Marketing Series: Social Media Strategy Plan (Tool and Tool Introduction)

This post is to introduce the worksheet for your social media strategy plan. I’m approaching it as a strategy plan, rather than just a static checklist. The main reason is that I don’t think that social media is static, and because of that, I want to share with you how to do the strategy and not just create a task list. Although, I’ll cover both.

What I’m writing about here is basically how I approach my social media strategy planning.

There are a number of factors that you might consider when coming up with your strategy plan, and I’ll say this upfront. I highly recommend that you spend the time to revisit your plan periodically. Most of the strategy (and why I seem to be pretty good at what I do) is that I treat my marketing plan as both an experiment and an action plan, where I re-evaluate and change what I’m doing from time to time.

First things first

I’m going to talk about something that really annoys me when other people do it, but I’m going to do it anyway. My apologies in advance. I’m going to talk about goals. I find this annoying because it feels static and artificial and …. blah. Unfortunately, I also know that it is extremely useful. I reframe goals in my head as directions, like North, South, East, or West. In my mind this seems more fluid and flexible than a goal. However, you want to think about it, as goals, benchmarks, directions, or whatever, it is vital that you do so.

I will talk about my strategy planning for a sec

So I like to head in the direction of finding my “true” audience, my “tribe.” This “tribe” is the people who will potentially like to read what I’m writing and my fellow creatives. When I post something and send it to the hashtag-verse, I imagine that I am sending a bottle into the ocean of the interwebs hoping to find my people. My more goal-directed husband would say that my goal is to get followers who like my content.

Another direction that I am headed towards is having conversations with my tribe, my people. Some might unpoetically call it increasing my engagement.

Another direction that I head towards is matchmaking. I live for matchmaking. Writers to readers. Readers to stories. Editors, illustrators, and designers to writers. Collaborators to collaborators. Human connections make my world a sunny, shiny place. Some people might call this facilitating networking, but I like my sunny, shiny world better.

Let’s just use these three (goals) directions. Followers. Engagement. Networking. These are the areas that I look at to see if my posts are “effective.”

How much time do you have?

When you’re making your social media strategy plan, be realistic in how much time you have to maintain that profile. Whatever profile you spend your time on will do better. If you don’t have time to do Twitter 12-15 times a day, I recommend not doing it. In the game of marketing without a lot of money, you will need to spend time doing it. But, you can be smart about it. I’ll write more about this in future posts.

What social media accounts do you have? Can you reuse your posts?

When you’re coming up with a strategy, you’ll want to think about how to create a workflow that encourages reusing (if not just straight-up reposting) your social media. For example, I use WordPress. In WordPress, there is a feature where I can connect my WordPress blog to my Facebook Page. I can set it up so that when I post, there will be an automatic post on my Facebook page of the “caption” and the link to my blog post. I actually have control of that in my post publishing settings. So not only am I working on original content for my blog, I’m also producing content for my Facebook page. There are quite a number of apps where you can cross platform post.

(TIP: in addition to reusing posts, you’ll also want to spend a little time investing in content that is platform only. It’s good for engagement and followers. By doing this, you give people a reason to follow you on more than one platform.)

Developing a workflow plan

Although I think about this a lot, I don’t write it down every time I think about it. When I was first doing messaging in politics, I wrote it out a lot more than I do now. I’d draw little bubbles, clouds, arrows, etc. I recycled the paper long ago or else I’d show you them as examples, but instead, I’ll be replicating the process for you. Now-a-days, I tend to visualize it more and hope that I remember what I was thinking, but if I run into a hiccup of some sort, I find it helpful to be more formal about it. So you can do it either way, just think about it and go with the flow of the workflow or be more formal about it and draw it out, depending on what feels right to you at any given time.

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