Social Media Plan - Need a respected protocol to follow

Hi from 17 degrees C about to rain York UK,

Ok my head is splitting from the amount of social media planning babble that is out there but here is my problem. I need to write a social media plan for my company following a respected protocol rather than pulling one out of the air. Are there any resources out there that could educate me in how to write a reasoned social media plan?


A company I worked for once used this as a template, but it may not apply to UK laws. It’s pretty vague (which is a good thing), but it basically requires people to act like decent human beings…

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Sounds like corporate double-speak.
I’ve spent years following social media experts and gurus and marketing people and so on. We’ve hired media and marketing specialists in our organization.

The bottom line is, I don’t believe there is a generic plan. You have to write one specific to your company’s goals and target market.

Even if there were some generic “plan” out there, it would just that, generic. Potentially wasting company time and resources doing things that are irrelevant in your target market.

A very reasonable plan would include the bare essentials. Things like:

  • A corpoate Facebook page.
  • Potentially additional Facebook pages or groups for specific target customer groups (i.e. if you sell sporting goods, you might have a page just for camping, or one just for sports, if your market is big enough)
  • An official Twitter account for the company (if your company puts out the type of material customer would want to follow)
  • An official Instagram account, and/or Pinterest, if your company has any connection with photographic media relating to your target market.

Beyond many various social networks, think about your newsletter plan. Every business needs a newsletter, because gathering emails is really the only way to “own” your customers. You don’t own followers on Twitter, or “likers” on Facebook. Those networks can go down, kick you out, change policies, block your followers from seeing you, etc etc. So having emails is the only way you can always be sure to reach your own customers. That and perhaps user registration at your company website as well, but gathering emails is easier than getting people to create accounts.

A blog is helpful to make sure your company can publish content and own it and control it. Blogs are useful for corporate news, press releases, new product announcements, and providing some “character” to the public, a “voice” if you will.

Youtube is going to be a good option if your company desires to put out commentary, or how-to videos, product demonstrations, teaching materials, live webinars or any other video media.
Vimeo was be another option for videos you want to embed in your website and have a little more control over the surrounding network.

Once you’ve decided on the various networks you want to have, all those accounts need to be created and set up with logos, graphics, backgrounds, styles, details and security settings. If you record audio or video, someone has to know how to do that, buy equipment, how to set up lights and get good sound and know how to edit and publish video.

Managing the content on them could be done individually, but more likely you will use a social media tool to bring them all in, tools like Hootsuite for example, which can be used to manage things on FB, Twitter, Youtube and many more.
For blogging you will need a workflow regarding a publishing calendar, how frequently you want to post, who does the writing/drafting and who does the editing/publishing? Who manages comments on all these networks? Who is responsible for responding to questions and requests? How do those get in to your support network? Social management tools can also help with designating which employees can do what on what networks.

The fact is, gone are the days of “heys lets set up a FB page and Twitter”. Now, social media management is an entire industry with professionals that can make six figures doing it. Larger companies employ entire social media teams to try and keep on top of managing them and utilizing them. There is a fine balance between personable socializing, and marketing and sales. To much sales and people won’t follow. Too much socializing, and you waste resources without any profit from it.

If you are supposed to be the social media manager, you better carve out a ton of your time, do all the studying and researching you can, create a customized plan specific to the company’s target market and average/typical user/customer, and have plenty of time to manage things, monitor and report on analytics, make changes, run tests, etc.

Then plan to buy subscriptions with a handful of management tools and analytics services, and to train everybody how to use everything. Develop a company “voice” and what should or shouldn’t be said. Is the company very politically correct? Can it be politically incorrect? Can it be off color or must it be rigid and mechanical? Does it make jokes or is it always serious? A unified voice is important.

All I can say is good luck to you, and consider hiring an social media consultant to help with the plan if you don’t have the time to put into this.

Sounds like you’re looking at it from a marketing perspective.

I took it a different way. I took it as a policy for employees which showed how they expect their employees to act socially when they can be identified as part of the company, even if they’re not acting as an employee. Basically a “your actions can reflect upon us even if you’re on your own” type of warning. That’s typically the policy I’ve seen out


I agree with DaveMaxwell. We have a policy in place that insists on including a picture with every post, what to show and what not to show, etc. What to Like and what not to Like in other posts that are linked to yours. How long the copy should be, and what page it should be linked to online. If you want to maximize selling, then orient it that way. If otherwise, orient it that way.

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