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How to Use Project Management to Run Better Social Media Campaigns

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Written by Andy Trainer– Mon 08 Apr 2013

Much has been said about the usefulness of Social Media within Project Management, but a topic that as yet seems to have been left untouched is how Project Management can help in Social Media Marketing campaigns.

Many of the principles and techniques that we teach in our Project Management Training, as well as on our PRINCE2 Course, can be applied to Social Marketing campaigns in order to improve their effectiveness and efficiency.

In this post we'll be taking a look at some and how they should be enacted.

Initiating a Project

The 'Initiating a Project' stage of PRINCE2 can certainly be applied to a Social Media campaign. This process effectively outlines the reasons for and initial format of a project.

With regard to a Social Media campaign, it would require an understanding of the goals you hope to achieve by engaging on this platform.

It would also set out the preliminary ideas as to how to go about enacting this, both from a strategic point of view (what sort of things will you post, who are you targeting) and from a logistical perspective (which networks will you use and how much.)

At this stage, you should be doing plenty of research into the sorts of social sites that are appropriate for your business. Twitter is a great all-rounder but Instagram is unlikely to be of much benefit to a company that has little to photograph, for example.

Knowing your goals and how to achieve them is essential: having this solid foundational plan from which to build allows for a smoother and more productive transition into the campaign.

Defining/Managing Scope

This would form a part of the Initiating a Project stage but would also need to be maintained throughout the entire campaign.

Defining scope means to set the limits to which you are willing to allow the project to reach: whether that's financially or time-wise.

Managing scope means sticking to those defined limits (within a set of tolerances) so if for example you define your scope for time spent on Twitter as a maximum of an hour a day, that limitation should be adhered to in order for your campaign to be delivered within a reasonable time-frame.

From a financial perspective, if you have set an ad budget of £50 on Facebook, don't go adding to it if it's used up faster than you'd hoped. Little extra expenses add up and cause a costly surprise at the end of a campaign.

Using Gantt Charts

A great way to keep track of your time on Social Media is to make use of Gantt charts.

Within Project Management, Gantt charts are used to plan and record the time spent on each aspect of the project, showing at which points each activity may overlap. Here's an example:

This is a perfect way to chart when and where your time is spent on each platform or in the promoting of a post.

Having this helps prevent getting distracted by all of the content on each network and potentially losing minutes, or even hours, scrolling through the streams: if you've set yourself limits and can see those limits visually, your more likely to not stray from them.

Final Thought

Hopefully that gives you some insight into how to use Project Management skills and techniques in your Social Media campaign.

If it's the creating and implementing of a Social Media strategy that you're struggling with, come on our 2-day Social Media Course.

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