Because social media and new collaborative technologies are constantly changing the way we communicate, we’re all students learning together, whether you’re just beginning in PR or you’ve been practicing for many years. –Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO of Pure Performance Communications
Strategic planning is the backbone of social media for businesses. As a student who is obviously still learning, I find Ms. Breakenridge’s statement to be a comfort. When beginning the process of deciding what the strategic social media plan should be for a company, I always feel a little overwhelmed. Where should I begin? It’s not as daunting as it seems.
I included the infographic, 9 step plan for a Simple & Successful Pinterest Social Media Strategy, because it is an uncomplicated breakdown of where your team should begin the brainstorming process. Obviously this infographic is specifically dealing with Pinterest, but you can follow similar guidelines with any social media platform. Many companies get stuck in the trial phase of social media when they launch headfirst into this world without help. They may know it’s important to create a presence in today’s digital world, but not be quite savvy enough to execute their ideas alone. Without campaigns implemented by a professional, many social media accounts are left to languish and eventually die a digital death.
So let’s talk about specifics, beginning with a SWOT analysis where the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the business are directly in the spotlight. Identifying these internal and external sectors of the organization will help you find some positives about the company you are working with, along with information regarding their competition. For example, an internal weakness of your client may be that their budget is already tied up in traditional media outlets. On the other hand, an external opportunity may be that the company’s customer base is broadening to a younger generation that is more accustomed to social media.
Here are a few more steps to completing your strategic planning session that I will briefly go over:
- Set objectives and budgets for your plan.
- Find your target audience or audiences and find out how they participate in social media communities.
- Decide on your social media mix or your platforms.
- Select a creative message strategy.
- Create a timeline for your campaign.
- Follow through with your plan and analyze the outcomes.
Don’t forget the importance of creating a social media policy for your client’s employees. This will explain the company’s polices regarding social media for employees at home and in the office, so to speak.
I hope this overview will help you stay on task when starting a social media campaign without getting overwhelmed.
Thanks for Reading,