Building an Effective Social Media Plan

by Jason Mollica on March 24, 2010

Five Ways to Implement Your Social Media Plan

By Jason Mollica

Everyone is diving into the social media pool nowadays.  At some point you have probably been asked, “Are you on Facebook?” or “Do you use Twitter?” At Carr Marketing Communications, we have been on the social media bandwagon for some time.  It has provided a new avenue to network and offer information to the public and news media.

As more and more companies engage in social media, it is important to think about how you will handle your own social media channels.  How many times a day will you post?  What will you do to respond to those who may criticize you?  Here are five ways to help you effectively put your own plan into place.

  1. Research – See which social media work for you by looking into what other companies are doing.  Instead of jumping into Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, put a focus on one or two that seem to be good for you.  A decision can always been made to add rather than subtract.
  2. Establish a social media policy – You need to make certain this policy is in place to offer guidelines to employees on the proper way to engage in conversations online.  Microsoft’s Channel 9 Doctrine is a good guide.  During this period, you can also determine how much time will be spent participating on each site, which will help to measure success. In addition, it is a good idea to read the Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMMA) guide to disclosure in social media marketing. This guide will assist in making sure you are using the best practices in your efforts.
  3. Think before you post – Don’t just post something at random.  Make your posts valuable and conversational. Read blogs, news sites and e-mails first, then post something you think others will find interesting. It’s about quality, not quantity.  You will find the posts that generate the most retweets or comments on Facebook are the ones that make people think.
  4. Play favorites – Start following people in your field.  This is a great way to not only gain knowledge, but to also see what your competition is doing to engage their customers. It is also an excellent way to gain followers.   And that leads to …
  5. Don’t Give Up – Take one step at a time to build your company’s follower base. After a month of being on Twitter and Facebook, you may see your follower count at 20, while similar companies may be at 200.   Not to worry.  The more active and engaging you are as an organization, the more likely people are going to follow you.  On Facebook, a good place to start is to search for former and current colleagues.

One last point, you do not have to be a social media pro right off the bat.  The more experience you gain from using Facebook and Twitter, the more comfortable you will feel.  A Web site like Mashable is also valuable tool.

If you have questions, reach out to us.  We are more than happy to help make your social media journey as smooth as possible.