Do you run the Facebook page or Twitter profile for your organization? Have you ever experienced the moment where you are asked to explain what your plan is? I recently had a group of volunteers I was working regarding social media, and the first thing everyone wanted to do was create a fool-proof plan. It really bugged me at first, and I couldn’t figure out why. I realized that it was because everyone was viewing social media in the same they viewed any other marketing project–create a plan and push it out to your audience.
Social media is all about community-building and engagement. Running a successful social media campaign can take significant planning. But in the first several months of using a new social media tool it will take time to build your community. The first three to six months of using social media is all about building your network and growing your community. Until you have a good group of people, a critical mass, having a comprehensive social media plan does not do a lot of good.
If you are starting a project and everyone is asking for a plan, ask them if they would commit to engaging in the medium as you get started. Most people want a plan because they are unsure of how to use the medium. A social media plan will be more successful if it is modeled by its implementers than if it is imposed upon an audience. Ask the volunteer or staff group that is helping you get things started to “like” your status updates, retweet your twitter messages, and leave comments on your blog. This is the best way to get your community started and to a point where you can do some big planning. You will also be able to use your volunteers to get things jump-started and everyone will be more comfortable with the work when they see how easy it is to promote your content.