If you’re in social media, you know that having a plan is critical. Just saying “Well, I’m going to promote stuff on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and soon I’ll have followers and likers” isn’t going to work.
To have a successful social media plan, there are a few things you have to focus on:
To have a successful social media plan that stands apart from others, you need to take it a step further with the following:
Once you have all that, to make all of those very important steps work, you have to write it down. Make it specific. Figure out the best timing and enter it on your editorial calendar. (Don’t have one? There are a ton available online for free download or make your own based on dates and the social media channels involved.) It may even come down to notating what time you’ll send out a Tweet or publish a blog piece or even a Facebook status update. Keep in mind the length that’s necessary to get the attention of the reader but not so long they glaze over and give up. (Some experts will tell you that truncated Tweets get ignored more often.)
Quality goes without saying. If you don’t have anything you feel good enough about, to the point where you’re hesitating and unsure, you’re probably better off not publishing it. Having something bad is frequently worse than having nothing at all.
Know your target. Basic marketing credo: you have to know who you’re trying to reach. Focus your content on them. If you’re not sure how to find them, that’s okay, you’ll learn what works through trial and error (which we all deal with, even the most seasoned and savvy of social media managers) but you have to have an idea of who they are so you can narrow things down. Casting a wide net is great if you’re fishing and any fish is a meal, but once you know that a certain fish is what you want, then you have to have to know where to put that net so you’re not needlessly wasting energy on bringing in all those fish you won’t eat.
Creativity is harder than it sounds. You may be inspired by the approach another company takes, and imitation is a form of flattery, but nobody wants to be known as the person who copied another person’s work and platform. Find your voice – like when you’re a blogger, you have an idea of what you want to write about and then you eventually end up with what you like to write about, which may be different . (I know for me it was! I realized I had to let me come through more, which meant I wasn’t going to just talk about cupcake recipes and hour-long workouts.) Some brands lend themselves to edgier or more humorous approaches than others, but find what yours can bear and meet in the middle with your personality and style. That alone will make your creativity shine, as we’re all different! Think outside of the box, push the envelope and always remember to be kind.
This is where individuality and being genuine intersects with creativity. They are part of the same package. People can tell if you’re not being yourself, and you may come off as stiff or insincere. If you’re speaking in your own style, your own voice, it’s apparent. Being genuine, true to yourself, is valuable, and that will put your successful but mundane social media plan ahead of the pack. It will stand out of its own accord.
Putting together a social media plan isn’t necessarily easy, but it doesn’t need to be hard work either. Part of the bonus of being in the social media field is that it’s fun. It’s a lot of work, and there’s so much more to it than just marketing or promoting campaigns – there is logic, strategy, metrics, etc. – but it should always be enjoyable. You are part of shaping the reputation of a business and that’s something to be proud of!