Before jumping into a social media campaign, before you randomly start Tweeting, posting blogs, or accidentally create a Facebook Profile or Group instead of a Page, sit down with your team and develop a social media strategy. Your Social Media Strategy may be part of your overall Digital Marketing Strategy, or it may be a standalone strategy just for this campaign.
Below is our outline to developing a sucessful Social Media Strategy. We highly recommend having a Digital Marketing Strategy for your overall digital marketing campaign.
10 Steps to Developing a Social Media Strategy
- Put Your Team Together: Of course a first logical step is to select your team so everyone will be involved frfom the outset and everyone can contribute. This includes select an SMO (Social Media Optimization) firm if you are bringing in hired guns. While there are advantages to developing in house talent, there are also advantages to using outside experts that bring fresh perspectives and more diverse experience to the team.
- Establish Goals and Objectives: Before starting any marketing campaign one of the early steps is to clearly establish what your goals and objectives are. What would a successful result look like for this campaign? What do you want to achieve from it? What is the time frame for this?
- Define Voice: MAPP: Traditional marketing uses the well tested Creative Brief to define the tone, voice, and style of a new ad campaign. Your social media campaign will have a voice, tone and style that you need to define. We use our MAPP (Marketing Assessment and Personal Profile) to define your social media voice and style.
- Survey Competition: Now that you know what you want to do and who you are (from a social media perspective) it’s time to survey the competition. What are they doing that works? What are they doing that doesn’t work? How will you be different or better?
- Define Channels: There are lots of social media channels available, of course the big 5 are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (for some niches), Youtube (for some uses), and now Google Plus aka Google+. Which channels are right and best for your campaign and how will you use them? How will you integrate/leverage your message across all channels to be consistent and yet not redundant.
- Don’t Forget Blogs: Technically blogs would be considered as one of your channels and part of the above, but they are so important I decided to make them a separate item. Blogs are great for both Social Media and getting your message out and also fantastic for SEO. I cannot overstate the importance of having a blog with great content and published consistently. In addition it is critical that your blog is set up correctly from a technical standpoint in order for it to be found for the search engine spiders and to deliver the maximum SEO benefits.
- Define and Establish Metrics: Before you launch it is important to decide what you are going to measure and track, and how you are going to do it. This ties directly into #2 above, Establish Goals and Objectives.
- Establish Your Budget: Contrary to some opinions, social media is not free. Yes you can set up a free blog, yes Twitter is free to set up, as is a Facebook Page, Youtube, Google Plus, and LinkedIn. Even for these “free” platforms there is a cost to developing your social media presence and maintaining your campaign. Staff will need to tweet and respond to tweets, blog posts need to be written, your Facebook Page requires monitoring and posts as well. None of this is free and to be successful you must commit resources, budget, to your campaign.
- Campaign Launch: OK, time to launch. Meet with your team, make sure everyone is in sync with the campaign, and move out. Don’t forget the most important part, it should be fun! If your social media team is not having fun and enjoying their work it will show in the posts and responses in one form or another. Social media is personal by nature; a happy team is evident, likewise an unhappy or frustrated team will be very apparent.
- Monitor, Evaluate, Adjust: Now that the campaign is launched and you are gathering metrics review the results with your team. Are adjustments required? Are you on track? What is the tone of the campaign from your fans and tweeps?