June 24, 2011

Create a social media strategy in four steps

This is the second part of our three-part Social Media Planning series, broken down into the following phases:

  1. Part 1: Social media analysis
  2. Part 2: Social media strategy (below)
  3. Part 3: Social media plan

Deltina HayOn Tuesday I introduced this short series on how to create a social media analysis, strategy and plan, defining how those different elements are important to achieve an optimal result with social media.

Today we’ll list four steps for completing a social media strategy.

1A strategy for the organization’s existing website:

  • Outline a strategy for optimizing the organization’s existing website.
  • You may suggest adding a blog, placing social bookmarking buttons from addtoany.com, or placing widgets and badges to highlight the organization’s Social Web presence.

2A strategy for improving the organization’s presence in existing social media sites:

  • Outline a plan of attack for improving and optimizing the existing social tools the organization has in place.
  • This may include a strategy to engage more with fans or to refocus efforts on a more realistic target market based on the social media analysis.

3A social media tools strategy:

  • Outline the tools you believe will most benefit the organization and why.
  • Include a statement about how the organization might specifically leverage each tool, but save the details for the “social media plan.”
  • Here is a collection of social networking stats by Web Strategist that can help you back up your recommendations.
  • This should be an overview of your recommended social media strategy, the actual social media plan will come after this phase.

4A social media analytics and metrics strategy:

  • Include recommended analytics and metrics tools.
  • Outline a plan for establishing an existing base line to use as a basis of comparison.
  • Save more detailed tactics for the social media plan.

Stay tuned for part two of the series when we discuss how to prepare a social media plan.

This post originally appeared as a Social Media Tip of the Day entry from Social Media Power.Deltina Hay, a partner in Socialmedia.biz, is an author and educator who develops online curricula on social media and other Internet marketing topics. She also helps businesses prepare their content for semantic search and big data analysis. Contact her, follow her on Twitter and Google Plus, or leave a comment below.

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7 thoughts on “Create a social media strategy in four steps

  1. I think Patrick is bang on- Social Media needs to be seen as part of an overall Comms strategy, not an end in itself. In the old pre-digital days, you allocated your marketing budget to press, tv etc advertising, promotions, literature and public relations SELECTIVELY based on your overall Marketing Strategy target markets, and budgets.

    There is a bit of an obsession with chasing social media currently, even amongst B2B services like consultancy, which my company is in. And before anyone says, ah yes, but you need social media to figure strongly in Google for your niche, our company's website has been at or very near top in Google for our chosen keywords for over 4 years now, and this drives 80% plus of our new business enquiries.

    Social media also demands a lot of time and resource, which is an important factor in a small business like ours. We keep considering it, however, as everyone else seems to be doing, but we just end up wondering what to do with it!

  2. You don't focus much on the importance of a social media strategy for reaching certain goals – for example: if you're a restaurant you want to get the word out about how great your place is, offer specials to increase revenue, and get feedback on new menu items and whether or not you should keep them on the menu. Its important to have goals and to ask yourself whenever you do something: is this going to help me reach these goals. If you're not sure about something, move on to the next idea.

    Plug: Our app Coupon City allows you to offer a coupon to people through your Facebook Page. Check it out free for a month at ” target=”_blank”>http://www.couponcityapp.com . Cheers