Social Media Action Planning: An easy and practical guide for you

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Image courtesy of Startup Stock Photos at Pexels.com

Maybe you know a lot of digital marketing. Maybe you have trained in the best schools and you know the best techniques. Maybe you’re aware of the avant-garde trends (and you’re even able to predict which ones are coming.) That’s all very well. However, if you are not able to articulate all that knowledge in a plan of action, in addition to having the great ability to analyze specific cases and being able to solve their problems, perhaps you are not as good as you think. One of the aspects of digital marketing in which more people make this mistake is planning. A good example, and this is what we are going to analyze here, is social media action plans.

It is not necessary to be an expert in any discipline to know that lack of planning, especially if it goes along with a lack of knowledge of one’s own abilities and shortcomings, is the best recipe for failure. In fact, only a pinch of common sense is needed to realize this. Without a plan of action, you will not even know what tools are useful in each specific case, since every project is different. If there are contingencies — and this is pretty common — you simply have all the odds against you.

So, let’s talk about how to develop a good social media action plan. And the first thing to keep in mind is what goals you want to achieve. A plan of action is really a consequence of the objectives that you plan. Finding those goals, in fact, is an art within an art. So, go find them as a starting point.

The second thing to consider is to understand the nature of an action plan. It defines the environment of channels, as well as the initiatives and tactics to implement in each case.

Understood this, we are going to analyze a five moments step-by-step that you should take into account in order to elaborate your own plan. Of course, none of these principles are mandatory rules. The particular circumstances and conditions of your business or your brand are a priority, and these principles are just a point of reference.

Before opening any account, choose the channels you intend to use. All are different and aim at different goals. Do not open all possible accounts in the social media. Remember your goals, and keep in mind that each social network has a different audience, with clear expectations of what they want to find there.

Once you are clear regarding the channel through which you want to transmit the information, then you can think about what you are going to transmit. Content is the soul, the essence, which makes you different from your competitors in the social media. The differential factor is not the appearance, but what you transmit, which your clients are looking for, for example, in Google. This is the most important part of your social media action plan, not only because without quality content you would have nothing to do but because when you know what you have, you can know what to do with it.

This content can be structured by a simple sequential method: Positioning, tone and calendar. First, ask yourself how your customers will find what you have to offer them, besides thinking about what problems they have, that you can solve through your product or service. Second, the tone, has to do with the emotional factor that will go with your message (fun, serious, professional, etc.) Finally, the calendar is reduced to setting your goals and tactics to reach them in the short, medium and long term.

Read also: Setting the right expectations for digital marketing strategies, by ReputationDefender

This is the time to define and assign responsibilities; the way you delegate roles to your work team and set rules that everyone must meet. Here it is also essential to draw a social media guideline. This is a manual that you write about what you are going to do on each social network, what content you are going to publish there, how, by whom and for whom. In addition, it includes who approves the content to be published. To make a guideline, of course, it is important that you know how each social network operates, how you gain more visibility and traffic and what you should not do.

This is what you are going to do every day on all your social networks. It is necessary to establish who will be the community manager in charge, of course.

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Image Courtesy of Mark Smiciklas at Flickr.com

The Keys Performance Indicators will help you to know whether you have achieved your goals or not, as well as what problems you have had and what you have been successful with. This is basically monitoring and metrics.

This is a basic introduction. If you want to go deeper into creating social media action plans, check this webinar.

Recommended: 6 Social Media Templates to Save You Hours of Work

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