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How to Develop A Social Media Playbook

A Social Media Playbook is a critical component for any business that want to dominate their social media marketing. The document is comprised of strategies; however, it also contains information to assist the brand in making a lasting impression within their targeted platforms.

This includes everything from the ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’ as well as the ‘why’ behind the business’ online activities.

Below we’ll be diving into the key components you’ll need to successfully craft your own Social Media Playbook. Many organizations choose to partner with a social media agency like AXO Digital to bring a social playbook to life. AXO Digital can has broad enterprise experience inside of all social media services . Enough of about us; let’s get to the point here.


Step 1: Creating Expectations

As with many marketing strategies, the best place to start is with your target audience. Within this step you’ll outline some of the expectations you as the company wish to achieve within the target audience as well as identifying the unique pain points of the market. Additionally, you’ll want to identify any potential hindrances you might face throughout your campaign.

Next, you’ll want to create an analytics brief. What this entails is drawing up a consumer profile. This includes everything from your ideal consumers’ likes, dislikes, type of content they preferably would like to consume, most active times and so forth. It is suggested that you consult your analytics team throughout this process.


Step 2: Outline and Tasks

In the next step you’ll be drafting up a working table of contents and a general outline of your strategy. This includes everything from specific tasks, the level of impact social media will have within your general marketing strategy, your main social platforms you’ll be targeting, frequency of posts and so forth. While this element will most definitely evolve as you progress through the Social Media Playbook, it is advisable to start with it first to provide directionthroughout the rest of the document.


Step 3: Team Selection and Briefs

Once you have the general outline created, it’s time to inform the rest of the teams. A social media team consists of content creators, analytics department, influencers, brand managers and any partners you may have. In this step you’ll provide insight on tasks, timelines and you should at first create a system of “Short-Interval Control”, especially during the first few months of the active campaign.

Short Interval Control Systems allow you to keep a tight grip of the content being produced, allowing you to make any changes prior to committing to a specific tactic, making the implementation phase of the strategy more efficient overall.


Step 4: Creating The Playbook

Now that we have everyone on the same proverbial page, it’s time to actually start creating the document. You’ll want to establish a clear form of communication, whether it’s through cloud apps, direct communication or daily Skype meetings.


What to include:

  • Why does social media matter to the company?
  • A breakdown of the social media ecosystem and the key roles of all participants
  • Content Pillars – The content strategy you’ll be focusing on. What type of content will be included in the feeds, at what frequency etc.
  • Branding – Create a detailed outline of your branding. You’ll want to keep the styling consistent across all the different social media platforms. This will ensure that even if you replace a content creator, there is a specific format any new content creator would have to follow. Include things likefonts, image sizes, logo placement, filters, hashtags, etc.
  • Make it actionable – Make sure that this isn’t just a strategy document, but actually a playbook someone could follow.
  • Community management guidelines  –  How and when to respond to customers, where to escalate customer service issues, voice and tone of response.
  • Crisis management guidelines – When to involve PR, how to respond publically to sensitive issues, when to not respond.


What you should avoid:

  • Make it more global – Don’t pigeonhole yourself into a specific market. Make sure that the document can be applied to a variety of feeds, platforms etc.
  • Design – If you’re not a graphic designer, don’t try to do it yourself. Simply focus on the content itself and let a designer do all the heavy lifting in terms of “playbook appeal”
  • Start from Scratch – Don’t simply pull out a document out of thin air. If there are good examples of Social Media Playbooks you you like, use them. Use these documents to help establish a logical progression that works for you.


Step 5: Editing

By now you should have quite a robust document in your hands. In this step, you’ll set that document aside for a few days and come back to it later. With fresh eyes, edit the book. Make it snappier, explain ideas that might not be clear, ensure that the document is as actionable as possible. Treat the document like a guide or a manual you’ll be handing over to someone who has absolutely no idea how to do what you are asking for. Make it as simple as possible that even a caveman could understand it. Find relevant visuals to help explain the texts.


Step 6: Continual Improvement

Since social Media is an ever evolving digital environment, your playbook will be a living document. You will need to update the document roughly every three months. Use the data you have generated in the previous three months to optimize the efficiency of your Playbook.

Creating a  Social Media Playbook can provide you with a world of benefits within the realm of Social. Getting everybody on the ‘same page’ within your organization may create unique opportunities by allowing you to crowd source solutions from within your company. This is only possible when there are clear objectives within your social media strategy and a singular vision communicated within your business.

If you need help with developing your Social Media Playbook, feel free to reach out to us today for a free consultation. Partnering with AXO Digital for social media services is a sure fire way to exude mastery inside of this space.

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