How does one create a social media business plan for any business, including a social networking website? In essence, a business plan has goals, strategies and specific plans to achieve its objectives. (Find info about how to create a social network business plan, a plan to launch and grow a niche social network, here.)
A social media business plan has the same goal setting, strategy, and tactics. What are the steps to create a social medial business plan? How do you measure results?
Social Media Business Plan Steps
Cory Williamson of Checkerboard Strategic Web Development has put together a good presentation on how to create a social media business plan. Click the top image to view it on Slideshare. He identifies 6 steps which I summarize below.
- Write down how and where news and information is circulated online in your niche, what social networks your industry uses, and what influences your clients. If your clients are corporate, for example, Linkedin may be critical.
- Think about what marketing channels you already use, like email, direct mail, online ads, newsletters. And about how you might integrate social media into them. For example, you might add social media links to emails.
2. Describe Your Ideal Clients
- You already have an idea who your clients are and what they are interested in. Also make that specific with demographic data on age, sex, income, and geography.
- Determine major social networks where that demographic interacts.
- Think about your clients’ attitudes, opinions and interests.
- Summarize their behavior with respect to loyalty habits, desired benefits and buying patterns.
3. Listen to Your Niche
- Set up social media presences for your business on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to stake out your brand on these important sites.
- Monitor social media activity using Google Alerts, social mention.com, and Twitter search. You can also use fee-based sites like Radian6 or SM2 and specific measurement tools like Facebook page evaluation tools.
- Search social networks using your main keywords to identify relevant influencers, competitors, news sources and blogs to follow closely.
- Build your brand
- Increase specific product or service revenues
- Provide leads
- Improve your website’s ranking with the search engines
- Promote business partnerships
- Further specific website goals like email opt-ins, white paper downloads, or email signups.
5. Contribute and Respond
- Create an editorial calendar, including days and times to post, content or themes, and type of content for each (videos, images, news posts, guest posts, research posts.)
- Set aside time each day or week to engage in social media activities, what my friend Peggy Duncan calls “social media pauses” in your other activities.
- Be transparent and authentic as you create updates and respond to others.
- “Think conversation, not campaign” as Cory Williamson says.
- Execute the content calendar faithfully, interact regularly and evaluate results monthly.
6. Measure Results
Depending on your specific goals in step 1, your results may be either nonfinancial or financial. Non-financial goals encompass as website traffic, fan growth and more. Financial results include sales, transactions, and coupon usage. Measurement and monitoring is a complex topic that starts with basic Google Analytics for marketers. We’ll do another post on measurement shortly.
Social Media Business Plan for a Real Estate Broker
Here is an example of a rather comprehensive social media plan for a real estate broker. Click on the image to go to Slideshare and view it.
How do you measure your social media activity? Why not share your thoughts in a comment?