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Planning a Social Media Campaign – A Guide For Publishers

Planning a Social Media Campaign – A Guide For Publishers

Article by Helen Roper

Where to start Ok, let?s assume you?re fully on board with Social Media now; the benefits are for another article? So where do you start? First of all as a publisher you need to look at the titles you want to promote through Social Media. Obviously all publishers of different sizes operate in different ways, larger publishers will have different marketing departments for different areas. This actually makes their life slightly easier as it clearly defines the paths forward. For those that have one marketing department for all titles, then you have some serious decisions to make.

SegmentationIn our opinion Social Networks should target niche audiences and having generic social media pages, on which ever networks, will really not do you any favours. As we have with one client, currently (we’re trying to move them away from this) their feeds can be telling you information about craft one moment and then horror films the next. This really doesn’t encourage niche followers/fans etc, why would you follow a feed like this if you were just really interested in craft. Of course the bigger branded publishers, i.e. Penguin, have less to worry about here as they have great brand affinity. And some of you might have this too, but it may still get you into trouble. We’re not suggesting you don’t have corporate pages just that if you do, develop niche ones too. There are plenty of tools (such as ping.fm) that will help you work the corporate page at the same time as the niche pages.

Our suggestion is to segment as much as you can in reality manage on a day to day basis, this gives you the best chance of developing a niche audience and becoming an expert in your subject matter.

Which NetworksOnce you?ve reached this point, some decisions need to be made about where to spend your time, i.e. is it growing audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Friendfeed, Myspace, Bebo etc etc. There are a lot of large social media networks out there, but also hundreds if not thousands of smaller ones. This article isn’t about delving into which one’s are most relevant for your target audiences, that would take far too long!!

Goals and objectivesNow you really should sit down and assess the goals and objectives for your campaign. Goals and objectives are really two different things. Goals are your wider intentions that should fit closely with your business or general marketing plan and could include return on investment, brand / series awareness etc. Objectives are day to day activities that will help you reach your goals. For example an objective might be to reach 2,000 twitter followers in X number of months.

Making an activity plan, or not! When you’ve decided on where you’re going to spend your time and what your goals and objectives are, do you just delve in and get on with it or do you just do. Well the correct answer is to make a plan, but in reality, if you?re a small publisher doing all this off your own back then hey why not dip your toe in and grow your knowledge and reach as you do. However always always always look at your audiences even if you are just planning to dip your toe in, there is no point developing a small audience in one area only to have to move them over to another. We’ve seen this happen far too many times and it really takes you many steps back.

If you are going for the planning method, and want a quick way to do it then one of the easiest ways to do it is to create a worksheet with all the social media avenues there are and what you plan to do with each one, if anything.

Time AllocationNow ? once you’ve worked out what you?re going to do, you really need to allocate some time to it like all marketing plans. Many people will tell you to allocate 2 hours a day or 1 day a week to social media in blocks. But quite bluntly this is wrong. Social media just doesn’t work like that! It?s like grazing, people pop in and out of it. You?ll see some posting 10 times between 9-11am because that?s what they do. However social media is a conversation between you and many, not just you shouting. If people respond to your posts on any network you need to be there to interact with them always. So although you should plan to allocate time, this time needs to be grazed across the week. At any time, you should expect to need to use your social networks.

Using other internal resources to helpYou’ll find as you get into Social Media that you can’t do it all on your own, and not only that, but you should consider whether there are people within your business that are actually much better qualified to talk about your niche areas than you are. These could be your Editors, Writers, Publishers etc. Use them. Not only that but plan them into your activities and allocate tasks to them. Effectively you need to start project managing those around you to help. We?d recommend sending out a Social Media memo or arranging a seminar, which we?ve done in the past, to inform other members of staff about what Social Media is and how they can help. Probably the best thing to do is dictate to them some structure, i.e. these are the networks I?d like you to involve yourself in and we?d like to do x number of unique tasks per day / week / month etc.

Some other things to think aboutThere is so much more to developing a social media plan that it would go onto many more pages! Some other things to think about are research, competitor activities, content generation, blogs, engagement strategies, integration with your overall marketing plan and much more. Hopefully this article has given you a start in the right direction.

Wait, what do LJ Interactive do exactly?LJ Interactive currently manage social media campaigns for a number of publishers with titles as varied as gardening, crime, medical, health, fitness, arts and crafts, autobiographies and more. We also offer a range of other digital services to publishers including web development, ebook conversions, application development, other digital marketing activities and digital strategy consultancy.

About the Author

Social Networking for publishers is an important area which need a thorough strategy and implementation.

LJ Interactive help publishers optimise their digital budgets by offering a range of digital strategies and online marketing for publishers. LJ Interactive offer cost effective digital solutions for publishers as well as ebook conversion services. This includes web development, web design and digital applications as well PPC, email marketing, social networking and applications.

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