7 Steps to Planning and Executing a Social Media Initiative


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All great social media initiatives need a solid plan and steps to follow for executing flawlessly. These 7 steps walk through each step of planning and executing social media initiatives and highlight the things any social media practitioner needs to consider when creating a social media strategy.

Published in: Business, Technology

7 Steps to Planning and Executing a Social Media Initiative

  1. 1. The 7 Steps of Planning a➤ Social Media Initiative➤➤ ➤ Social media is quickly becoming a regularly embraced channel to run marketing, communications, lead generation and customer support programs. And while you may be testing the waters with social media, your customers are using these channels to talk about you, your brand and the topics that matter to your business. These conversations are happening, so planning out your efforts in social media needs to become a priority for your company. There are seven areas every brand needs to assess and plan as they incorporate social media as a main ele- ment in the marketing and customer care mix. Following these seven core steps will help you define a sound strategy and build the foundation for ongoing, programmatic social media activity. I. Align social media with corporate objectives If your social media goals don’t align with those of management and your corporate strategy, your programs will never be successful in the eyes of internal stakeholders. • Define your initiatives. Outline what sets of activity you plan to partake in and define how many separate initiatives you will be running in all. • Set objectives and goals. Decide what objectives align with each set of initiative activity. Knowing what goals you have will allow you to prove the success of the effort. • Justify social media through corporate goal alignment. Tie together your objectives, the process to achieve them and what key performance indicators will show success. II. Organize your social team Social media work always starts and ends with the people behind the initiatives. Organizing this group in a meaningful way will help ensure effective and efficient social media activity. • Establish social media voices. Decide and define what brands, personas and individuals will be engaging on behalf of your initiative. • Engage part time contributors. You may not have a large team of contributors, yet, but you can find people internally who can help add relevant and interesting content to your initiative. III. Baselining your social presence Discover where your brand is in the universe of social media activity as well as what is being said about other relevant brands and topic pertinent to your industry. • Listen to current sentiment. Find out if users are referencing you in a positive, neutral or negative way. • Get smart on your competition. Monitor what type of mentions, engagement and overall activity is taking place by them and their communities. • Client and prospects. Know your target market by tuning into what they are doing in social media and how it pertains to you. spredfast.com @spredfast
  2. 2. IV. Planning your communicationBe proactive in developing a communications plan for your initiatives to map the right type of contentand maintain a consistent mix. • Identify content opportunities. Formulate a list of the types of content you should be creating and sharing in social media based on what your target market wants. • Schedule your work. At a high level, schedule out what major milestones need to be covered in an initiative. Then, pre-schedule actual social media activity days or even weeks in advance.V. Engaging in the right places at the right timePull together all learnings from baselining to determine the best channels to use and how often youshould use them. • Narrow down the choices. Assess the Big Six social media channels to pinpoint the right mix for your initiative(s). • Focus on strengths: yours and the target channels. Dive into what strengths each presents. • Understand frequency requirements. Gauge the optimal frequency for each channel you’ve chosen to understand how often activity should take place to meet the needs of you and your audience.VI. Measuring your workMeasure communications to determine the results and implications of your social media initiatives. • Assess the top three metrics. Track the amount of outbound activity you produce (Activity), the number of potential social impressions from your network seeing and sharing youractivity (Reach) and meaningful ways users interact with your activity (Engagement). • Track and communicate progress. Establish how you plan to track the above metrics in an ongoing way and subsequently communicate them to the right stakeholders.VII. Integrating with your other processes and systemsRealize that social media is a segment of your overall communications mix that needs to be integratedwith both processes and current technology. • Integrate with your current processes. Find ways to integrate social media with other channel activity such as email, websites and offline events. • Technical integration. Tie in social media information to both your Web Analytics, as well as your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systemReady to expand on each of the seven steps above and learn step-by-step instructions on how toplan and execute each part of your social media initiatives? Download the 28-page Social Media Initiative Planning Guide: a framework to help you successfully plan and execute social media initiatives http://resources.spredfast.com/social-media-planning-guide spredfast.com @spredfast