A social media strategy is a plan of action that uses information and insights to make a set of choices to achieve a specific goal, using social media.
A solid social media strategy is a plan that leverages social media effectively while managing risks.
A great social media strategy finds hidden opportunities, makes smart choices and finds a path that meets or beats your objectives.
Social media strategy uses insights and information to leverage social media effectively while managing risks.
Your social media strategy should support your business goals.
In the past few years, a lot of businesses have adopted social media as part of their overall marketing strategy. They recognized the need to be where their customers are and created profiles across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Some ventured into Pinterest, Google+ and even Snapchat or others.
But for many of those businesses, results have been mixed.
A cry of “I don’t know if I’m getting any return on my investment in social media” is common.
In fact, the success of your social media activities depends on how you outlined those activities in the first place. If your original goal was “just get our business on Facebook because everyone else is there”, it’s unlikely you’re seeing much in the way of results, and you’re probably already somewhat frustrated.
If you have some followers on Twitter and are getting some of your Facebook posts are being shared, you may also think that you’re doing quite well (and it’s certainly better than a poke in the eye). But if you’re not sure if you’re getting the results you’d hoped for, it’s likely that your social media strategy needs work.
It’s a common fallacy that social media should be treated differently from other marketing or business strategies. Yes, social media is different in the sense that it provides the opportunity for two-way communication between a business and its customer. But a business should still fold social media into its overall business strategy – and use the same language and metrics to apply goals, conduct campaigns, serve customers and assess success.
Your social media strategy should align with and support your overall business goals.
Building a great social media strategy is simply about making smart choices.
Your social media strategy should consider a number of factors that influence those choices. Those factors include your customers, strengths and weaknesses, how the competition is positioned, what opportunities can be uncovered, and what challenges might need to be managed.
Every social media strategy should consider a number of factors that influence the choices you need to make to be effective. Those factors include your strengths and weaknesses, your audience, how the competition is positioned, what opportunities can be uncovered, and what challenges might need to be managed.
The Strategy Statement
At the heart of every social media strategy is the strategy statement that defines the core of the plan.
A social media strategy statement should include these elements:
- What your business goals are
- How you you plan to achieve them (the choice(s) you’re making)
- Who you’re doing it for (the audience)
- How you’re meeting the needs of that audience
We will increase revenue by 10% next year by introducing an exceptional, white-glove market analysis service for top institutional clients that provides a superlative client experience and meets (and beats) the needs of those who require high-touch relationships.
A social media strategy provides the foundation and direction for your company’s social media activities. It acts as a compass so your activities are aligned with your business goals. A strategy is a roadmap that shows which direction you need to take when you need to make a decision about where to spend your efforts, time, money and resources.
A good social media strategy should include a business case for why you are investing those resources in social media, and what you expect in return.
Many companies often start their social media efforts without a social media strategy. This and lack of direction can lead to confusion and inconsistency. The results can be frustrating, costly and problematic at best.
A social media strategy can be broad or specific. For example, a broad social media strategy might apply to how your company will approach social media over the next 18 months.
A narrow social media strategy might focus on a specific social media platform, like Facebook. In other words, you could develop a plan of action that is focused on how you plan to use Facebook to support your business goals. That would be a Facebook strategy. You could create a social media strategy for each platform in which you decide to engage.
You could also create a strategy for different types of social media initiatives or capabilities. We define a social media capability as a broad type of functionality that’s unique to social media e.g. blogging, reviews, influencer management. So an Influencer program would have its own unique strategy, which sets out the plan for how influencers would be leveraged to help share company stories and messages.
When should you create a Social Media Strategy?
The best time to create a social media strategy is before you begin making business decisions about how you’re going to invest in a specific initiative.
We have a methodical approach to building a social media strategy that works for each client’s unique needs. We build a social media strategy in three steps:
Here’s where we find out more about you and identify your business goals and objectives:
- We start by looking at your company’s vision, mission and goals to get a sense of your company’s values, culture, priorities and what you want to achieve.
- We look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, both current and on the horizon.
- We research your target audiences – who you’re trying to reach as well as current customers.
In the second step, we conduct audits, research and competitive analysis, and identify opportunities and risks:
- We’ll create an inventory of your company’s current social media accounts, including an analysis of your website if needed. (Some companies are surprised to find out how many profiles and accounts they have.) A social media audit can help identify whether to keep existing social media accounts or add new ones.
- We study your competitors and industry trends.
- We take a look at industry, state, federal or other regulations that may have an impact on your social media activities.
- We identify potential gaps and opportunities as well as risks.
The third step of building a social media strategy is creating a customized social media strategy playbook. The playbook identifies specific social media projects and initiatives which are based on your goals, our research and insights.
- The strategy playbook is the primary guide for your social media strategy. The playbook will identify specific programs and projects you can choose from to achieve your goals. It also includes a prioritized project roadmap.
- Your company’s social media strategy playbook is tailored to the outcomes you want to achieve.
With your customized playbook in hand, you’ll have a set of opportunities you can choose to pursue and implement. We can also help with implementation. We offer a “Kickstart” 4-week program where we help you to launch specific social media initiatives, or longer if needed.
Ready to have a conversation about your social media strategy? Complete the form below, we’d love to talk to you and see how we can help.
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