Tips to Consider for Your 2012 Social Media Plan

By Dhara Naik

November is already here and I can’t believe the year is almost over! We’re deep into quarter 4 and thinking about holiday campaigns but we’re also thinking about the coming year. If you’re wondering how you can start planning your 2012 Social Media Strategy, here’s a checklist to help you accomplish all of your goals.

Don’t Select Arbitrary Goals

When you’re thinking about what exactly you’d like to accomplish in the social space next year, it’s important to make sure your goals align with your overall business plan and vision for 2012. While it’s great to set measurable goals for what you’d like to achieve in the social space, how will these milestones impact your company’s overall strategic vision? Before you do anything else, you and your team should consider the foundation and key learnings from previous years before setting goals in the social space.

Be Choosy  

Once you have goals, the next step is to create a plan that will help you achieve them. If you’re launching a great new product next year and the goal is to get your audience to try it which will ultimately increase awareness about your brand, then you might think about promoting your new product on every social network to maximize the results you’re looking for. However, it’s important to note that just because certain social networks are popular or they’re the new rage, it doesn’t mean they are right for your brand. For instance, you may be launching a new product that is ideal for stay at home moms, however, they may predominately use Facebook and Twitter  but they may not actively use Google+ or LinkedIn. It’s important to take a year end look at the successes you’ve achieved on various social networks and then adjust your goals (think time and dollars) to amplify your presence on the networks that worked for you this year. Secondly, if you plan on amplifying your presence it will be just as important to consider how new changes (Facebook Timeline , Google+ for brands) will impact your efforts. That doesn't mean you can’t be on every network, but you have to be sure your expectations are realistic. It just might be the case that your target audience prefers certain networks over others.

There Are No Silos

If you’ve  got amazing product launches or big campaigns in the pipeline for next year, it’s time to start getting all of your teams together and thinking about what role everyone is going to play in campaign launches. Everyone from PR to product development to online marketing to social media should be working together from day 1. If you plan on going big in 2012, now is the time to remove the silos and make sure social media plays a prominent role starting with your first campaign of the year.

Capitalize On Key Moments

When planning your campaigns, consider the times of year that resonate well with your audience. For example, if you’re a make-up brand, you know that Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are two opportunities to have a big social media blitz. Consider aligning your efforts during times of the year when you know that amplifying your social media presence will work to your advantage and ultimately help you achieve your vision for the year. Additionally, if you know that your competitors will also be capitalizing on the same moments, ask yourself how you’re going to stand out. After all, the key to social success is knowing who your audience is and how to build an effective relationship with them.

Have you thought about your 2012 social media strategic plan? What are some of the things you consider when planning your strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments!