Building Your Social Media Plan

Social MediaLast week Unlimited Priorities participated in the NFAIS Webinar “Building Your Social Media Plan”. This was the third in the series “Successful Strategies for Email and Social Media Marketing.” All were well run and packed with useful information.

The webinar was Hosted by Cari Sultanik, Director, Interactive Account Management at FulcrumTech, and covered what you need to do before launching a social marketing campaign on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

Here’s our takeaways:

You need develop a relationship marketing mindset. You are engaging and interacting with your customers, meeting them where they are. Don’t try to lure them somewhere else. Listen for feedback, issues and complaints, prospect opportunities, PR opportunities, advertising feedback, competitive insights and industry trends.

Building a social media strategy involves four parts:

  • People:Assess your prospects’ and customers’ social activities. People fall into groups. You want to reach the spectators (the largest group). The way to do that is through the influencers (the creators, critics and collectors).
  • Objectives: Decide what you want to accomplish. It’s best to start with a single objective.
  • Strategy: Plan for how relationships with customers will change and design campaigns and monitoring plans. Strategy means figuring out what will be different after your plan is in place. Because social media is changing rapidly, it’s best to start small, with a short time frame and revise it every few months.
  • Technology: Decide which social technologies to use. Besides the large ones like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Blogs don’t ignore the smaller ones like Pinterest, Instagrom , Flickr, Foursquare, Quora, Fling, Yelp, Get Satisfaction, Slideshare and discussion boards such as vBulletin.

The People-Objectives-Strategy-Technology or POST comes from Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, by Charlene Li and Josh Bernhoff, which Cari highly recommends reading.

Don’t forget about content. It’s the content that people are interested in. Build a content plan for each of your channels. Look for interesting content and engaging topics. Don’t be afraid to go “off topic” — humor, charity, and inspiration all work well to engage followers. Monitor closely for feedback, positive and negative. Be open to “curating” content that will be valuable to your audience. Consider offers, promotions and user-generated content.

And, importantly, measure as much as you can. There’s more to the “R” in ROI than just financial numbers. Some of the things to look for are customer insights, improved segmentation changes in brand awareness, increased sentiment ratings, higher quantity/quality of responses to offers, increased customer advocacy, better brand trust perception, higher customer satisfaction, and increased loyalty.

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