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5 Step Plan: Getting Started on Your Social Media Strategy

I always say … diving into social media for business is like baking sugar cookies without the sugar. Sure, it’s possible, but does it taste good? I see you shaking your head no …

It’s a big world out there in the social realm. Don’t waste your time creating more noise – strategize.

A social media strategy is a plan of action. It’s your guide to achieving your goals. Get started with my five simple tips.

1. Set a budget and time that can be allocated. While the popular social channels are free to use, there’s always a price – the amount you’ll spend managing social media, or the amount you’ll spend paying someone to. Once you have this one in place you can …

2. Determine a Social Media Manager. Who at your company will manage social? Or will you hire a freelancer or an agency? Your social media manager or managers should:

  • Be a great writer.
  • Know a thing or two about public relations.
  • Have some experience in customer service.
  • Be organized! Social media can be a lot to handle. Being disorganized can be counterproductive.
  • Know your company and understand your core values.
  • Be creative. It’s a flooded market out there. Your social media manager will need to have the ability to get your content noticed.
  • Graphic design skills are a plus. There have been studies done that showed, people prefer posts with images! Utilizing branded custom images from time to time are always a nice touch.
  • Have the willingness to learn. Social media is ALWAYS changing (seriously, within the time I spent writing this blog post, there could be something brand new). Your social media manager needs to be able to stay on top of trends and updates, and adjust accordingly.

3. Set your goals. I know, you want more customers, you want sales, but that’s not the mindset to have with social media. It works like this: brand awareness + trust = sales. If people don’t know about you, how can they buy from you? If they don’t trust you, why would they want to buy from you? Approach social media with the mindset of being awesome and providing value. Ask yourself what you can do for your customers, not what they can do for you. Consider what your long term goals are and what your short term goals are. Sales should be a long term, not short term goal. Examples:

Short Term

  • 100 followers on Facebook
  • 25 RTs on Twitter
  • 5 shares on Google Plus

Long Term

  • 50 website conversions
  • $5,000 in sales
  • 20 new, loyal customers

4.  Select which social channels to go with. Facebook is always a good bet. It’s the largest and most popular out there. While every business is different, nine times out of 10, I’ll say get your business on Facebook. Other popular channels include:

  • Linkedin – Where people go to do business. The more professional channel. Especially beneficial for B2B companies.
  • YouTube – Give your SEO a boost. Get your message in front of a large audience. Get your message out in an engaging, interactive way.
  • Instagram – Everyone loves a great photo. Show off your company’s employees.
  • Google Plus – For companies that care about their business getting found.
  • Twitter – Another great one for getting found. Especially useful for relationship building, joining conversions, and news.

5. Plan what you’ll post and how often. If you’re just starting out with social media, posting on Facebook and Twitter at a minimum of two to three times a week is perfect. Consistency is important. If you plan to post the two to three, stick with it for awhile. Only increase frequency when you can be consistent with the additional posts.

I hope this blog post offered you some direction to get started. There’s A LOT more that goes into a social media strategy. 

Join The Conversation

  • Mar 20 Posted 2 years ago Wilfried Schock First, I am reading SocialMediaToday nearly on a regular base. It ist a good source of information. Yesterday i read an article called 5 Step Plan: Getting Started on Your Social Media Strategy. I like the hands on approach. Normally. But not in this case and in particular not if I have the distinct idea that this advise could produce results less recommendable than the author certainly has in mind. This 5 Step Plan includes the steps: 1. Set a budget and time that can be allocated. 2. Determine a Social Media Manager. 3. Set your goals.  4.  Select which social channels to go with. 5. Plan what you’ll post and how often. If this sounds familiar to you, you certainly right. It is a very common approach. I apologize for picking this particular article. I stands for a lot of others. Instead of discussing this steps I recommend an other approach of building a Social Media Strategy für Business. 1. Check your Business Model and learn how Social Media is changing it. Look für Risks and Chances, do not forget the Changes on your Competitors side, nor on Costumers and Provider Level. Try to understand what kind of Disruption Social Media can produce to your Business Model. With some knowledge of the Capability of Social Media - not only the Capability of Social Media Channels, please - this is possible. Take the findings from this step and add them to your strategic goals. I use an adaption of the Business Model Generation Method of Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur for this step. 2. Take the strategic goals of your Business and check how Social Media could disturb or support them. I recommend to add a matrix of costumer groups / markets and productes / services at least for this step. Take this findings and add them to your social media strategy objectives. At this point you have very fundamental objectives from step 1 and step 2 als main strategic objectives für your social media strategy development. 3. Decide which kind of Social Media Utilisation (Social Media Utilization Format) will be adequate - and of cause viable - for your objectives. Kind of Social Media Utilisation means the 5 different ways to use Social Media as there are the use of Social Media • as an advertising channel • as an information channel (mainly one way „communication“) • as a channel of communication (dialogue, communication in 2 directions) • building brand communitys • building subject / topic based communities At this point of developing your Social Media Strategy you have strategic objektives and the Social Media Format (Kind of Social Media Utilization) 4. Construct the Content of your Social Media Strategy Components. Every Social Media Strategy should - in my personal opinion of course - content a minimum set of components as there are • business objectives • social media utilization format • audience (structure, quality, building) • target groups / customer segments • social media channels • content and topics • motivation • partizipation • competition • social media architecture • social media integration (in business processes) • ressources and realization • reliability and sustainability (of investment and results) • controlling system with relevant KPIs This ist a major task, because you will find a serious and large number of interactions between the components, which should be solved to get a reliable working strategy. This sounds like tough work and it ist. But it provides us with a better reviewed strategy with a higher chance of sustainable successs. 5. Check the strategy again. especially on viability - think about organization and budget now - and changes of success. If you are not convinced go back to step 4. Thank you for being such a patient reader. I apologize not to be a native writer.

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