Social Media Playbook

socialmediaplaybookI was first introduced to the idea of a Social Media Playbook while working at Radian6. The idea of a business playbook isn’t anything new, it’s a place to house your strategy related to a particular business efforts.  A Social Media Playbook does just this by housing all of your strategic goals that you would like to achieve with social media and helps to serve as a training guide for anyone new that is joining your team.

The big thing is with a Social Media playbook it doesn’t have to be just 1 document. Sure, it does help sometimes to have an overall table of contents, but if you have video files or multiple .pdfs that help explain your social efforts, there’s nothing that says your playbook can’t be a folder on your computer or google drive that everyone has access to. Make it work for you and your team so you can always access it and update it.

So what do you put in a social media playbook? Try breaking it down into sections of information:

Overall Social Media Objectives

Think of the first part of a social media playbook as your big picture view. It’s where you are setting your high level vision and also the many goals you are trying to achieve. This can include:

  • Company Social Media Vision
  • Social Media Mission
  • Social Media Objectives
  • Key Departments/Employees
  • Major Goals & KPI’s

Social Media Employee Policy

Having your guidelines for how you would like your employees to talk about your company or organization on social media can be a great resource even for small businesses. When setting down guidelines though, be wary of putting in too many “Do Not” statements. Try focusing on the ways you would like your employees involved through statements like “We would love to have you share our deals and discounts.”

  • Other things to include can be:
  • Etiquette for Employees
  • Sensitive Information
  • Encouraged Social Interactions
  • Contact Information for Social Media team

Social Media Listening & Engagement Scope

A fairly straight forward section, but you are basically making a record for yourself of what you will be listening for (i.e. searching or playing attention to) and what you will be engaging with (i.e. responding to) on social media. This is important because many times we start out only wanting to post and engage on our Facebook page, but slowly get pulled into so many other places to monitor and respond with comments. Keep yourself on target by having a clear focus.

Engagement Guidelines & Crisis Escalation

By knowing how you plan on engagement with people or dealing with problems that might arise, you will 100% more comfortable using your social channels.

Things to think about including are:

  • Hours of Operation
  • Standard Response Time
  • Answers to FAQ’s in short format
  • Brand Voice Style & Tone
  • Example Responses
  • Crisis Escalation Path

Administrative Information

We sometimes forgot about all the boring admin stuff that has to happen in order for us to even use our social accounts, so make sure you have a place to record that info!

Some things to include are:

  • Process for Updating Social Bio’s
  • Social Account Ownership & Access
  • Social Media Following & Liking Guidelines

Training Materials for Products Used

If you are like many people out there you may be using social media management tool or other software to help with your efforts. Make sure you keep all of your links, .pdf’s, video, etc. all in one place so it’s easily accessible when needed.


Any other key information related to your social media efforts should be housed in this section.

No matter what you end up putting into your social media playbook or even what you end up calling it, taking the time to think about all the elements you need to consider when using social media for your business can help to make you feel more comfortable and confident when you use them.

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