Social media marketing is a relatively new concept, emerging from the dynamic growth of the social media landscape. Unlike traditional marketing, social media is geared towards engaging customers in a dialogue with the company. Yet, it is important to remember they both fall under the same broad umbrella of marketing. Just like any other type of marketing platform, to ensure the success of your efforts you need to lay down the appropriate foundations to guide your preparation and direction. To help you in this process, I’ll detail the similarities and differences between a traditional versus a social media plan that you must always take into consideration.
Similarities between traditional and social media plans
Prior to writing your plan, you should conduct extensive research on the needs of your customers (as they are the ones that make or break your business), your product or service, brand, company, competition, industry and the current social metrics.
Summary of findings
Create a detailed summary to help guide the direction of your plan. This ensures that you don’t overlook objectives, goals or strategies. This is a must for agencies needing to justify the direction of their plan to clients, particularly those who are new to social media and its effectiveness.
This refers to your business’s Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT). This is essential to determining the focus of your social media campaign, as well as its potential effectiveness. You need to make sure that your social media initiatives are viable given your resources and competitors.
Using your findings, you should be able to identify clear goals and objectives that are achievable for your business
Strategies & Tactics
Create a chart listing your strategies and tactics to achieve your strategy. Remember a strategy is the general ideas or options that you can consider to achieve the goal that set the direction and scope of your business. How are you going to get your target customer to spend money with you? What benefits are you going to deliver to them?
Tactics involve how you execute the strategy using the tools and resources available to you. For example:
Timeline & Calendars
A timeline will ensure you stay on top of various tactics. As the media landscape evolves at such a rapid rate, you should constantly reassess your goals, strategies and tactics every 2 to 3 months to make sure you are capitalizing on any changes.
Measurement & Reporting
Forecast expected results of your social media campaign. Continuously update this after analyzing and tracking results and adjust as needed.
The Differences between traditional and social media plans
This process will be no easy feat as this is a relatively new area. But as you build your strategies, creating an organized plan will provide you with the solid foundations you need to succeed in this space.