As someone who likes to plan events and fill in my calendar, the topic of social media planning (or scheduling) intrigued me from the very first time it was brought up in class and in our Social Media Marketing textbook. I was properly introduced to this process via the course videos provided by Hootsuite, and I decided I wanted to learn more.
I watched an Expert Session video from Stukent about social media planning (found in chapter 6 of the textbook) narrated by a woman named Adelyn Biedenbach, the Director of Digital Media for a local Florida hockey team known as the Florida Panthers. The main points of Adelyn’s presentation included the value of knowing your organization, knowing your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and how to curate content that resonates best with your current and prospective audiences.
To start, knowing your organization is above all the most important step to take before evaluating anything. Knowing your organization involves being up-to-date with what’s happening outside (e.g. special, events or promotions) and within, including its individual departments and its goals.
Once you get to know your organization, you need to learn what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are. KPIs help you, as a member of an organization, know what to judge yourself on in regard to your social media content output. Though KPIs are subjective to every department within an organization, most focus on a few main things: direct sales, brand exposure, and/or customer service. Once you figure out what KPIs you need to focus on, you then set goals for each one. This is what Adelyn listed as what should be done in order to achieve appropriate results for each KPI:
- Direct sales: Find a way to measure data relevant to your organization (e.g. number of clicks)
- Brand exposure: Learn how to tailor your content to your audience
- Customer service: Devise a plan of “attack” for how you want to deal with customers’ comments, questions, and concerns
Curating content that resonates with current or prospective customers is a vital part of social media planning. You also must keep in mind that social media runs on a 24/7 news cycle, so it is expected that your social media channels are always running and up to date.
So, what should you consider when creating content in order stay on top and stand out in the crowded world of social media?
- Be familiar with key people in your organization that you can go to for help.
- Keep your industry in mind by looking into industry newsletters.
- Be aware of social media trends.
- Publish at least one post in the morning and/or the afternoon every day.
- Don’t take your followers’ attention for granted; they could leave whenever they want.
- Engage in social listening; review feedback from your followers.
- Be willing to change and re-evaluate your content strategies.
This all eventually leads up to deciding what should be the regularly occurring content you post; which Adelyn likes to call “Developing your Stars.” Your “stars” are the go-to posts that are at the core of your social media content and will be posted on a regular basis. This is vital because it helps create consistency on your social media channels and helps your followers become comfortable with your content.
To summarize, social media planning is a long, ongoing process with many factors to consider. A strategic social media content plan won’t guarantee success but will help you navigate the arduous task of trying to reach specific groups of people through social media. What I admire the most about Adelyn is that she has a very focused vision of how social media planning should be handled. Her presentation was very insightful and deepened my understanding of this process. I have no doubt I will find this information to be helpful when it comes time to finish up our signature project for class.