5 Fundamentals of a Social Media Action Plan

Solomon Thimothy - November 12, 2012

It is clearly evident that social media is creating a completely different business landscape nowadays, which is a very good thing for many businesses, but certain fundamentals are still needed. It could be attributed to sales, marketing, customer services or fulfillment, but when a business uses social media, it has to be managed first through enough quality planning, as well as follow-ups.

The following elements are essential for any effective social media plan of action: 

1. The Goals

You need to know what you are trying to achieve. You need to define your goals and write them down as well. It remains a fact that true business only happens over time and actions are needed, not only meetings.

As an example, your business’s social media might involve the creating and publishing of content that can attract more visitors that might end up buying services or products through your website. It could involve the publishing of information, or it might involve dealing with certain complaints, such as bad reviews. It is imperative that you state what the main goals of your social media plan are.

2. The Actions

After determining the goals, it is time to define how you are going to reach them. What are you going to specifically do to achieve all your goals? Any plan of action needs certain steps that have to be followed. In social media that could be certain actions, such as developing graphics for webpages, setting up new accounts or defining what types of updates are needed.

You need to determine specific actions, such as how many tweets need to be sent out daily, what the content of the tweets should be, should you post them on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and what sort of content is usually liked and re-tweeted.

 3. The Measurements

To know if your social media plan is effective enough, you need to be able to measure its results and progress. By establishing the numbers, as you develop the social media plan, you will be able to track its progress and determine how successful it is. As long as you make sure that the assumptions are logical and that the guesses are numerical, it will be possible to test the plan and revise it according to the results that come in. These numbers could be the tweets that you send out, likes, updates, and re-tweets, special deal orders, traffic generated or the increase in the sales.

 4. Committing Your People

Your people’s commitment is what will be needed to drive your social media plan, and not meetings, groups or committees. Any plan of action has clear responsibilities and tasks, and your people have to know who is responsible for what. You need to make it explicit, but beware of problems that could arise from having too many people working on the same solution, without any of them being truly committed to doing the work.

It is vital that you develop not only their involvement, but their commitment as well. In the social media plan, you need to clearly define who needs to do what. Spell out who needs to handle the Twitter and Facebook accounts and who is responsible for developing the blog posts, for example.

 5. Tracking Progress and Follow-ups

Business planning is the same everywhere. If your action plan does not cause any actions from customers or clients, then it is useless. It is important to review the plan and possibly revise it if required, once a month. Discuss the results of your social media plan and if the goals were not reached, determine why and make the necessary changes to the plan. It is also imperative that you monitor the individuals who were assigned certain tasks and review their progress and performances regularly.

Without these steps in your social media plan, you will find it difficult to achieve the type of results that you were hoping for. Be disciplined in every aspect of your social media plan and implement the above steps, and you will experience a successful social media campaign.

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