The Social Media Marketing Plan: 12 Critical Questions for Planners

The Social Media Marketing Plan: 12 Critical Questions for Planners

Faced with the request to create a social media marketing plan for your organization?

Crafting a defensible social media marketing plan can be time-consuming and even frustrating if you don't have a good framework to build your social media plan around. By considering the right questions up front you'll set yourself up for success.

The following 12 questions are helpful to consider when creating your social media marketing plan. Thoughtfully answer these questions before you jump in and start posting content, engaging with customers and orchestrating conversations around your brand.

  1. What are our strategic vision and business goals for social?
  2. What does integrating social mean for our organization?
  3. From a marketing and operations perspective where does social fit?
  4. What are realistic objectives to pursue?
  5. What's our social channel mix?
  6. What role does each social channel serve and what's our approach to each?
  7. How will we measure success?
  8. What content should we invest in?
  9. What else should we invest in?
  10. How do we get people to share?
  11. What's the 90-day plan?
  12. What's next on the 12-month horizon?

By taking a methodical and analytical approach you'll be prepared to measure social media marketing tactics and analyze results, learn what really works for your business and ultimately understand the relationship of social marketing programs to your business objectives. However, having consensus on the right social media strategy for your brand is critical to making smart decisions as you gain momentum and grow your social media programs. Plan accordingly and get your internal and external stakeholders on board before just doing something for the sake of doing something.

We've used these questions to help many of our clients define their strategy for social media marketing. Jenny Craig is a great example of a client where TNG worked with the internal teams to uncover their vision for both social media and the business goals it should support. As TNG and Jenny Craig teams worked through and clarified the vision, the action plan and success metrics for Jenny Craig's social media program became obvious.

An additional concept also worth considering is the bigger-picture opportunity that developing a social media marketing plan brings up. What I mean is the bigger picture of social business and what else you should be considering beyond just social media marketing.

For example, think about what it means to integrate social into the way your brand conducts business. Consider what this means, for example, in the context of driving real business innovation and connecting people globally to harness the collective intelligence of your organization. Social can play an important role. We have the opportunity to do some pretty cool work in this area; fun work when you have a great partnership and can take the time to dig for meaningful insights to drive your strategy.

More to come on the topic of social business design in future posts, but hopefully for now this set of 12 questions for developing your social media marketing plan and sketch of social business integration concepts gets your mind crank turning.