Social Media Planning: It’s All About Engagement

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.

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4 Responses to Social Media Planning: It’s All About Engagement

  1. Sara Grey says:

    Excellent point. Social media marketing has to be a two-way street. Without consumer engagement and response, you really are just shouting into darkness. The idea has to be how to get your fundraising message across, but also how to get people to respond via that social media platform.

  2. Eric Foley says:

    Great article, Jason. And maybe more than anything it ought to lead us to an even broader question, namely, why are our overall marketing plans “push”-oriented? Not only, I suspect, do we need to change our approach to social media; we also need to change our overall approach to marketing so that it reflects the same goals that social media embraces.

    In other words, why is it that it is only with social media that we think about building a reputation of being personal and approachable and not with all that we do? Why is it that we aren’t asking our employees to share their comments and spread the word about what we are doing at all times and not just when they’re logged into their Facebook or Twitter accounts? Perhaps it is not just social media planning that is about engagement, but any and all work we do.

    What do you think?

  3. Calli says:

    I really enjoyed this post, especially when you discuss the importance of planning in running a social media plan.

    My client is trying out a new campaign to celebrate Gaucher Disease Awareness Month by donating $1 for every person who “likes” its Facebook page (http://facebook.com/GaucherDiseaseAwarenessMonth) during the month of September. A great deal of planning went into this campaign and we are really excited to see what kind of results we get and how much money is ultimately raised for the National Gaucher Foundation. Feel free to check the page out!

    Thanks again for sharing your insights.

  4. You couldn’t be any more right Jason. Many look for an in-depth cut and dry social media advertising plan right from the start. This isn’t to say that a plan shouldn’t be set into action, but the plan will certainly be expected to change over and over and over again. One important thing to do in the beginning is to conduct a market segmentation analysis..It just helps get a feel for what sort of conversation you’ll be having. Thanks for sharing!

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