Getting Social: Social Media Plan
May 30, 2017
Welcome to Part 2 of Getting Social, an iClassPro original blog series. In this post, we will teach you how to develop your own social media plan in order to effectively achieve your social media goals.
Getting Social: Social Media Plan
Most business owners set up their social media accounts, prop their feet, and kick back. While social media is a great tool, tools don’t work miracles by themselves. As a business owner, your social media networks are the tools you use to more effectively reach your audience. Simply having a Facebook or Twitter will not suffice as effective communication with your audience.
In order to communicate on social media efficiently and effectively, you must develop a plan. Who is your target audience? What networks will help you reach them best? What message are you trying to send? All of these things need to be mapped out and thought through if you want social media to work for you. Let’s get started!
Understanding Your Target Audience
The first step to communicating effectively goes back to the foundational principle of getting your message in to the ears (or eyes) of the correct audience. This foundational step is often overlooked which leads to failed social media campaigns. In order to reach your audience, you first must understand where they are. Step back and think about what you would like to say through social media and who is it that you need to say it to?
For example, let’s say you have a gym that caters to body building men. Your clientele may primarily be between the ages of 30 and 40 living within 10 miles of your gym. These customers you are trying to communicate with would be considered your target audience.
On the other hand, imagine a gym that caters to children. In this case your clientele may primarily be between the ages of 3 and 13. However, it is not these children that you want to communicate with. It is their parents that you want to communicate with. Therefor, the parents become your target audience.
The Best Social Media Sites for You
In order to gain a basic understanding of your audience, it is wise to map out general demographics: age, location, income, etc. But, to gain a wholistic understanding you need to ask yourself questions. “What social media sites do my target audience likely use most?” And “what kind content might my target audience like to see of their social media sites?” Understanding your target audience is all about meeting them where they are. For example, it would be a complete waste of your time to have an Instagram account if none of your target audience is on Instagram.
Social media trends are always changing and it can seem overwhelming to keep up. A key to understanding social media networks is to have your own personal account. This will allow you to see what other people and businesses are doing and what you do and don’t like as a consumer yourself.
Social Media Objectives
Social media objectives are the messages you would like to get across and the general outcome you wish to accomplish. Defining your objectives gives you a direction for all the actions carried out on your social media accounts. A few examples of objectives are:
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase brand loyalty
- Increase customer communication
Some more specific objectives (that are more time sensitive) are:
- Increase summer camp enrollment
- Educate parents about new classes
- Personify the school
With each of these objectives, you may want to come up with specific strategies for carrying them out. For example,
- Increase brand awareness: Increase likes and activity on the Facebook page. Post images with the logo incorporated (to increase brand recognition). Post updates that convey the mission of the company.
- Personify the company: Share photos of employees enjoying their job. Write employee spotlight posts to give a “behind-the-scenes” look at the operation.
Social Media Goals
After you know what kind of message you want to send (your objectives) you want to develop goals. These goals will help you track the success of your communication. Your goals should be SMART
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Time Sensitive
Increase brand awareness:
Increase likes and activity on the Facebook page.
Goal: Obtain a 20% increase in page likes over the next 3 months.
Goal: See a 30% increase in post interaction over the next 3 months
Post images with the logo incorporated (to increase brand recognition).
Goal: Post one image a week that incorporates the logo over the next 2 months.
Post updates that convey the mission of the company.
Goal: Post weekly about to convey the mission in various ways over the course of the next 2 months.
Personify the company:
Share photos of employees enjoying their job.
Goal: Post one photo every two weeks of employees in various departments for the next 3 months.
Write employee spotlight posts.
Goal: Post bi-weekly employee spotlights for the nest 6 months.
As seen in this example, all goals have specifics, are measurable, are able to be achieved, are realistic in their scope, and are time sensitive. At the end of each goals designated time period, there should be an evolution process before renewing the goal or instilling a new goal.
A marketing plan will help you communicate with your target audience but it does not promise miracle results right away. The last part of your plan should be a method of evaluation. Upon evaluation, it may be necessary to adjust the plan (by selecting a new network or changing objectives). On the other hand, you may be satisfied with your results and wish to keep pressing forward (by renewing your goals). Recommended evaluation periods are between 3 and 6 months but may be up to a year.
Social Media networks are fluid—always shifting and changing. As a business owner, it is crucial to be adaptable and open minded. A social media guide can be extremely helpful but should not be considered concrete. If something is not working, a social media plan may need to be scrapped and re-written at any moment. Metering and adaptability are key to the ever changing nature of social networks. Remember, be patient. Social media is only a marathon not a sprint. It will likely take some time to gauge and learn how to best communicate with your target audience, but we know it will be well worth your time.
Part 3: Getting Social: Building Brand Loyalty