Social Media Strategy – Step 1

I recently implemented a social media strategy that saw the company’s Facebook “likes” swell but nearly 1000% and Twitter followers jump 3000% in just three months.

How did we do it?

We had a plan.

Achieving success with social media marketing isn’t difficult, but it will be an uphill and possibly futile battle without a pre-defined strategy.

Over the next few posts I will outline a basic three-step plan that can help you develop an effective, streamlined road map for social media success.

Step #1: Assessment

The first and most important place to begin is by truthfully accessing the situation. That means realistically taking into account where you are and where you want to be with social media. This isn’t the time to snow yourself or your management team. If you have been failing in the past, admit it. And keep the goals simple. Don’t shoot for the stars or you’ll become discouraged quickly.

You’ll also need to outline what you believe is your audience’s needs, wants and challenges. Re-examine your customer demographic data (hopefully you have that already). Run some surveys. Do some research.  You’ll want to know everything you can about your audience so you’ll be able to:

  1. Create content that resonates.
  2. Build trust through relevancy.
  3. Have a voice that your audience can relate to.
  4. Listen and respond to specific customers needs, feedback or complaints.
  5. Become a resource in your niche or industry.

You’ll also want to define the theme of your strategy. Are you looking to create awareness, generate sales or build brand loyalty?

It’s likely that you’ll want to do all three (or others), but it will only work if you set one goal and let the others nurture from the success of that singular theme. Consistency and simplicity are the name of the game here.

How will you measure your strategy’s success?

Another key component of the assessment is determining exactly how you will measure success. The simplest advice I can give here is: Listen.

Listen to what people are saying on Facebook, Twitter and on blogs all around the web. Use Google Alerts. It’s a perfect tool for people who are just starting out. It’s easy to set up and, best of all, it’s free.

Facebook also has some relatively helpful tools that allow you to see your “likes,” what is trending and your daily reach. I say they are ‘relatively’ helpful because the data can seem a bit arbitrary and speculative, and is only accessible for three month periods. Plus, I would not recommend getting too wrapped up in what the numbers say. Use the data to support the activity and comments you are seeing.

fb-likes

Put It All in Writing

Finally, you will want to finalize the plan by writing it down. This allows you to have policies and procedures in place as situations arise. For example, what if there is a negative comment posted to Twitter by a customer? The plan should tell you who deals with it and what the strategy is for diminishing the impact.

Other things you will want to include in your written strategy:

  • What is the goal?
  • Who is responsible for what?
  • Where is the content coming from?
  • Where are your focused goals for each platform (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?
  • When are you engaging (days and times)?

Once you have your strategy in writing you are ready to get started.

Next time around I will explain the Implementation process, where you apply your establish strategy and focus on the day-to-day tasks.

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