is no shame in starting small as a means to establishing a cohesive social footprint.
HOW will you post and measure success? – Decide how you will post to each platform. Will you post three times per day? Should every other post include video? Should all posts include a link to more information? Also, decide which measurements matter to your success. Do you want to increase website clicks? Are you looking to increase newsletter subscribers?
If this is your company’s first social media plan, a deeper dive into the WHY is appropriate. Consider Sprout Social’s guide to Creating a 30-Day Social Media Plan. The guide is a day-by-day approach to creating a foundation for how your company uses social media. Not only will you walk away with a polished, customized social media plan—you will have a data-driven document to guide and educate everyone involved.
Focus your team’s efforts and you will see success not only in your numbers, but in overall cohesiveness.