5 Core Elements to Add to Your Social Media Plan

May 14, 2015

How to create the right context for social media within your overall marketing plan

It can be difficult for business owners to reconcile social media into their everyday sales and marketing routines. Business owners know they need to be involved in social media, but jumping into the tactics without an organized strategy can be frustrating.

In order to create the proper context for social media inside this firm’s overall marketing plan, I broke social media participation into five core elements, with corresponding tools and tactics, and mapped each to previously identified marketing objectives.


First, listen and collect useful market artifacts. You have to plug into the rich vein of useful information coming from your customers, prospects, competitors, journalists, and other industry influencers before any of this makes much sense.

Set up alert notifications using a tool like BuzzSumo so you get notified any time one of your key alert phrases is used. Create lists of influential industry players, set up a Feedly RSS reader to subscribe to relevant blogs, and use Diigo to bookmark articles to share.


You should have the ability to curate important industry information so you can inform clients and internal stakeholders. By aggregating and filtering a great deal of the industry content using some routines from the previous step, you can become a source of insight for your customers. For this element, you can turn to Feedly as well as several content-curation tools such as Newsle, LinkedIn, Pulse, and Scoop.it.


To become influential on social media, you must create content that cements your place as a thought or industry leader. Establish a sharing routine based on a set of core topics and share your expertise through your blog or by publishing long-form posts on LinkedIn.


In order to develop an expanding network in social media, sharing must be a key activity. This includes sharing your own content and ideas, but it also means intentionally networking with and sharing content and ideas from others. Use Feedly, Buffer, and Hootsuite to establish a habit of sharing a set number of pieces everyday.


Finally, with many of the above tools and routines in place, we can turn to the most obvious reason to participate in social media - to engage customers and prospects. With habits of listening, curating, and sharing established, members of your executive and sales teams will be able to more easily engage individual prospects, influencers, journalists, and customer stakeholders by socially surrounding them. For this step, Hootsuite, Salesforce, and Salesforce Chatter are the primary tools.

By breaking social media participation into a specific set of core elements, each driven by strategy, every person in an organization can find the role that makes sense for them. The focus then becomes less about tools and more about how a specific set of activities might help you better serve your customers.

This article was originally published on Inc.

How to create the right context for social media within your overall marketing plan.

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