Start Building Your 2018 Social Media Plan
Updated: Nov 20, 2017
Get ready to throw some of those social media techniques you’ve used to reach and engage audiences out the door or at least be prepared to make some major modifications.
Social media is set to cause even more disruption as it incorporates new technologies, more governance and new policies. Worldwide access, the use of mobile devices, and other innovations have empowered social media platforms so they have become immersed into a business’ overall strategy. As a result, the approach you take on your social media platforms in 2018 has the potential to ripple throughout the organization.
Since the size of social media platforms has grown as well as the audience your social media planning will involve more work, more foresight, and more input from key staff as well as the social media team. It will mean taking a deeper dive into what you have done in order to know what you will need to do to help propel the company forward. As a manager of your company’s social media, your understanding will have to extend beyond the basics of a simple post. You will need to reach further to understand what has and what has not worked with your business as well as your competitors, it will require you to understand the trends and stay aware of the latest technologies as well as putting these technologies to the test.
Before you begin developing a plan you must do your research. Once you’ve completed the research you can create a solid plan.
Step 1. Identify your core platforms. Know your core platforms, and then examine what you’ve done on those social media platforms. Ideally, you want to take a look at the content and metrics over the past five years; however, one year is sufficient. Reviewing the metrics will help you determine the key performance indicators that are significant to your organization.
Step 2. Examine what competitors have done. Try to see what competitors have been up to at least during the past year. You can choose between three and five competitors, but the key is to identify the platforms they use, the amount of followers they have, frequency of their post, and how they’ve incorporated social media into their marketing campaigns. However, don’t forget to examine the one thing that can get neglected even by the brand itself: the comments. Read the comments. The information provided here can benefit your plan and approach on your platforms tremendously.
Step 3. Integrate new technologies trends and demographics.
This will make all the difference. The more well-informed you are about what’s occurring in your industry and beyond, the more you will be able to achieve success. Some trends and demographics changes to keep at the forefront of your planning include augmented and virtual reality, live streaming, image recognition, chatbots that simulate real conversations, and Generation Z’s entrance into the workforce.
Crafting a Solid Social Media Plan
Step 4. Hold Brainstorming Sessions with the Team.Once you’ve identified what you and your competitors have done, schedule brainstorming meetings with your social media team. This is when you want to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), set Smart, Measurable, Agreed-upon, Realistic, and Time-based (SMART) goals, and identify key organic and paid strategies that incorporate new technologies, trends, and demographics. Upon reaching a consensus, consider a second brainstorming meeting that includes department heads, such as sales, and identify their goals, so you have a thorough enterprise-wide focus in your plan.
Step 5. Write the Plan. Now, it’s time to take your analyses and ideas from your meeting and put them together to craft a solid social media plan. Breakdown your activities. In your plan, you will want to discuss or identify the core platforms and why it aligns with your strategy and what you hope to achieve; the types of content that will be used; the time allocated to each platform, and the team members' activities; and what items will impact the budget, such as the paid strategy, freelancers, graphic design, etc.
Step 6. Write the summary. Now that you have put together a plan of action, solidify your pitch with a summary that includes how you plan to reach your goals and measure your efforts.
Remember, a social media plan is a worthwhile investment. Platforms are constantly growing and constantly changing to meet user’s needs. So, make sure to review the plan each month, and make updates where needed as you incorporate new ideas and new technologies.