Social media isn't magic. It won't fix a broken product or business model. It's simply a reflection of you and your business.
That said, a social media campaign wouldn't be successful without a well-thought-out road map for success. Just like having a business plan, planning your social media actions gives you greater odds of achieving your goals.Have a goal
Ask yourself these questions: What do you want the end result to be? What outcome do you desire? Clarify this information, communicate it to your entire team, and keep it in front of you. It is a given that because you are in business, you want to have more customers and make more money. Have a measurable goal such as increasing visits to your website or walk-ins at your place of business. Making more money is everyone's goal. Take a look at your mission statement for guidance.Choose your tools
In my practice, business owners often ask this question right away, "Should I be using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter?" I answer with my own question, "What is your goal?" You can't make a decision about what tool is best until you first know what you are trying to achieve and whom you are serving.
Every organization I've worked with has at least two audiences. Diagram their demography by asking "the five W's": Who is your target? Consider gender, age, race, socioeconomic background, education, needs, etc. What value can you provide? It's not about what you want to say, it's about what they want or need to hear from you. When will you reach them? Consider time of day and week as well as their time zone. Where are they? This covers physical location on the globe in addition to where they are on the Internet. The last "W" is a reiteration of your goal, why are you there?
If I were to give you only one resource to help you know your audience and their habits better, it's Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project (pewinternet.org). They have studies and demographic data about your audience and their technology use that will surprise you.
When you know your audience and research where they spend their time online, choosing your tools will be easier. This requires research, testing, and observation. Just because your audience historically uses a particular tool doesn't mean it's going to be the best choice for your needs. Sometimes you have to test them and observe to know for sure.Assign responsibility
It must be established who on your team is going to create content, post, and manage accounts and how frequently these actions will occur. Monitoring social media is a daily exercise much like checking your voicemail and physical mail. The amount you post depends on the answers to your five W's and which tools are appropriate for your goals.
I suggest you create an editorial calendar. A team of people can map out content creation for a whole year in a 30-minute brainstorming session. Establish a system where ideas are captured and can be retrieved for fleshing out later. Set appointments for writing as well as posting, or it won't happen.Measure your efforts
In order to know if you've achieved your goals, you need to measure your performance. There is a misconception that the return on investment, or ROI, of social media is hard to measure. The truth is, we have more data to review than any other form of advertising or communication we've had in the past.