Picture yourself in a room. Fifteen feet in front of you is a wall-sized map of the country. In your hand, a dart. You take aim, throw the dart and where ever it lands, that’s the destination of your upcoming summer road trip.
It’s a somewhat risky, albeit romantic way to plan a summer road trip. Since it’s a vacation regardless of where you’re going, the risk is rather low. The same shot-in-the-dark approach, however, is not recommended for your organization’s social media plan. Unfortunately, that is all too often the way many organizations decide to leap into the promising world of new media. They start an account or three, task a couple interns with monitoring those accounts, maybe post a video or two, and hope that interested users will come flocking to their cause.
You might get lucky and see some success with that approach. For the rest of us, we need plans and strategies just like we’d have with any other campaign. The following are a few components a healthy social media plan should have BEFORE you open that Twitter account or start building your Facebook page…
- A Social Audit – A process that determines where you and your allies and/or competition are in their application of social media tools
- A Social Strategy – This is the document that details where you want to go and what you want to accomplish with your social media efforts
- Guidelines – A short document that gives all users a set of tools and details how they should use those tools to get to where you want to go