I've been doing a lot of 2010 planning for my clients for whom we run their social media tools. My team and I have been coming up with some really creative ideas to make social media work for our clients in the coming year.
So I thought this would be a good topic for a blog post: planning for social media. What? Plan, you say? Who plans for Twitter or Facebook? I just write what's on my mind at the moment, right? Well, yes... sometimes. That's perfectly fine for individuals using these tools, but when considering running and promoting a business on social media, let's think a little further ahead, OK a LOT further ahead!
Just like any other marketing tool or campaign, you want to plan if you really want it to be successful, and now is the perfect time to plan for next year. So what do you need to think about?
- Make sure you have goals in mind for what you'd like social media to accomplish for you and use that to guide your planning.
2) Your Brand
- Do you have a social media brand? It might be your company brand or it might be a slightly different brand to better capture the attention of folks on social media. Many businesses don't play well on social media, as they just don't sound interesting to follow. For example, we've branded a cleaning company we work with on social media as Squeaky Clean, so they have the Squeaky Clean blog and they're Squeaky_Clean
on Twitter. Maybe you need to change up your brand. Make it fun and interesting but still underscore your company's message.
3) What Did/Didn't Work This Year?
Take a good hard look at what brought you good name recognition, media coverage, web site hits and even sales. If it didn't do any of those things and you put a good effort toward it, dump it! What worked well? Do more of that.
4) Think Big!
Don't just think "What will I tweet next year?" (though that's not a bad idea either :)); think bigger. Work in 2-4 fun promotions, contests, parties and initiatives you can run throughout the year to increase your followers/readers/viewers/fans, expand awareness of your business, garner traditional media coverage, and generally keep your audience engaged, interested and excited about your brand.
5) Get down to the minutia
- We also plan our clients' blog posts, Tweets and Facebook posts ahead of time. Of course, there's still plenty of room for real-time engagement, but we've thought out 80% of what will be posted to make sure its interesting, entertaining, informative and underscores the company's brand. For Twitter and Facebook, plan a week's worth of posts at a time. For blogs, put together a 3 month schedule of content (you can always add more timely news as it happens). For YouTube, plan what videos you'll produce and post throughout the next year and set deadlines for filming and editing. You don't have to be a production company, but use your Flip camera and Windows Movie Maker to get you started.
Do you plan for social media? Will you plan for 2010? What will you change, drop or add? Share with us your planning methods.