Social Media Planning, In 4 Phases

Part of my commitment on this blog (and a commitment I require every Like Minds speak to fulfil) is providing IDEA: inspiration, decision-making information, examples, and calls to action.

Today I’m just dishing out some decision making information to assist you in drawing up Social Media programs.

What follows are 4 phases from 50,000 to the ground. Note: this is just what goes into planning. This isn’t even touching execution – it’s just the fore-thought that we go through when we work with our clients and on Like Minds.

Phase 1: 50,000 – 40,000 feet

Vision, Mission, Objectives. Above the line stuff. This should click into an organisation’s existing vision and then extend into mission and objectives for your Social Media program.

Goals. What are the metrics that your stake holders (whoever they maybe) want to see? Conversions, clicks, signups, sentiment change, intent change.

Recommended reading:

Phase 2: 40,000 – 20,000 feet

Profile Audience and Participation Levels. Your offline audience is not your online audience, and your online audience is not your Social Media audience. The Forrester Groundwell tool is very good for this, as are the other links we have below. Know what your audience will and won’t do.

Strategy and Social Media Presence Type. This isn’t about using Facebook or not. This is about your positioning yourself.

Lift Restrictions. What do I mean with this? I mean providing your audience with something they didn’t have before. It’s about purpose, and creating benefit for participation. There’s more in the links below on this.

Recommended reading:

Phase 3: 20,000 feet – 5,000 feet

PRE Stance. The way you engage through your Social Media Presence Type, as gauged by varying levels of Personal, Relational and Expertise.

Organisational Structure, Management Workflow. To implement your strategy, who is needed, and who will report to who to get what needs to got? How will this flow on a monthly, weekly and day-to-day basis?

Identifying Sneezers / Influencers / Opinion Leaders. In my experience, you need to know who is going to start spreading word of mouth and word of mouse for you. Seth Godin’s manifesto on this is excellent, timeless, and more relevant now than ever.

Recommended reading:

Phase 4: 5,000 to on the ground

Guidelines. My agency manages Social Media for brands. Social Media can be outsourced. This document provides accountability and direction for the guys on the ground handling the day-to-day.

Training, Internal Coms. Naturally, you need to train staff, and get them talking to each other. Regular communication very important.

Reporting, Measurement. So now we need to do the work of measuring the metrics that our goals are all about, and then drawing analysis. You need to plan this – not just tackle it when you get to it.

Recommended reading:

Wrapping It Up

Got anything else to add?

  • good work. I’m coming from an advertising/marketing perspective so at the end we look for ‘outcomes’, albeit incremental.
    So the flow is: goal > wisdom > action > status

  • Scott Gould

    Totally. For personal accounts, this stuff doesn’t matter – but when my agency works with businesses, we’ve made sure we can replicate success again and again.

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