Social media planning make social media work for your business
SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNING
Make Social Media Work For Your Business
Social Media Overview
such as: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest,
About Me (and a plethora of others) - are effectively ‘online social spaces' where people can
converse, share their profiles, news, photos, ideas and collaborate and work on projects.
Then we have Blogs - online ‘diary style' platforms where people can share their views,
news, ideas and advice about something they are passionate about. Businesses have blogs,
people have blogs - it's a way to communicate what's happening, how you feel about things,
provide advice and share. In our view – every website should have a blog enabled. It’s the
perfect vehicle to share content and attract people back to your site to explore further.
The objective is to get people interested and engaged by providing authentic, transparent
and relevant information. And hopefully, those that engage with what you are talking about -
will tell others - and so they will ‘follow' your musings, subscribe to your blog - growing
brand awareness, positive word of mouth - and share of mind.
Social Media Overview
Those following you effectively become your ‘advocates’. And in the age of the
‘recommendation generation’ – where research tells us that over 70% of purchases are
influenced by peer recommendations, online recommendations and social validation – then it
makes sense to work at ensuring positive things are being shared about your products and
Similarly, you may participate in ‘online forums' - here you share your views and advice with
others - and ask for help too. Many LinkedIn Groups operate like forums – focusing on a
specific area of interest. Again, the forum or Group is not a place to directly ‘sell' - it's a place
to build your reputation and share opinion. Whether you are setting out to achieve a position
of authority or ‘expert’ in what you do – or to learn, share and generally participate – social
media platforms are now firmly cemented into purposeful and savvy marketing strategies. Of
course, people do try to use these social networking platforms for direct sales purposes - but
that tends to ‘turn off' the ‘social audience'. So, whilst making sales may be part of the end
game, direct selling should never be your main objective for engaging.
Social Media Overview
The other key thing to consider is that social media activity should always focus on delivering
the objectives of the business. Don’t do ‘social media’ just for the sake of doing social media.
So many times we hear from businesses who have jumped straight into social networking
channels – simply because their competitors are on them.
Be more considered than, keeping up with the ‘Jone’s’ – instead, consider what your
business objectives are, understand how the social channels behave – and then plan how
you can leverage them to deliver on your specific business objectives. For example – if your
objectives are about growing your presence in a certain sector – then that direction gives you
a specific steer on the types of people or businesses you will need to connect with. If you are
looking for lead generation – then you are going to be thinking about who the key influencers
are in your space – and then aiming to connect and nurture them.
Twitter is one of the most talked about social media resources, is a natural ‘communication' channel for ‘social
Social media platforms enable a ‘conversation’ with people you may not have been able to reach before. It
has an amazing power to enable communications to go viral - and engage audiences in conversations about
services, products, issues, the company and brand - connecting a vast amount of likeminded people in an
often targeted and purposeful way. The immediacy of the platform is also attractive. Take a look at the short
recent case study – highlighting both targeting, and immediacy.
A firm of accountants has a specialism in working with artists and galleries – they have set up a Twitter
account @WestburyArt showcasing their relevant clients and also commenting on latest exhibitions, news in the
artworld, as well as providing links back to useful resources and articles on their main corporate website and
dedicated art blog. In their social media activity platform, they monitor the keyword „accountants‟. A tweet
appears “Does anyone know any accountants that focus on helping artists and galleries”. Literally seconds
later – they are able to respond. Not only do they get the opportunity to generate a new client – a number of
other artists then start to follow them.
Outcome: New client engagement for the practice.
Creating a Social Media Strategy and including social media platforms as part of mainstream marketing activity
is still relatively fertile territory for many.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes, as well as super brands, are only just touching the surface when it comes
to understanding where they are heading with their social media activity. There’s significant ‘fear’ by many as to
‘opening the floodgates’ – they’re uncomfortable with the transparency and reach these potentially far reaching
channels enable (however, conversely – it’s these same factors which are actually the attractive features).
However, your social media activity does have to be managed effectively, just as any other marketing activity.
Ideally, by people who understand what they are doing – with clear objectives in mind. We’ve all seen the bad
news case studies reported in the papers, when things go wrong. When organisations haven’t thought through
their activity – and importantly, give the wrong people control. And because social networks are changing things
all the time – then keeping up with social media activity means that organisations often have to ‘run faster’ than
is comfortable – however, effective planning, just as you would with any marketing activity, is necessary.
This outline plan sets out how you can embrace Social Media platforms as part of your on-going marketing
What is Love Social Media looking to achieve by use of Social Media?
the new service/
Join the authority
voices of social
Attract people to
Decide on what you are looking to achieve
before you engage, as that sets the tone of
Use it as a
voice, the image and the content you create
for the channel.
Humanize the brand
Provide a service
2.Researching and Understanding
your Social Media Audience
What are they
Who are the
What are they
With the ‘objective’ secured – then before we
jump into ‘engaging’ we need to first ‘listen’ to the
conversations happening within our target
“Talking is Silver, Listening is Gold”.
What time of day are
things more active?
