You (Still) Need a Social Media Plan

Posted on December 28, 2011


Yesterday I suggested a list of things you could do to clean up your social media efforts heading into 2012. Once you are doing cleaning up it is probably a good time to re-visit exactly why you are doing anything on social media at all and how much more effective you would be with a plan.

This is a post that I originally wrote back in August. But let’s be honest, no one is planning in August, everyone is just executing by that time. Now that it’s the start of a new year, I suggest you take a moment to plan.

I’m willing to bet there isn’t a host in America that isn’t getting some pressure — from a program director, consultant or even a Talent Mechanic — to incorporate more social media into your show.

Whether you are considering diving in or are already swimming in the turbulent social media waters, this article by Jim Nichols, a senior partner and strategist at Catalyst:SF, provides a simple five-step process to help you determine which platforms and tactics will be most effective.

I’ve recapped it with notes for radio hosts below:

1. Determine your objective

Before you choose between blogging, videos, tweeting or check-ins decide what you want to accomplish. Do you want to find new listeners? Engage your existing audience more regularly? Highlight a certain aspect of your show? Knowing your goal is the first step toward success.

2. Decide which digital options fit your objective

Now choose what seems like the best platform(s) for you. If you want to engage your existing listeners more often focus on using Facebook. If you wanted to highlight celebrity interviews an audio blog or podcast might be the way to go. There are plenty of choices, focus on the ones that will help you achieve your goal.

3. Consider what non-digital marketing efforts would help.

Don’t forget about traditional marketing. Do you need to be out on the street meeting new people? Should you be planning events where your listeners can congregate? Combining offline marketing with digital efforts will lead to success that much faster.

4. Think hard before innovating

Sometimes it can be tempting to try something new, unique or even ground-breaking. Think twice before you do. If you’ve never shot a video before you really don’t know how much work a YouTube channel is going to be. Keep your limitations and tolerance for pain in mind while you develop a strategy.

5. Do some research

Before you start, think back over what you’ve tried before and what you’ve seen other people do. Copy what worked and learn from what didn’t. Do some reading online. There is no shortage of material on how to effectively use social media available so do your homework.

Of course if you need help with any of these steps, I would suggest hiring a talent mechanic.