Creating Your Social Media Plan

Your company certainly needs a website. It probably also needs a social media plan. If this is a new idea to you, then I have the answers right here to some of the questions you probably have in mind:

  • What is a social media plan? While there are general best practices for social media for companies and organizations, each case is different in its goals, its circumstances, and its resources. Therefore, each case should have a plan that considers these aspects.I’ve recently developed a social media plan for a company that wanted to spiff up its reputation, increase its authority, and develop visibility on the web. This is different from a social media plan designed primarily to drive traffic to a website or to increase sales of a product.
  • What’s in a social media plan? A social media plan should detail the steps to take to reach the goals set up for it. This is likely to include identifying the most valuable sites for the particular organization, creating content for the organization at those sites, and interacting with communities both at the organization’s own website and at the best communities for the purpose. If the organization intends to implement the plan in-house, the plan should list the sites and address the issue of training. A social media plan should also include the metrics that will be used to measure the success of the campaign. Success should be defined, and the steps needed to measure progress should be delineated.
  • What is involved in implementing a social media plan? Ideally, your social media plan will have been developed with your resources in mind.  The company I’ve just built a plan for has 500 employees; having each worker set up a few profiles with links to the company website will give them a lot of bang for their buck. A two-person operation with no time or desire to spend on social media? That’s an entirely different ball game. I always give clients the option of having us implement the plan for them, but also make sure that the plan gives step-by-step details for implementation, in case the company chooses to carry it out themselves. In general, your organization should have a few people willing and able to put in an hour or two a day, if you want to implement a social media plan in-house.
  • What does a social media plan cost? It depends. Research, strategy, and writing are involved in creating a social media plan. For our company, this is a few hours of work, and that’s what you’d pay. I’ve seen quotes of as much as $5,000. While those numbers make me wonder if I should raise my prices, they may be based on differences in overhead, or in process, or simply in philosophy. The opportunity cost of bulling ahead without a plan is likely to be higher, either way.







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