This article is last in the series of the articles that we have been posting about the top 4 questions we asked at the nonprofit symposium. You can access the earlier articles here.
The Nonprofit Symposium received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants. At the end, we posed a crucial question to the participants, “What can you go back and do NOW?”
In response to that, a few said “set-up Pinterest account” (this tool is causing waves in social media circles currently). Others said “improve content and engagement on their social media sites”. But the near unanimous agreement was that they need to go back to the basics. They need to go back to the drawing board and work on a social media plan!
So, how do you build an effective social media plan?
Krista Neher, one of the speakers at the nonprofit symposium and a social media consultant, said, “Social Media planning is a continuous process that both starts and finishes with listening and observing. Most companies that are successful with social media are constantly testing new things and adjusting their strategies based on what they learn. It is important to think about all these steps while building a social media plan.”
#Listen and observe.
Listen to your target audience and also listen to and observe the social media landscape in general. Listen to the conversations about your brand, your competitors, your industry, and different social media channels, and community in general.
#Define your marketing objectives and strategy.
This helps you understand where you are trying to go with social media. What is your desired outcome? Look at the general marketing goals for your organization when looking to create social media goals.
Launch with a plan, but be flexible so you can adapt and adjust once you start. Once you gain experience in social media, you will learn and measure your results, which may lead you to change your strategy and objectives.
#Link your objectives to a call to action.
If you have a clear and measurable call to action, you can measure conversions on your site. You may have several call to actions for different parts of your social media strategy, but all these actions should flow progressively to generate leads and ultimately lead to a conversion.
#Build an army of advocates.
When building a social media plan, don’t focus on talking about yourself but rather focus on building an army of passionate brand defenders, advocates, and enthusiasts. Building relationships and rewarding and paying attention to your fans are key drivers of word-of-mouth marketing.
For an understanding of these mantras in greater detail and building a winning social media plan, order a copy of Krista Neher’s best seller, Social Media Field Guide.