So your organisation has realised they need to prepare a social media strategy. You are not alone. Many companies continue to struggle with the success and increasing dominance of social media and are now realising this is not a passing fad but actually something they need to integrate into their marketing mix. There are some companies that do not know how to begin, and others who may have been using social media for some time in various forms, who still do not know how to define its success for them.
The best way to ensure social media success is to develop a strategy that defines clear goals and objectives, and has the ability and processes executed to measure success. But how and where do you begin?
There is far too much for me to cover in detail in this blog, however I can go through the top ingredients that make for a sound strategy and which will give you a solid starting point.
The first step is to start by asking some questions.
1. Who is your audience? Where do they congregate online?
2. What are your goals? Why do you want to incorporate social media into your marketing mix?
3. What is it that you want to achieve through the execution and management of social media?
4. How will you integrate social media into your existing communications plan? How will it be integrated into your website and other marketing materials?
5. What channels (social media platforms) are best for your company, your audience and for your particular message(s) to be best received?
6. How will you monitor and moderate conversations? and
7. How will you manage your various channels and pages?
These are great questions to wet the whistle and allow for some discussions to commence between your many stakeholders. Circulate an agenda and hold a brainstorming meeting, or a series of meetings, so that all areas of your business can contribute to the discussion.
When it comes to writing the actual strategy, you should consider addressing the following:
+ Why social media for your organisation, why now and what is the cost of inaction?
+ Who is your potential audience? Define your buyer personas so you and your team know the different needs and behaviours of your potential customers, which will make it easier to communicate consistently and relevantly to each. This will also greatly assist with effective messaging as well as gaining an understanding of where to best reach each of these personas.
+ What do you want social media to help you achieve? What are your short term and long term goals? How do these relate to the goals in your company’s Strategic Communication Plan?
Define your Social Media by way of Goal, Strategy and Tactic.
Increase Brand Strength and Liveability.
Use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs to tell the company’s good news stories.
Post good news stories on Facebook and Twitter daily; create YouTube videos demonstrating your brand/good news and write blogs telling your good news stories, then syndicate across channels.
Make sure your strategy looks at the barriers to reaching your goals in both the short and long term, and address how you will seek to overcome those barriers.
Corporate governance and guidelines will need to be addressed, as there are many areas that will need attention such as triage plans, house rules and privacy.
A major area that must be considered for any strategy to be effective is how to measure success. Are your goals ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed). How will you go about measuring success? What is the starting point to measure? What will signal success or partial success? What will signal failure? Do you need tools to assist with the ongoing measurement?
Even the most brilliant strategy will fall flat without a team with clearly defined responsibilities. This is easier if you have a dedicated social media team. If not it will take some negotiation. Assign the relevant and ongoing social media tasks to the appropriate members of the team.
When determining who is responsible for what activities, consider the following tasks as part of your social media efforts:
+ Creating content
+ Posting updates to social profiles
+ Discover and curating outside content
+ Outreach and engaging with your community
+ Monitoring conversations
+ Analysing data from conversations
+ Connecting with internal and external partners
You may work in a small organisation or even be a marketing team of only one. For you to achieve social media success requires a really tight strategy and clear understanding of exactly what success means. While this can be true for all companies, when you are strapped for resources (people and time), it is more important to focus on the right outcomes.
The final point I will make in relation to any strategy, which is especially relevant with a social media strategy, is that is not a “do once – and your done” activity. It should be a living document that is amended from time to time, to add new initiatives and to pull back on those that are not proving successful for your business.
To lean about how to measure ROI when it comes to measuring success check out our recent Blog Seven Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Inbound Marketing Strategy.
For more information on anything in relation to social, digital or mobile – or for some advice or assistance with your social media strategy, feel free to contact us at Mighty Media Group for a no obligation chat about how we can help you. Contact@mightymediagroup.com.au.
If you enjoyed this blog – please check out our latest ebook – “The Inbound Marketers Manifesto“
About the Author
Bruce Grant is the Chief Integration Officer at Mighty Media Group and has a wealth of expertise and experience with managing people and projects along with data, systems, workflows and technology. He oversees the company’s implementation and technology teams, driving transformation from social media and digital strategy, with a focus on inbound marketing, web development, sales enablement, SEO, social media marketing and campaigns, blogging, content creation, analytics and much more. Follow Bruce on Twitter @BruceJohnGrant or drop him an email anytime on firstname.lastname@example.org.