Creating a social media plan is one of the most important aspects of effective social media management. Like anything else, if you do not have a plan for your social media efforts you can spend a lot of time without any significant results.
Also without a social media plan, how will you know if you are accomplishing your goals? You may think all you need to do is to create a few social media website profiles and start posting, but there is a lot more to effective social media management that just the profiles.
First, decide which social networks you want to have a prescience on and then decide who your target market is for that particular social media resource. If you do not start with the end in mind and develop a methodology to measuring your success, social media activities can become a huge time waster. So create a social media plan which helps you reach your target audience and where ever possible duplicate your efforts.
There are tools out there that can help you with managing your different profiles, but for the tools such as Hoot Suite to be effective, you must have a method to the madness.
It’s also very important that your social media plan entails a strategy that you can maintain. In order for any strategy to be effective is consistency, this really does not matter which of the social networking sites you may choose to implement as part of your strategy. You need to train your followers on what to expect from your social media posts. So you need to be consistent in the number of times per day, per week, or per month that you post new content. The content you post should also be on topic.
If as an educator you build a Facebook page and accompanying YouTube channel to promote content on Mathematics, then you don’t want to shock your users by posting stuff that has nothing to do with your chosen topic. This is not to say that you can not post occasional items that do not follow your main topic, but the topic should not change dramatically or you run the risk of alienating the followers you are gained.
It is also paramount that you measure your success of your efforts. Are you accomplishing your goals for interaction from your target audience? Does your target audience engage with your content or do you feel like you are just sending messages into a black hole? Most social networks such as Facebook show you metrics on how people are interacting with your content and this is a great resource you will need to pay attention to. The more engaged your users are the more they are identifying with your content. And you will start to see patterns of what they want and need by watching your analytics. Another good measurement is to just ask your followers what works for them and what does not. If you are providing value to the audience then they will let you know. If you are not providing value then their attention will turn to one of the many other people working hard to get their attention.
Once you have used your metrics and feedback gained from your audience you should then take this back to your plan and repeat the process until you get the level of interaction you originally set out to achieve. Below is an illustration of this process. Just complete it as many times as needed until you accomplish your goal.