social media plan

According to many experts, businesses who use social media to market their brands without a proper social media plan can be doing more damage than good.

Because we are strong advocates of using social media to strengthen businesses, we thought we would share some tips on building a good social media plan.

Creating a winning social media plan

There is no set social media plan that can universally work magic for all companies. However, here are some tips that will help your organization get started on creating a social media plan that works.

Establish your brand Before branching out on the actual marketing part, your company should have control of its identity on the social web. This means that your company should create all social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Tumblr, Flickr and everything else – under the same identity. You want members of every community you belong to to recognize you as the same organization in another community.

Understand your company’s social media goals Every company has different goals that they want to accomplish using social media. Some want to increase brand awareness. Others want to increase traffic. Increased web traffic, lead generation and more subscribers are some other goals that a business may want to achieve. Using social media without knowing your company’s goals for doing so will only lead to failure.

Determine which communities to build There are dozens of social media communities. Managing your company’s presence on every single one of them would take a lot of time. To not waste time in communities where no one would be interested in your brand, you must understand two things:

1. Your customers
Understand who they are and which communities they are “hanging out” on. Research your industry and competitors on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites and see where your customers, or potential customers are.

2. The communities
Every community operates differently. For example, if you are on Twitter, do you understand the hashtag etiquette, which tweets are appropriate to retweet, and who you should be following? Learning the rules of interaction on each community could save many misunderstandings and lots of time.

Listen to your customers and engage with them
According to Lisa Barone, Chief branding officer of Outspoken Media, “Your job in social media is to listen, to help and to get your message out only when appropriate. For every 10-15 messages where you help someone else, you get to include one that promotes yourself.” Listen to your customers and find out what they are saying about your brands. Understand what they are not satisfied with, and what would make them happy. Be helpful by engaging with them them and showing that you are listening. Leave comments on blogs, reply to tweets, and comment on Facebook wall posts.

Read more about these helpful tips here.

Have you heard about OneDesk’s built-in social media monitoring tool?

It allows you to search for what is being said about brands, products, services, industry and competitors on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and more. Having an integrated social media monitoring tool means that when you respond to social media comments, you reply will show up on the social media channel the comment was posted on. You can also bring the comments into OneDesk and get the whole development working on it. The result? Customer-created products or services that win in the marketplace.

We want to know: What does your organization do to ensure an effective social media plan?

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