Once you have an understanding of the types of
conversations that are happening with the ‘target
audience’ or ‘relevant audience groups’ – eg: via Twitter,
Facebook or LinkedIn - then you are better equipped to
start ‘engaging’ in an effective and targeted way.
Twitter posts would focus on: ….[think about the relevant areas to your business
that you will be sharing about your sector, your services, your audience]
Share advice / contacts
Sharing articles / blog posts / expertise
Features and benefits of your product or service
Answer q’s to user challenges / queries
Share testimonials, positive product reviews
Customer or product research findings
Images / videos posted by customers
Things you want to know about your audience, ask questions
In a fast becoming ‘always on’ society, Social Media is a continuous conversation, therefore, your
activity should ideally be part of daily conversations. But remember, your activity needs to be
managed in a focused way.
Typical social networks you’ll be involved with and why:
Twitter – great for listening, tracking, research and targeting.
Blogs – the perfect and flexible platform for sharing your content.
Forums - if relevant, explore and become part of the community.
Facebook – building a community around shared interest.
LinkedIn Groups – great for targeting, growing authority, and becoming part of a shared
LinkedIn Company Page – the perfect B2B PR channel. Keeping your connections and
employees fully up to speed with content and news direct from your business/brand/service.
YouTube channel – it’s your own TV channel. Video can speak a thousand words. It’s the most
consumed media online – so consider your own channel.
Google+ - a must for social search. Google owns Google+ and ranks content on Google+. So
be sure to share your own blogs and authentic content into this network to amplify your online
Pinterest – pictures tell stories and people get engrossed browsing boards in Pinterest. Can be
a really great traffic generator – particularly useful if you have a very visual
Given that there is so much going on with each of the networks – and that they each contribute slightly
differently to your online visibility – then it may be useful to schedule all your social networking activities
for the week. For example:
• Blog posts get created on a Monday and posted to the website weekly.
• Be sure they are then shared actively across your social networks throughout the week in the most
relevant and purposeful way. Eg: Facebook will lead with a large image – Twitter may run the same
content but with a different headline 4 or 5 times throughout the week.
• Each morning relevant sector channels reviewed and tweets scheduled for the day.
Blogs you are subscribed to – when alerted to new post, review and comment if relevant.
• Forums you are participating in are scanned daily.
• LinkedIn Group participation (as required – but visit at least weekly to review your contacts’ contacts
• Plus ….all areas organic and active ‘expansion’.
I would suggest that some keyword research is done before you dive into social.
Keywords are the DNA of your online visibility .
Then once you know your keywords, do research on Twitter to see what’s happening
Resources: We suggest that the Hootsuite social media dashboard solution is
utilised – as you can track specific keywords and watch them in real time as you are
managing your networks. Also consider your Twitter handle – see the difference
between a) @blogsandco or b) @newbizadvice. Also – consider what people will be
searching on to find you. If I am an expert cat groomer – should I call myself
@patsmith or @catgroomer. Makes sense to use those all important keywords in your
Think about relevant areas to your business that you will be sharing about your
sector, your services, your audience.
This activity will help you to establish relevant keywords to use in the ‘tactic’ of
‘connecting’ with the right type of people.
Follow them :
See who they are following and if relevant follow them too
Watch what they are saying, understand key issues
Research their Twitter Lists (Lists are so useful on Twitter – see this useful post
Join the conversation
Start to engage
Don’t spam them with links
Better to ‘respond’ than ‘push’ (this is our mantra with social).
Blogs in our humble opinion form the backbone to most businesses social content.
And in a world where content is still king – and marketers, brands and businesses all
have to become ‘publishers’ – then content really matters.
That all important content needs a home. And blogs are the perfect and flexible home
for your content.
After all, your content is the voice of your business or brand and provide the perfect
opportunity to share relevant and well optimised content to attract people to a website.
Find out which blogs you too should be tuning into – as they can be a great source of
relevant information. Run searches on relevant blogs:
It would be prudent to search these blogs for relevancy – and find any that are relevant
to the objective – creating a Blog A List.
Subscribe to their blogs
Read what they are talking about
Join the conversation by commenting
Become a ‘trusted’ advisor / experts in service categories.
Befriend those bloggers that are key influencers in your sector.
Twitter is also useful for finding relevant blogs. Many Twitter users are running blogs
– and tweeting their posts – and so when you find relevant people – in their profiles
check out the URL links and review their blogs – if relevant - subscribe, listen and
comment. Join the conversation.
6. LinkedIn /Groups
There are a number of
1. As a starting point, be sure your own personal
relevant groups to join and
LinkedIn profile is 100% complete.
participate in within LinkedIn.
2. And also - create a business LinkedIn page for
To research and apply to join
relevant groups – similarly,
3. Join relevant groups.
watch conversation threads
4. Start conversations and comment on interesting
and participate where
relevant. Like all social
5. Until recently, you could directly link your Twitter
platforms, you have to be
thread into LinkedIn. I’m delighted they broke up
‘social’ – they are more
successful for active users –
so be mindful to endeavour to
6. Rather than directly linking accounts, I would
suggest using Hootsuite and selecting the tweets
you want to share with your LinkedIn audience
rather than automating it.
Social media redefined the world of marketing!