10 Steps for Creating a Social Media Plan

OK, I covered a lot of ground and thought it would be good to recap because these are really just the steps for planning. There is still the preparation and executing the plan still to go.
10 steps for creating a social media plan

10 Steps for Creating a Social Media Plan

Step #1 Believe

You have to believe in yourself and the journey you are about to start. I was fortunate to have an executive team and board of directors that supported our efforts to incorporate social media into our overall marketing programs. So, it helps to be fortunate but step #1 is to Believe. This will help support your confidence to be able to communicate effectively the benefits of the social media programs and your overall plan.

Step #2 Selling The Executives

Step #2 to building a successful social media marketing plan is to sell yourself and your plan to the executive team. Many executives many not know much about social media but they have heard enough about the buzz to know they need to be engaged, so half the battle is already won.

They will ask questions like “What if someone says something bad?” and the answer is “They may already may be, and we just don’t know it”. The truth is you can’t prevent people from being disgruntled, but if you provide a forum for them to vent at least you have the ability to engage and help resolve their issue.

Step #3 Building Social Media Guidelines

Your first thought might be “I need to build a community” or “I need to create a viral video” but there is something that needs to be done first. Step #3 – Social Media Guidelines. You won’t be the only one engaging in social media, so you need to put together some guidelines for employees to follow.

Step #4 The Three P’s Plan, Prepare, Perform

There are many acronyms similar to the three P’s and this could very well be done in parallel to steps #1 and #2. However the first #3 steps are definitely part of the planning process. Your social media marketing plan will need to include several phases and this step may need to be broken down into smaller projects to really cover all the requirements.

Step #5 Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals has as much to do with setting expectations as it does the goal itself. Don’t set your expectations that you are going to create the next viral buzz or you will most certainly be disappointed. Start with something simple like creating a blogging strategy and here are the steps you need to accomplish that.

Step #6 Identify Your Influencers

Influencers are anyone internally or externally that are passionate about your product. Find them and engage them to build a relationship. You can do this by setting up a Google alert on specific keywords like your brand name which will send you an e-mail every time that word is found on the web.

Step #7 Identify Your Knowledge Experts

Within your company there are specialists who are experts on engineering, testing, customer support, marketing, etc… your product and brand. Ask them if they would be willing to participate and help write content and share their knowledge in their respective field of expertise.

Step #8 Communicating Your Plan

Communicating your plan, your strategy and you goals is critical to your success. You will need to communicate often in the beginning and then at least once a month to keep the momentum rolling.

Step #9 Measuring Results

If you are starting from scratch like I did then you likely don’t have much of a budget to help implement some nice products that make this easier. Instead I relied on Google, tags, href statements and bitly links which believe it or not worked pretty well.

Step #10 Know Your Business

Knowing your business and customer base will be instrumental in building your plan. This will help you determine which marketing and or social media programs to engage first and which ones will have the most immediate impact.

As far as I remember and this was about four years ago, these were the steps that I took to build a successful social media plan before there were any models available. This worked for our team and hope this type of information works for you.


About bracerennels
Retired from corporate. Previous experience assisting companies implement disruptive engagement marketing strategies to evolve community, collaboration and corporate communications. Provide strategic and executive leadership to transform traditional marketing programs into modern social engagement and improved customer experience. Currently scheduled to speak at the Argyle Executive Forum NYC Nov 5th and will entertain other speaking, advisory or consulting opportunities as time allows.

3 Responses to 10 Steps for Creating a Social Media Plan

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention 10 Steps for Creating a Social Media Plan « Brace Yourself -- Topsy.com

  2. This a great article and it makes some great points. I often feel that companies launch into social media without developing a plan or a strategy. Would you launch a marketing campaign without having a plan? I don’t think many companies would. My favorte step is “measuring results.” I think many companies often get frustrated with their social media platforms whether it be crowdsouring or an online community because they don’t develop a proper strategy. INgage Networks recommends that all of the companies they work with have a plan and we ensure that the social media software we recommend fits into their plan.

    INgage Networks has been accommodating various social media trends, including community, crowdsourcing, and social mobile for 10+ years. Our ELAvate Community software is an online community with a full set of social media features including the ability to get your target audience talking about common interests and your brand. To take a look at our ELAvate Community splash page, click here: http://www.ingagenetworks.com/elavate-community

    To see our customer success stories using ELAvate Community as well as our other ELAvate Business Services, please visit this page http://www.ingagenetworks.com/customers.

  3. Pingback: Unsure About Social Media? You Aren’t Alone – A few Starting Points | AnyGeo - GIS, Maps, LBS, Geo and Social Location Technology

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