BUILDING and OPERATIONALIZING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN - August 2015

Over the past few months we’ve been blogging about the primary social media touch points that are used today. Now it is time to think about the PLAN overall.

In this digital age, putting together a strong social media marketing plan that works for your brand should be a top-of-mind priority for your business. Nevertheless, the task of creating a strategic social plan can be a daunting and overwhelming one, particularly for businesses that have limited resources or are uncertain about which tactics to deploy when looking to reach their social media goals. In this blog, we’ve provided a series of steps that will help you stay on track and build your social media marketing plan incrementally.

Please keep in mind that your plan will evolve over time as you begin to hit your goals and learn more about your audience. It shouldn’t be overly complex. The more complicated your plan, the more likely that it won’t be adopted across your organization. So, keep it simple by following these steps:

>Determine available resources.
>Prioritize actions to undertake.
>Assign responsibilities.
>Get started!

DETERMINE AVAILABLE RESOURCES
The first step in developing the right social media action plan for your business is to determine what resources you have to devote to it. A misconception that you need to put aside right away is that social media marketing is “free”. If you want to do it properly, you are going to have to budget for it. Also keep in mind that social media absolutely does not have to be one person’s responsibility.

Do you have the budget to hire somebody full time? Will you divide and conquer, with several different team members participating in different aspects of social media management? Will it be 20% of one person’s time? Does your team have access to a smartphone for Instagram and behind-the-scenes posts? These are all things to consider.

PRIORITIZE ACTIONS TO UNDERTAKE
Decide which social media actions (that we covered in previous blogs) are best in line with the priorities for your business. Once you’ve prioritized your goals, you’re ready to choose the actions you’ll undertake. You should probably be doing everything on the list we covered in some capacity, but don’t feel like everything has to be top priority. Pick the social media actions that are most important and most realistic for your company, based on your goals and resources.

ASSIGN RESPONSIBILITIES
After you’ve determined which actions you’ll undertake, the next step is to decide which team member(s) will be responsible for each action. The size of your staff will inform your decisions. For smaller teams, a single person may cover everything. Large teams may have a different person responsible for each action. For example, at a hotel or resort, the person in charge of “Guest Satisfaction” could monitor social media, while the Operations Manager could drive internal improvements based on sentiment analysis. A member of the marketing or public relations team could handle social media engagement.

Or, in some cases, perhaps you have a bellhop or a front desk clerk who is particularly handy with a smartphone camera. With some training on brand messaging and voice, almost any employee in your organization can be a social media content-creating asset.

Your optimal setup will be unique to your team.

SET PROCESSES AND GOALS
The next step is to operationalize your plan. This is critical: Your likelihood of success will be significantly higher if you set up the clear internal processes necessary to implement, manage, and measure the progress of your plan.

To begin, we suggest setting up a regular meeting with the whole social media team. This regular check-in will be instrumental in sharing information, measuring success, and maintaining motivation and momentum. In your initial meetings, team members should come up with specific goals and metrics that they will track over time. Remember: What gets measured gets done.

After you set your initial goals, your regular meetings will be invaluable in sharing results and updating the team about key learnings. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals and strategy as you learn more about your audience.

On our next blog, we’ll address measuring success. Hope this is helpful information. If for any reason you think you would like to discuss your social media goals with an outside source, Chisano Marketing Group is here to help. Give us a shout.

Joe Bouch
CEO