A Brief Guide to Social Media Planning

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Whether it be connecting with a friend, influencer or customer, social media is a revolutionary tool in building relationships. For a brand or business, the planning and organization behind each comment, post and story is much more crucial than for the average person posting a selfie.

If you’re new to the social media game or find your brand struggling to reach goals, think about how you’ve been going about the situation. Do you plan out your actions on social media or just go with what feels right each day?

While planning may seem too time consuming, it is 100 percent necessary. A brand can’t expect to build its online presence without the proper foundation. It is an important first step that must be met before your brand decides to jump off the ledge into the world of social media. Here is a basic guideline to use when you start your planning process.

Use P.O.S.T. as a way to break down your planning into smaller steps.


First and foremost, focus on who you’re trying to reach. Know who your audience is in every way possible. This includes their attitudes, hobbies, social activities, demographics and technographics. Technographics refer to a person’s online behavior. Are they a creator (making videos, posting content) or do they choose to be a critic that simply comments on other people’s work? Figure out what type of users your target audience is and this will help you decide what your next steps are.


This second step is pretty straightforward. Decide what your business wants to accomplish. Do you want to increase sales, decrease the amount of customer complaints, or increase awareness of your brand? Your objectives must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based (S.M.A.R.T.).


Third, decide what your strategy will be in order to accomplish your objective. How will your relationship with your consumers change? “How” is the key word that drives your strategy. How will you go about decreasing the amount of customer complaints? An example strategy could be “Foster engagement with consumers online.”


Last but not least in the planning process, you need to consider how technology plays a part in achieving your objective. The information you’ve gathered on your audience, as well as your strategy, should direct you toward your best options. This step involves choosing the specific tools and tactics that will move you toward your end goal. Replying to customer tweets on Twitter or creating an online forum for your customers to connect are just a couple examples of how your business can do this.

Final Note

Social media encompasses a vast range of online tools that brands need to take advantage of in our age of technology. Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are some of the most popular, but remember that there are so many other areas to tap into. Blogs, online forums, rating sites, virtual worlds; take the time to utilize these online tools and you’ll be surprised at how much they benefit your business.


Li, C., Bernoff, J., & Groot, M. (2011). Groundswell. Zaltbommel: Thema.