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Steps to a Rock-Solid Social Media Implementation Plan - 10/8/2013 -

Do you have a social media implementation plan that you consistently follow?

By Jeff Korhan

The number-one thing you can do to take the stress out of your social media marketing is to develop a plan, write it all down, and make a commitment to use and refine it as you grow with it. While that may seem straightforward, the key to making it work is to have to some rules that allow you to capably respond to unforeseen opportunities and challenges.

While earning my university degree in the sciences I learned an important lesson about managing change. Put systems in place to control what is controllable so that you can better respond to what you cannot control, such as environmental conditions. 

As you know, the various social media networks do seem to change like the weather. So, instead of stressing about the changes with LinkedIn, YouTube, or Facebook, expect and plan for them by getting and keeping everything else organized to run like a well-oiled machine.

Your process should include, but not be limited to the following best practices:

1. Actions you will take daily, weekly, and monthly. This is simply building a schedule to which your organization is prepared to commit, such as a weekly newsletter, daily Facebook page updates, checking your blog or Twitter for comments, Facebook for birthdays, and so on.

2. Specific topics that your content marketing will address. This will keep you on topic and more aware of balancing the type of content you create and share across multiple channels. Limit this to as few as one, and preferably no more than seven topics.

3. Keywords and hashtags. Having a handy list of hashtags and keywords that relate to your topics will streamline your work.

4. Tools that you rely on. There are thousands of social media tools and many of them work quite well. Choose and limit your use to just a few, but do your homework to learn about newer and better ones as they come along.

5. Allocating time for research and education. All of us have to do research to learn. So, make a list of blogs and other resources to subscribe to, while also attending educational events online, or in person where you can make new connections.

6. Making lists of like-minded friends and colleagues that can help you. Try to organize your friends and colleagues into categories of expertise. A quick email to a colleague can save hours of research.

7. Methods for batching your work to build in flexibility. Consider doing all of your content creation in one focused period every week, rather than pushing it all to a deadline.

8. Allocating time for making progress with what you have been putting off. You can dramatically reduce your stress by committing to periodically fixing or updating one channel you have been ignoring. For many of us this is Pinterest, and for others it is your blog.

The process of social media marketing comes down to understanding not just what to do, but also why. After years of working as a social media coach and trainer, I discovered not understanding why you were doing what you are doing is the primary source of poor implementation, and often giving up altogether.

Remember: Write down your process steps. That alone will give you more confidence.

You absolutely have to believe your work will produce results, and that comes from knowing both why and how it works. Everything in business is a process. Have a plan for implementing it well.

Online Resources

Asana is a free online project management and team collaboration tool that I'm using to build and refine my social media implementation plan. The mobile app works nicely too.

The Twitter Search Widget is a new and easy way to embed your tweets on your website. It's from Twitter, so you can trust it. You can see how I'm using it at jeffkorhan.com. Just be sure when setting it up to uncheck the box to allow for tailoring of Twitter to eliminate irrelevant content.

Jeff Korhan, MBA, is a professional speaker, trainer, and coach. His new book, Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business was released in April 2013.


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