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Creating a Social Media Plan

by Jennifer Stewart | Mar 27, 2013 | Advice

Using a third party to handle your social media posts for your company is dumb. There, I said it. And actually, I’m not the only person who is saying it. So why are companies still doing it? I’m guessing it’s due to many business owners’ mixture of fear and ignorance about how social media works for companies and how to handle it without compromising the company’s reputation. So rather than explain why you shouldn’t let another company post your social media messages, I’ll give you some tools for how to handle it yourself.

The first thing to grasp is that social media is social. Seems obvious, but few people understand that. It’s about people talking to people, just like you and your employees do every day. This is why having your employees handle your social media should not be scary — they are already acting as representatives of your company in every email, every phone call, every meeting, and every networking event, so social media isn’t that different.

The second thing you need to grasp is that social media is just like any other marketing your company does and therefore you will need a marketing plan. This plan will not only help you market your company appropriately, but also alleviate any anxiety you have about handing over your social media keys to an employee. This plan can be as in-depth or light as you feel comfortable with, but here are some basic questions to help you build it.

  1. Who is your audience? Who do you expect to follow your company and who do you want to follow. Knowing who you are talking to will help you determine what content to post. Also give some thought to who your company will follow because this represents who you support.
  2. What is you voice? You are not your company, so the company itself needs to have a voice, an attitude, a personality. If it helps, create a character for social media so that people have a personality to focus on. This will also help you determine what your company does and does not say as well as the topics the company talks about.
  3. How often will you post? This will help you determine how much time you can expect your employees to put into social media. Frequent posting is recommended, but understand that it also takes more time from your team.
  4. How do we deal with complaints? Take some time to discuss bad scenarios and how you will handle those situations. Don’t write the exact words, but put some procedures in place and trust your employees to use good judgement. If you can’t trust your employees to be kind to your customers, then you have more problems than social media management.

The one thing a third party social media company can do well is help you formulate an in-depth plan complete with content topics, frequency suggestions, ongoing advice based on your fan data, and training for employees that may not be social media savvy. If you talk to a social media management company and they simply want to take over for you, search elsewhere because your best social media team is right in your office.

 

Photo by Anthony Ryan

Jennifer Stewart is the Office Manager and wanna-be organizational psychologist at Modern Species. For more posts from her, click here.

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There is only one thing worse in the world than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.- Oscar Wilde