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Developing a Social Media Strategy

WRITTEN by: Bethany Bebech |
categories: Content Marketing

Nov 2009


Please forgive me if you've already heard me stand on my soap box and lecture on the need for a strategy when it comes to social media. You would think this is a topic that is pretty obvious and overdone, but it obviously needs some more attention. Speed and low start-up costs are two things that make social media so great. However, because of those things many organizations jump in without asking themselves one very important question. Why?


Before just jumping right in I recommend you take some time and follow these steps:

1. Discovery

Research all the important players in your business. This includes your consumers, employees, competitors and companies you admire. Are they using social media? If so, what are they using it to do? Also take a good look at your brand and its perception in the social media space. This should be much deeper than just doing a Google Search. Try a social search engine like SocialMention.

2. Goals

This is the most important part that many organizations skip. What is it that you actually want to accomplish? If you can't answer this question I'm willing to bet that in 6 months you'll be disappointed by the results of social media. Avoid saying things like "we just need a Facebook page." Dig deep and think about some goals. Here are a few examples that you might consider:

  • Improve customer service
  • Help our internal sales team communicate with each other
  • Increase awareness of the thought leadership that exists in the organization
  • Launch a new product line

3. Planning

Ask yourself a lot of difficult questions. Who will manage our online presence? How will we respond to negative comments (since you should be responding)? Will we allow employees to particpate? Will we allow employees to show personality or will it all be behind the brand (please, consider showing some personality)? Do we need a social media policy (Yes!)? Consider all the tough questions now. You'll be glad you got it out of the way.

4. Measurement Plan

How will you measure and evaluate your success? Measuring social media requires a different mindset. It's all about engagement. Worry less about fans and followers and more about the quantity and quality of the interactions. Who cares if you have 1,000 fans that never comment or interact with you. Also, set realistic goals and don't expect overnight results.

Nothing ground breaking here. In fact, this is probably a similar process you follow when making other business decisions. Good luck!

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