What is a social media strategy?

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.

Social media strategy diagram

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.

What Should a Social Media Strategy Include?

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:

  1. What your business goals are
  2. How you you plan to achieve them (the choice(s) you’re making)
  3. Who you’re doing it for (the audience)
  4. How you’re meeting the needs of that audience

For example:

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.

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Why do we need a Social Media Strategy?

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.

Types of Social Media Strategy

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.

Let’s talk…

Contact us now to talk about your challenges and opportunities in social media and how we can help.