Starting a Social Media Account from Scratch – Creating a Social Media Plan

An ongoing assignment I have is starting a social media account for the Chapman Graduate Business School at FIU. And while it may seem easy to create an account and start posting – you need a plan if you’re going to grow a successful, follower-filled, engaging account.  

I’ll be documenting the entire journey here on my blog, as the best way to provide tips to anyone out there that is looking to start a social following.

Starting and planning is the hardest part. This involves tons of research, decision-making, and content creation. So, what’s my strategy?

Research

I’m doing tons of research: on FIU, on competitors, even businesses not in our industry who we feel match the idea of what we want to create.

My biggest weapon is FIU itself. We’re the 4th largest public university in the U.S. We have nearly 57,000 students enrolled, plus thousands more interested in applying, and not to mention alumni.

FIU Instagram Stats
Hello Instagram in Dark Mode, am I right?

FIU already has an immense social media presence. On Instagram alone, they have 63.6k followers.

FIU Instagram content

The team that works on this account produces amazing content. Given, they have photographers, writers, videographers – all things my office doesn’t necessarily have. But we can capitalize by using some of their assets, which we already do for some of our ads.

Branching off the main account are several other accounts for different offices and departments within the school. This includes athletics, individual colleges, student life, advising, etc. I’ll be exploring these accounts intensely.

Questions to ask when researching these accounts:

  • What content are they posting?
  • When?
  • How frequently?
  • What’s their tone?
  • What hashtags are being used?
  • What is the audience engaging with?
  • What don’t they really care for?

I’ll also be researching our competitors and asking the same questions. I’m thinking: schools in Florida, as well as the rest of the U.S. who seem to run successful accounts. Student apply from all over the world, so taking notes from universities all over the world is a great strategy.

I already have thousands of notes of these accounts, but I’ll be continuously researching them throughout the process and even once my account launches.

Starting Your Plan

Your plan will change frequently throughout this process. What’s important is just getting all of your ideas out of your head and onto paper.

The most basic information I will need before I open my account is:

  • My account name
  • Hashtags to implement
  • My ideal audience’s demographics
  • My voice/tone
  • My goals
  • At least a month’s worth of content
  • A schedule for the content (possibly some apps that will help with this)
  • How I will document my growth
  • And most importantly, who will have access and engage with the followers?

Everything else is extra. Everything else can be done later down the road.

It’s a big task for one person to take. In the midst of this, I’m still creating content for the website and email campaigns, while creating strategies for all of our ads.

This is where I leave you.

For the next post, I should have my plan fully mapped out and a mood/content board for potential posts. This is what I’ll be presenting to my boss. This will require work from both myself and our graphic designer (for what I’m envisioning). Stay tuned to see how this develops!

For any social media questions, like always, feel free to reach to me.


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