Social Media Engagement Plan Contents

In our previous post, Social Media Engagement on Your Site, we took a look getting our Website ready for launch your engagement plan. In this post, we detail the contents of your engagement planning document.

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Engagement Plan Contents

After doing the thinking and your preliminary goal and audience identification, you’re ready to create the engagement plan. The following are questions you should ask, as well as other recommended elements your engagement plan should include:

  • Reasons for Using Social Media
    • What do you have to offer?
    • What problem are you trying to solve (reaching an audience, encouraging evangelism, improving sales)?
    • Why are you using social media to accomplish your goal?
  • Social Media Approach
    • There are three basic approaches to using social media. Lay out how you’ll use them, singly, in combination, or simultaneously:
      • Participate where conversations are already happening (for example on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, or Twitter)
      • Use, enhance, or create social media aspects of your existing Website
      • Create new a social network that stands alone — using, for example, Ning or other white-box social network software to create an online venue that you control
  • Content Plan
    • What kind of content will you publish?
    • What are the style guidelines for content creation?
    • What are the rules of engagement with community members?
    • Will you syndicate content from/to other sites? If so, where, how, and why?
  • Design Plan
    • Determine your design parameters
      • How will the site look?
      • How will it work?
      • What features will it have?
    • Create a usability test plan
  • Release Plan
    • Avoid a single big-bang release; release incrementally
    • Start small
    • Coordinate final release with marketing efforts
  • Resource Plan
    • Identify/assign resources, including writers and a community manager
    • Create the required internal processes for ensuring adequate staffing
    • Create a budget for start up and the first two years
    • Indicate supporters and what they will contribute
  • Training Plan
    • Do a social media readiness assessment
    • Create a plan to fill the gaps
    • Ensure advanced social media training for staff assigned
    • Assess the amount of culture change involved in using social media and create change management plans to address
    • Recruit real users and have a professional do a test
    • Start with low-risk contributions, for example, by posting to existing social networking sites
  • Metrics Plan
    • What does success look like?
    • What measures will tell you your progress toward your goals?
    • What success factors are the most important?
    • What metrics assess those factors best?
    • How will you collect these metrics?
    • What metrics are related and should be analyzed together?
    • What kind of analyses are valid for the metrics?
    • How reliable are the metrics?
    • How reliable is the analysis? What specific tools will you use to measure activity and community engagement?
    • What corrective actions are triggered when metrics are bad?
  • Outreach/Promotion Plan
    • How will you promote online?
    • What bloggers/online influentials will you target for cross promotion?
    • How will you fold the social media message into your traditional marketing efforts?
  • Listening Strategy
    • How will you monitor what others are saying about you?
    • How will you engage them?
    • What will you do about negatives?
  • Community Management Plan
    • Communities require care and feeding. Determine who is responsible, their duties, and the support they’ll need.
    • Develop contingency plans for foreseeable problems such as dealing with trolls (excessively disruptive, negative, or argumentative community members)

These sections should get you started on your plan.

Next up: Your First Social Media Contributions

Create Your Social Media Engagement Plan is the 30th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?, Social Sites Defined, Why Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

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2 Comments on “Social Media Engagement Plan Contents

  1. Sheila, thanks for the comment and the kind words. As indicated, there are 29 other posts from the book on our blog at the moment, and we’ll eventually get the whole thing up (although it’ll take a really long time!) You can get any of the five versions of the book at or, if you join our community, you can get a PDF of the non-profit version of Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for free: – that version is also available without registration in a chapter-by-chapter form on the community site.

    BTW, I like your Social Media Non-Adopters post