Creating a Social Media Plan: Do Some Research

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Creating a Social Media Plan: Do Some Research
How to create a social media plan.

If your office is like our office, there are a small group of people running the show.  With only a handful of people in my office, we have to plan ahead on schedules, programming, concerts, who will be running the box office when the box office manager is on vacation, who’s bringing the donuts to the staff meeting, etc. Well, maybe not the last one, but you get the picture.  Planning is important.

So, if you have front of house plans and marketing plans and subscription plans, you should also have a social media plan.  Thousands of your audience members are online in the social sphere, but maybe more importantly, thousands of your potential audience members are online in the social sphere.  Often, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube are the first places someone comes in contact with your organization.

Having a plan lets you look at your social interaction comprehensively and see how it fits into other engagement and marketing goals.  Plus, it makes it really easy when the social media handler gets sick and the box office has to use that Twitter thing until they’re back.

There are several steps to creating a usable social media plan, so let’s break them down.

Step 1: Do some research

Each social site is unique and the people using it are a little unique – the people who are most active on Twitter and want to see your organization on there, may not be on Instagram.  Your audience may be way into Google+.  Maybe the audience you want to reach is on another platform altogether.

The Landscape of Social Media Users

Research different social media trends and sites in general.  Mashable’s social media section is one of my favorites to follow for new trends. Pew Research Center’s Internet & Tech is a little more nerdy, but also has great info. But there are certainly other sites devoted to chronicling trends.

Take note of:

  • Average age of user
  • Male vs. female presence
  • When most people are on that site
  • Types of content most used on site (pictures vs. statuses vs. videos vs. GIFS)

As you research, you’ll notice the differences between audiences at different sites.  Pinterest is mostly females under 50, higher numbers of men are on Reddit, social media generally has a younger audience.  You should start to get a feel for who’s on what site and how you can best use that site.

About Sarah Marczynski

Sarah joined the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera in 2010 working with the Marketing and Development staffs and quickly became interested in community engagement and education. She holds a Master’s of Public Administration focusing in Nonprofit Arts Management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where her capstone and other work under Dr. Christopher Horne examined attendance patterns in high-art cultural institutions and network relationships between local arts agencies and cultural partners. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Vocal Music Education from UTC, where she studied under Dr. Kevin Ford and Ron Ulen.

Sarah has been active in the Chattanooga arts community, serving as the founding chair of the Chattanooga Young Artistic Network (CYAN), graduating from the Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute, and working with the Chattanooga Boys Choir, the Choral Arts Society, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Chattanooga Bach Choir.

Outside of the arts world, Sarah pretends to be an excellent cook (but she's broken 2 ovens), reads Jane Austen novels, and watches way too much House of Cards.

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3 thoughts on “Creating a Social Media Plan: Do Some Research

  1. Thanks Dave! You’re right – Social media measurements change very often. I read an article about how teens are rapidly leaving Facebook which I’m sure will have an impact on 2014 numbers. And, Instagram just went through a massive deletion of spam accounts. Haven’t seen anything that kicks them back below number of Twitter users, but I bet it affected their numbers too!

  2. The Pew data here is valuable, but it’s at least two years old (which can be a lot in tracking social media usage). This month, Instagram made a big to-do about surpassing 300M monthly active users, which by at least that one measure puts them ahead of Twitter.

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