Ten Best Practices for Building Your Social Media Strategy
By Lisa D’Orsaneo, Account Manager
Is your social media strategy still working for your business? If you answered “what social media strategy” or “uhhhh” we need to talk.
First, you need to understand what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what you want to accomplish with it. Being on social media does not a strategy make. Treat your social media strategy like you do your marketing plan – think analytically about your goals, create a written draft and ensure it fits within your overall marketing plan. To help, here are ten best practices to building a strong social media strategy:
1. Set goals. What you want to accomplish will dictate what tools to use. Define this before you sign onto social media to make sure you’re using time and resources appropriately.
2. Identify target audiences. Know who you want to reach before you begin. Map out your target’s demographic information, and understand their behavioral motivation to help guide your planning.
3. Identify appropriate social media for your business. Just because a site exists doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. Consider your goals, your audiences and what type of business you’re in when choosing where to spend your social media time. Not every site works as well for every company or industry, so choose wisely.
4. Check out the competition. Look at what sites your competitors use and what they post. Evaluate their audience and their engagement. Take what’s working (and even what’s not!) and use it to build your plan.
5. Make sign in information “public.” Don’t lose access to your Facebook page when an employee leaves. Create a social media persona for your company and use that dedicated email address for your accounts to avoid problems if someone moves on. Use your social media persona for all accounts and keep a written, current list of all sign-ins and passwords that all authorized social media posters can access.
6. Set roles and responsibilities for managing pages. Have at least two people who can access, post and monitor on each site. Know who is authorized to post on behalf of the company, and determine how often you are going to monitor your sites and your competitors’.
7. Build your audience. It may be tempting to start with this, but don’t. Only after you know what you’re doing, why, how and who’s responsible is it time to reach the public. Start with your inner circle and build out. Advertising can help get the word out quickly; contests are another option. As always, use the technique that will resonate most with your target.
8. Have a posting plan. Create an editorial calendar that’s tailored for each site. Know what type of information you’re going to post and how often you plan to post it.
9. Develop protocols for interaction. If you get a customer query or a complaint, what will you do? Map it out and write it down so you’re not caught by surprise when it happens.
10. Identify evaluation measures and metrics. How will you determine if your social media is working for you? The answer will vary for every company, but you need to outline some benchmarks to determine success. Most sites have built in measurement tools available, or you may want to use a social media management program. Whatever you use, make sure you do track and tweak your strategy if needed to meet your goals.
If you’re thinking that this is a lot of effort to use mostly free tools, you’re right. But those free tools do have resource costs associated with them, and it’s worth the investment to make sure you get the best ROI. If you need help developing, implementing or evaluating your social media strategy, give us a call. Sometimes an outside review can be just what you need to get on track.