Planning your social media program: what you need to know

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Planning your social media program: what you need to know

Not sure how to start planning your social media program?

In this blog, we’re going to tackle the often missed step in social media success: the plan.

Before you begin a social media program, consider the following:

  • What is the objective of the social media program?
  • How will you integrate social media into existing marketing and communications?
  • How will it support your overall business goals?
  • What resources are available?
  • Do you have a budget?
  • What does success look like or what expectations do you have?

Next step is thinking about your audience and where they are online. Which social channels and tactics you will use? And how will you bring value to your audience?

Think about the following:

  • Which types of content will you create? (news articles, images, blogs, video)
  • How frequently will you be available online?
  • Will you be engaging regularly?
  • How will you monitor social media?
  • How will you respond?
  • Who will be involved in development? (which departments? internal? external?)

If you’re unsure of where to begin, a good plan is to start within your company. What do you specialize in? Which industry do you belong to? No matter your industry, you likely have things that happen cyclically; try building a content calendar around that. For example, if you work for a police agency you know that there are certain times of year when you need to communicate key messages (e.g.: holidays – drinking/driving, school year start – speeding in playground zones etc.) Leading up to these events you could develop a campaign around the idea of community outreach to educate and inform your key audiences. When you’re ready to develop content for your social media program, always think about how it will add value to your audience.

Other types of themes to consider:

  • Key industry dates
  • Key company dates
  • National/International Awareness days
  • News that affects your industry/company

Create an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar will allow you to look at your social media campaign several months out and plan for the release of specific content and information.

Save time and use scheduling software. Buffer, Hootsuite and other scheduling tools allow you to automate your content (meaning you do not have to manually post to social networks daily; messages go out automatically on the days and times you decide.) However, please don’t set it and forget it. Make sure you’re checking on content and engaging as the opportunity presents itself.

Other Blogs:

What is a social media competitive analysis and why does my small business need one?
How should businesses create a plan for social media and how will they track their success?
Social media training: where to start

Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data and insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.