When people tell me they don’t know where to start to build a social media plan, including a larger strategy, I tell them to first create an editorial collage. While this might not seem like the most logical first step (after all, I’m neglecting goals, priorities, platform decisions, etc.), I find it to be the most effective way to build a comprehensive strategy; while people might name “my social media goal is X,” they often don’t know if that goal is social, so it’s best to map out the kinds of content you have to put out on social media and see if that content screams out “This is your goal!” Benefits include: accountability, identifying trends, % of resources, creativity enthusiasm, and forecasting.
First, identify the kinds of content you might post:
1. Does your content fall into categories (events, discussions, deadlines, questions, etc.)?
2. Does certain content feel more “real time” than others? (i.e time sensitive)
3. How many participants will you have posting and responding to social media?
Next, I suggest creating your goals that may resonate after mapping out the kinds of content you have. These goals should be specific and somewhat granular; most often, these are the kinds of goals that you can measure and track. Example: To get 100 people to register for this event at the conference. This is a goal worth monitoring on social. Of course, “to create awareness” might be the larger, umbrella goal, but you cannot say “I want to create awareness of my brand” as your social goal; it’s just too big and thus, difficult to measure. Once you have your goal(s) in line, you can begin mapping out an editorial collage that will lead to the goal you’ve identified.
I say “collage” because it’s a lot of line-drawing.
Take some time to jot down a lot of information (see below). Put it on different pieces of paper. Put it on a markerboard. Whatever allows you to be both messy and organized.
1. Identify all participants
2. Write down each and every item that has a date attached to it. Example: Conference is November 5th. Registration is October 19th.
3. Identify the best times of day to post (see upcoming post on tools to use for this analysis)
4. Identify your audience
5. Identify platforms
6. Identify tools (analytics, metrics, links)
This should help you see everything you’ve got. It’s messy, no doubt, but will give you all kinds of information to work with as you create a strategy and accompanying editorial calendar. Stay tuned for posts on strategy and editorial calendars! Before moving on…What do you do before you create a calendar? What does your “messy work” look like as you begin to put together your strategy?