With all the new tools and platforms constantly emerging, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking about social media through a tactical prism instead of a strategic one. The best social media strategy plans are tools-agnostic and set forth objectives and metrics that supersede any particular social venue.
Yes, you can use social media to help accomplish several business objectives.
But the best social media strategies are those that focus (at least initially)
on a more narrow rationale for social. What do you primarily want to use social
for? Awareness? Sales? Loyalty and retention? Pick one.
With whom will you be interacting with social media? What are the
demographic and psychographic characteristics of your current or
prospective customers? How does that impact what you can and should
an attempt at social media?
Only after you know why you’re active in social at all, and how you’ll
Measure social media strategy success should you turn your attention to
the “how” of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the rest. This channel plan should
be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in
How are you going to determine whether this is actually making a difference in
your business? What key measures will you use to evaluate social media
strategy effectiveness? How will you transcend (hopefully) likes and
engagement? Will you measure ROI?
It’s an old social media planning chestnut by now, but “listen” is still good
advice that’s often ignored. The reality is that your customers (and
competitors) will give you a good guide to where and how you should be
active in social media, if you broaden your social listening beyond your brand
The mechanics of social force companies to compete for attention versus your
customers’ friends and family members. Thus, your company has to (at least
to some degree) act like a person, not an entity. How will you do that?
Nobody should “own” social media strategy in your organization. Social
impacts all corners of the company, and should be more like air (everywhere)
than like water (you have to go get it). Thus, the first step in the process is to
create a cross-functional team to help conceive and operate the rest of the
It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you sell, your product features and
benefits aren’t enough to create a passion-worthy stir. How will your
organization appeal to the heart of your audience, rather than the head?
Disney isn’t about movies, it’s about magic. Apple isn’t about technology, it’s
about innovation. What are you about?
The real challenge is, after developing the strategy it is also important to sustain your brand on social media.
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