5 Steps to Creating Your Social Media Strategy - Part 1

Jul 22, 2014 | Social Media

Part 1 of our 2-part blog on creating a social media strategy will introduce you to the first 2 steps: reviewing your current status and having a plan.

Social Media Strategy

Whether you are just getting started or looking to improve your current standing, this blog will help you expand your reach and optimize your overall social media strategy. Developing a social media strategy can be time consuming. Many people do not even know where to start. Part 1 of our 2-part blog on creating a social media strategy will introduce you to the first 2 steps: reviewing your current status and having a plan.
 

  1. Take a Look at Your Current Status

    To begin with, we recommend taking a step back and looking at your current status on social media. Does your company even have a social media presence? If not, then you are starting from scratch. If your company is on social media, you will want to conduct some research and generate a report detailing all of the current efforts.

    Creating an all-encompassing report will help you to get tabs on which sites are being used and how they are being used. You will then want to share this report with key stakeholders or your marketing team. Together, you can all analyze and determine what has worked and what needs improved upon. Also, having this document as a starting point will be great to look back at in one year. At that time, you can generate another social media analysis report.
     
  2. Have a Plan (5 W’s)
     
    • Why are you on social media?
      The top 3 reasons that companies are on social media include:
      • Customer Service
      • Engagement
      • Brand Awareness

      You may also be using social media as a combination of the 3. It is vital that you identify your reason for being on social media before you begin posting. This will help determine which sites you should be on and shape what you post.

    • Who Will Manage Your Sites?
      It is important to allocate a social media manager rather than just tacking the duty onto the end of someone’s job description. This will ensure that the job is completed and taken seriously. In order to pick the right person, consult this article from Social Media Today on the 7 habits of a highly effective social media manager.
       
    • What will you post?
      If you are just starting out and you have no idea what you are going to post, you can try the 2:2:1 rule. This is a general “getting started” strategy and should be modified over time.
      • 2 parts original content
      • 2 parts shared content
      • 1 part engaging content

      In other words, for every 2 posts on original content (blogs, news releases, videos), you should share 2 articles from outside sources and share 1 engaging post, such as trivia or an image. You will learn over time what your audience likes and should adapt your strategy accordingly.
       
    • Where will you focus your social media efforts?
      Understand the demographics of your clientele as well as the demographics of each social media site in order to determine where your social media efforts are best spent. You will want to be on more than one site, but don’t spread yourself too thin by joining every site out there. If you have a largely female following, try adding Pinterest into the mix where 25% of online women are active, as opposed to only 5% of online men (Pew Internet). If your company is B2B focused, give LinkedIn a whirl.
       
    • When will you post?
      Determining the best time to post can be a trial and error process. To begin with, refer to Pam Dyer’s recommendations on the best and worst times to post. She suggests that the best times to share on Facebook are weekdays between 6:00am and 8:00am and between 2:00pm and 5:00pm. You should also include weekends in your posting schedule since social media doesn’t take a break!

The first two steps of developing your social media strategy are all about revisiting and re-working your current strategy, or identifying key components for those of you starting from scratch. In part 2 we will discuss the final 3 steps: managing your campaign, maintaining your campaign, and reviewing your analytics. Stay tuned!

As always, if you need any assistance with social media management, feel free to contact Informatics.

photo credit: mkhmarketing via flickr cc