Social Media Planning Guide / checklist

Social/Digital Media: Planning is the key to your success

Launching a social media campaign as a key component of your marketing and traditional media strategy can have valuable positive results.

If not well planned, however, with measureable objectives for your target audiences, your social media campaign will be an expensive, embarrassing flop.

Executives should resist the call from others to, “hey, let’s get this out on social media!” Stop right there. Instead, follow these guidelines:

Set your objectives.

Your campaign’s measurable objectives may be …

  • Planning for a crisis
  • Crisis response (if you haven’t done the above, right?)
  • New product launch
  • New business development; lead generation
  • Sales (or, to shorten the sales cycle)
  • Major organizational milestone announcement
  • News!
  • Developing a competitive advantage
  • Branding or rebranding; brand defense
  • Behavior change

What else? Be creative!

  • Determine the specific target audience or audiences to which you want to communicate.
    • Know their age, gender preferences, income, education, language proficiencies, ethnicity, marital and family status, political biases, buying, eating and leisure habits, employment, and a host of other characteristics (height, weight, eye-color? Sure). The more the better.
  • In your plan, be equally specific about what action you want your target audiences to take, what behaviors you want them to change, by when, and for how long.
    • Determine the metrics for change measurement
  • With support from market/consumer research, identify and market test the messaging that will move the audience to your desired actions (as stated in your objectives).
    • To those who warn you that “market research is too expensive,” ask them if they would please calculate the cost of the campaign’s failure.
  • Identify the social media platforms with which your target audiences interact. There are hundreds. However, because you have narrowed down your specific target audience and know them intimately, and know the messaging that will motivate them, you are able to select the right social media platform that will move the needle.
  • Assign responsibility and authority for managing the campaign, knowing that frequency of posting is essential to cut through the clutter and reach your objectives.

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