5 Questions to Ask Before Implementing a Social Media Strategy

JamesonGBrown
Jameson Brown VP, Strategic Operations , Knechtel Group

Posted on April 28th 2013

5 Questions to Ask Before Implementing a Social Media Strategy

by Jamey Brown

In my head it goes: goal setting – brainstorm – idea pool – checks and balances – strategy – tactics – finished plan. This has been my process for developing strategy plans thus far. Everyone’s strategy development is different, but the overarching themes can be applicable to all. Oh yeah, and strategy (since I see it everywhere and no real description attached) is the high level plan(s) that’s built to achieve certain, pre-determined goals. Tactics are the executional steps that help achieve the overarching goals of the strategy. So, before you make the jump to executional, think of these five questions while you are developing your overarching strategic plan.

1. What are my goals? Short term? And long term?

It’s all pointless if you are not striving to hit certain goals you’ve set. There needs to a be a concise list of short term, immediate goals you want to knock out, and then a concise list of the big, 6 month-ish goals you want to achieve over time. Determining goals is the very first step.

2. Will I need 1 overarching strategy? Or several?

Sometimes, multiple strategies are needed if the client you are working with is a large one and has multiple large goals to achieve on a more corporate branding level. That and the fact that they could have a campaign that seeks to accomplish two very different things. Do I recommend them implementing a bipolar campaign? No. But sometimes several strategies are needed to accomplish different sets of goals.

3. What tactics do I need in place to fulfill the goals of my strategy?

VERY IMPORTANT. These are the mechanical pieces that keep the big machine running. You need actionable steps that say, “this is how you are going to actually do it on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis.”

4. Is my strategy fulfilling BOTH my long term and short term goals?

Always go back and double check yourself. Asking this question forces you to keep your goals on your mind at all times. Sometimes “creativity” can blind people’s strategic thinking and “cool” can take a front seat very fast. DON’T let this happen. Goals are always #1! Let cool and creativity come naturally.

5. What is the lifespan (timeline) of this strategy? 

Simple. How long will this plan be in place? Again, determine how long you think it will take to accomplish the long term goals at hand and build a strategy that reflects that timeline. It could be three months; it could be one year. Give yourself checkpoints along the way.

What are some other steps you implement before developing a new social media strategy plan? 

JamesonGBrown

Jameson Brown

VP, Strategic Operations , Knechtel Group

Jameson is a social media and video marketing enthusiast who is currently the VP of Strategic Operations at Knechtel Group, a new media agency in Atlanta, GA and New York. Clients have included IMAX, Macy's, Advanstar Communications, AutoTrader.com, Cox Communications, Progressive Int'l Motorcycle Shows, Stan Lee's Comikaze, Novelis and more. 

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Comments

foley12
Posted on April 28th 2013 at 7:28PM

I think another important thing about strategy is measurement.  You need to know how you plan to measure success and the achievement of your goals.  With social this can be difficult.  Do you want to increase fans/followers, have a call to action that people respond to or measure something completely different?  All this should be worked out with the client well in advance so that they are aware of what success could mean so there are no false expectations.

JamesonGBrown
Posted on April 28th 2013 at 8:17PM

That's a great point! Measurement needs to always be in order, especially on the tactical level. That measurement is definitely a key part of accomplishing your goals. You make another great point about establishing what success looks like with the client BEFORE moving forward. That definitely falls under the "goal setting" section. 

Some great points, Aisling! 

Best, 

Jameson 

ball
Posted on April 29th 2013 at 2:11AM

I agree. There is no point in doing anything if you cannot measure how successful it was and adjust accordingly. 

JamesonGBrown
Posted on April 29th 2013 at 9:55AM

Agree, Becca! Tracking results is vital. And knowing WHAT to track is even more vital :) 

Cheers, 

Jamey 

ball
Posted on April 29th 2013 at 2:12AM

I must agree. There is no point in doing anything if you cannot measure the success/failure. 

Apps Mav
Posted on April 29th 2013 at 2:46AM

Brilliant read! Just to add to it - mapping your available resources and how you're going to use them should also be done during the planning and atrategy stage; saves a ton of time!

JamesonGBrown
Posted on April 29th 2013 at 9:58AM

Thank you, Uvika! And making sure those resources are available is essential as well. Along with that, putting the right people on the right project/campaign is key too. 

Cheers! 

J

gravesm359
Posted on April 29th 2013 at 2:05PM

Great article Jameson!  I really liked the fact that you took time to define the term strategy and that you differentiated it from tactics.  

JamesonGBrown
Posted on April 29th 2013 at 5:56PM

Thanks, Matthew! My pleasure. 

Jameson