Creating a Social Media Plan
Now that the Internet has taken over the bulk of advertising and communicating, it’s time for everyone to explore the new opportunities that it provides; and what better way than to utilize the evolving world of social media? We at CLAi love social media – it’s a way for us to directly interact daily and weekly with our co-workers, friends, clients, and anyone else who is interested in the fantastical world of film and video.
However, as businesses and companies make the transition from traditional print marketing to digital marketing, the execution of social media as a business venture tends to get lost in the details. Businesses need to understand the importance of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Essentially, social networking is an interactive media that can be tightly aimed, can be self-generating, and yet, still allows for a wide-cast net to reach as many people as possible, where that is the goal. But, it can also be targeted to a more specific audience than traditional print media, since the Internet utilizes keywords that people look for in their search engines. We at CLAi use this feature of the Internet to target specific regions and potential clients. We aim to direct people to our websites and have them click through, to explore the variety of services that we offer.
Brad Friedman of The Friedman Group isolated “6 Tips for Your Social Media Plan” that we at CLAi use to make our own social media plan effective and efficient.
1. Include A Current Assessment
Before you can begin implementing any sort of plan for social media, you have to start by assessing where you are. Do you have social media profiles already made? If you do, are they consistently updated? Are they designed to bring in revenue, customers, or create brand recognition? This step is your baseline and will help you choose your goals and objectives in the next couple of steps.
2. Look At The Competition
After assessing your own social media standing, you need to evaluate your competition’s current standing. Do they use social media? What sites do they use, and how often do they update or post on it? Compare your competitor’s social networking to see where you are in your current assessment. If they have more followers then you, don’t fret: it likely could be because they have been in the social media game for longer than you have, or because they have a plan implemented and are sticking to it. If they are more successful in social media than you currently are, use the bar they have set as a goal and aim on raising it with the execution of your own plan.
3. Specific Goals And Objectives
Identify and list goals/objectives you want to achieve through this social media plan. Don’t solely focus on revenue, but also include expanding possible customer demographics, gaining more followers, or creating more brand recognition; make these goals attainable, and measurable. Create reasonable goals (outside of clients and finances) and always keep your specific service or product in mind.
4. Who Will Make This All Happen?
To fully implement your plan, you need a person (or people) to consistently work on the execution of the plan. A big trend today in the marketing world is hiring a social media marketing manager, but unfortunately, not all companies have the resources available to do so. If you can’t hire someone, make it a collaborative effort with a couple of people in your company – don’t give the job to the kid in the mailroom!
Content is one of the most important parts of this plan. If you have everything else, but little to no content, your social media site will fail. This does not mean slapping up some pictures and forgetting to update anything until months later. Potential clients will be turned off, if you do not consistently update your site with quality material. Your material defines who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. Most of all, remember that the web is interactive and not a newsletter or brochure – viewers demand high-quality content that informs and entertains. This is why sites like YouTube and Vimeo are often the most linked content on social media, and we strongly recommend that you consider having a high-quality video that showcases your company’s products or abilities. You should also consider that what your viewers see on your site dictates how they view your company – low quality, unprofessional content always sends the wrong message.
6. Reporting and Analysis
Before you implement your plan, you need to decide how you are going to track your progress. Decide what you want to track based on your goals (Twitter followers, LinkedIn contacts, more clients, etc.), and what tools you will need to track that progress. Some tools are free, and may work for the items you want to track, but you may need tools that are a little more complex, requiring some investment and time to fully understand.
At CLAi, we use these rules to better our social media plan. We currently connect with our clients through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Vimeo, as well as our websites – trying to update almost every day (Facebook and Twitter), weekly (LinkedIn), monthly (our website) and after every project that we work on (YouTube and Vimeo), to keep our clients up to speed on what’s going on. In terms of setting reasonable goals, we try to make goals that are realistic and attainable. CLAi have a creative and knowledgeable team that is open to learning new things and we love to follow and use the most up-to-date film and video technology. These tips benefit us because they help to open up to a plethora of ideas – thinking about our clients, our company, and what we do.
Overall, it is important to understand that, social media as a business plan is not something you can just throw together, and hope that it brings some gains. It needs a game plan, and as Brad Friedman says, “Remember the seven P’s – proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance”. It takes time and commitment to successfully execute a social media plan, and we hope that these rules will help guide you through that process.