Essential Concepts for Social Media Strategy: Part 1

By now, all businesses are aware of the importance of social media in their marketing. What isn’t always so clear is if your business is actually doing it right. The purpose of this three-part series is to lay out the foundation of social media as a business tool. It really comes down to two concepts: vision, which we’ll talk about in part 1, and engagement, which we’ll talk about in part 2 later this week.

The Big Picture

Social media has become a cliché. It kind of seems that a lot of companies are getting on the various platforms just to say they are… just because. There are two big ideas to remember.

First, social media like any other business tool should be used to attain the business’ goals. If your business is just posting to post or no tangible effect comes as a result, then one could ask, “What’s the point?” Giving your activity direction gives it a true purpose.

Second, social media should be “social.” That means engaging in real conversation and forming relationships. It’s not just spouting out content every day, but actually taking time to create a two-way street of communication. Understanding this big picture alone will make your company’s social media flourish. HTC Screenshot


Here’s how you go about creating a social media vision: determine what your company wants to accomplish with your social media and get the whole team on board. Make it clear why you do it and who you are trying to target. Next, comes the how. Create a concrete social media strategy that includes the following:

Preliminary Research

Study both the reaction to your current social media activity, as well as the sentiment around it, making areas of strength stronger and improving on weaknesses. Look into social media best practices. Find out what your competitors and influencers in your industry are doing and saying. You can learn a lot from them.

Mission Statement

Write down a statement that clearly states your social media’s purpose and goals. Tie it to an overall business objective (or two) such as increasing sales or customer acquisition. This statement will be a guiding, directional force.

Target Audience

Define exactly who your target audience is. And do this for each social channel since the audience you target with your Facebook posts is likely very different than the audience you target with LinkedIn. It’s ineffective to just post for a wide audience, most of who may not really care or benefit from what you have to offer.

Action Plan

Get organized and lay out a content calendar. Detail the type of posts you’d like to have, how much of each type and how frequently you’ll be posting. Detail your “social media protocol,” such as the use of key words, visuals or hashtags. Decide the best times to post on each of the various platforms based on industry research in addition to engagement from your followers.

Measurable goals

Set goals that can be met through detailed analytics and insights after a period of time. Make sure that your social media activity is accomplishing whatever it is you put in your mission statement.

Essentially, don’t use social media blindly. “See” where it is you’re going with it and THEN begin marching forward. Once you have this clearly defined, it’s important to begin engaging with your audience. Not sure where to start? Check back for part two of this series.

Tell us about your social media strategy. Does it have vision? If not, how can you make things clearer?

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