The first step to take when creating a social media plan is to understand and establish your goals and objectives that you would like to achieve.

Creating a social media plan

These objectives enable you to quickly react to campaigns that aren’t running so well. Without these targets, there is no way of gauging if a campaign is working or not – it could go on forever with you knowing the return on investment.

You don’t want to get carried away with goal-setting though. Having too many objectives can be worse than having none at all. Try to limit yourself to two primary and two secondary goals. A primary goal could be to bring in leads or increase your brand presence. Where a secondary goal could be to build your list of newsletter subscribers or generate more traffic to your website. Once these objectives have been established, you can choose what social networking sites to use.

Step two involves a social media audit. You should take a look at your current social media activities and find out how well they are working for you. This includes discovering what channels your target market uses, how your presence compares to that of your competitors and who is following you. This will uncover what sites need more work.

Step three encourages you to hone your online presence. Complete all of your profiles, explore new features and even try new channels. If this means building from the ground up, so be it. If you do have existing profiles however, it’s time to update and refine them to get the best results.

Step four involves finding your social voice and tone. If you’re stuck, you may want to take a look at how your competitors post. You can find out what gets the best engagement and what content types work. Don’t neglect your followers, as they can be equally as inspiring. The types of content they post and the way they phrase certain posts can give you things to think about.

Step five delves deeper into the content itself. This is with the idea of creating and filling a content calendar. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of content are you going to post?
  • How often will you post it?
  • How can you target specific audiences with the content?
  • Who will create each piece?
  • How will you promote it?

When it comes to the ‘how often do I post?’ question. The answer lies between consistently and not enough to annoy your followers.

Read and comment on the original Entrepreneur article.