Social Media Strategy

Does your firm or organization have a cohesive social media strategy? If you’re allocating a budget or manpower in the social channel, you should have a strategy that clearly spells out what your goals are and how you will measure the success of those goals. If you’re marketing without one, or perhaps you’re just getting your feet wet in social, let’s briefly cover how our team establishes an effective strategy from day one.

Your first phase should establish a team that will be responsible for the social channel. If you don’t have the personnel to effectively manage social, take steps to identify and hire an outside team that can devote sufficient resources. Next, take stock of your customers and where they are active, while simultaneously examining where your competitors are most active in social. This should provide a solid understanding of which specific networks to devote most of your attention. Lastly, choose what business objectives your marketing in social will help to achieve. Are you trying to build awareness? Increase sales? Improve customer loyalty? You’ll need to choose an objective if you hope to focus your campaign on what matters most for your organization.

The next phase should include a determination of what key performance indicators will demonstrate success in social. How will you get beyond simply measuring likes and engagement and measure ROI? Next, take a close look at your audience and develop a firm understanding of your audience’s demographic and overall mindset. Understanding your audience and not only who they are, but rather what they need from you, is key to producing marketing that works well in social.

Your final phase should be to lay the ground rules for how your social team will use their voice in the various social channels. Social networking is all about people, not necessarily about brands. To some degree, your social team will need to act like a person, not a corporate robot. Take some time to discuss how this will play out by role-playing some potential conversations you’ll undoubtedly have online.  For example, if a customer has a complaint about your brand, how will you address that? Imagine how an ideal social interaction might occur. That way, your social team will know how to handle potentially delicate issues without making them worse.

At this point, you should be ready to create individual channel plans that outline how you will engage with each social network, the kind of content you’ll share, and how to best achieve your objectives while keeping the idiosyncrasies of each social network in mind.

Now that your social media strategy is complete, you’ll have a framework for how your organization will operate going forward, and hopefully everyone on your team will be familiar with their role.