Social media planning and the Five Ws

If you want to engage your community, you’re going to need a great social media plan.

Social media planning
Planning for success

In the excitement of establishing a new social media account, organisations often fail to ask themselves the five basic questions essential to a good social media plan:

  • “Why are we setting up social media accounts?”
  • “Who do we want to talk to?
  • “What do they want to know?” and “What are we going to say?”
  • “Where are we going to publish our messages? (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…)
  • “When are they listening?”

Asking, and answering, these five “W” questions will help your organisation avoid wasting a lot of time and resources, and spare your audience a good deal of confusion. These five simple “W” questions form the basis of any good social media plan.

Why use social media?

Being clear about why your organisation is using social media to communicate with your audience will help crystallise your objectives. For example, an achievable social media objective may be “we want to raise awareness of our cause”, or “we want to drive people to our website”.

Who is our audience?

Next question, “Who is your audience?” Knowing this will help you identify the appropriate social media channels to use (the “Where”). For example, if you want to communicate with prospective employees, or your professional peers, perhaps LinkedIn is an appropriate channel for your organisation.

For more on researching and creating an audience profile, visit our blog post: How to Create an Effective Social Media Audience Profile.

What do they want to know?

“What does our audience want to hear?” and “What are we going to say?” are the questions that will help you develop content themes. Content themes will guide your social media plan and help you focus on creating content that meets your objectives and is of interest to your audience.

When is the best time to post?

And of course, “When should you post?” Is your audience active on social media in the morning, after dinner, or during work hours? You’ll receive more engagement if your posts are appearing when your audience is online.

A final question may be “How are we going to resource our social media plan?” Clearly this is an important question to answer. Does your team have the time, resources and skills necessary? Perhaps some external support is required to get you started?

Get some help

Having some expert advise and support is a great way to kick-off any successful social media plan. If you would like to explore getting started on a plan, or want some help implementing your plan, contact Big Bang Social. We’d love to hear from you.