Big campaign coming up? Want to use social media? Then follow our five easy steps below on ‘how to write a basic social media strategy’…
Fundamentally creating a social media strategy is the process of specifying an organisation’s vision, goals, opportunities and related activities in order to maximise the business benefits of social media initiatives. And ultimately it should reflect the overall aims of your organisation.
Strategy first. Plan second.
A basic strategy defines how your organisation will use social media to achieve its aims and contains:
- A simple statement of intent;
- An outline of goals and measurable tasks;
- Is in context with the overall comms plan.
Social media shouldn’t sit in a silo, but instead work in parallel with other channels.
The following five steps will guide you on how to write a basic social media strategy:
1. Create social media objectives and goals
Think about your social media strategy in the context of your organisation’s broader business objectives.
What are your objectives?
- What are the broad objectives?
- What are measurable goals?
- What style and tone will suit objectives?
What is the purpose of your social media channels?
- Know your purpose
- Know your limitations
- Honesty is the key
What you want to address at this stage is why you want to use social media and outline exactly what it is that you are seeking to achieve. These should be realistic targets and also offer ways in which it can be measured.
2. Choose only the most relevant channels.
Look around you – know the landscape before you start planning.
Each channel, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other, has a unique audience. Investigate who exactly is using each platform and which platform your key audience uses. Which one is the most important and which is the least important? You should use this step to identify who you are trying to engage with. There are many communities that you can be trying to reach such as: the general public, volunteers, staff, media, competitors, politicians, children and schools and local companies, each of which use social media in a host of different ways. Therefore, you can work out which are the most important channels to include in your strategy.
You should also look at how the strategy will perform on each channel. Every social media platform is unique in its own way. For example, Twitter offers real-time, live news in short bursts of information, whereas Facebook is more family and friend orientated and posts stay active for a longer period of time. Think about how your strategy will differ across different networks.
3. Research into what others in your area are doing
What is the tone and approach of your organisation? Creating an online presence that has a unique and authentic tone will help distinguish you from other competitors. This can also manifest itself in different ways across the platforms. For example, on Instagram you can be a lot more visual to show your personality whereas Twitter requires more thought around the language that you use. Try and use this to play to your strengths.
Have you thought about the type of language you will use? Are you serious? Are you playful? Are you friendly? Once you have settled on the character of your brand you can then also address how to ensure consistency in every post when different people are creating the content.
The key here is to:
- Be consistent
- Be authentic
- Be current
- Be relevant
4. Create a content plan and calendar
Content is the material that determines your success on social media. It doesn’t matter if it is created professionally or if it’s more amateur, what matters is getting your stakeholders to engage with it. Authenticity and storytelling are more important than the quality of the video so keep this in mind when coming up with ideas.
Different types of content include:
While it is a great idea to plan content, there is also a benefit to creating timely posts. The key to doing this is to stay involved in relevant news stories and familiarise yourself with themes and trending stories in relevant areas.
If you can answer these five questions then you will have a quality grasp on the type of content you should be creating and how you can plan it going forward.
1.What content works best for my organisation?
2.How does this differ for different channels?
3.How do we practically develop the content we need?
4.How do I keep my content moving?
5.How do I keep my audience interested and channels active?
5. Test, evaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan
Look at how you are going to evaluate whether or not our strategy is working. Are you using online analytics? Are you using follower growth? From here you can start to think about what the most important aspects to measure are as well as addressing what is realistic to measure.
Analysing your activity can also be quite time consuming so think about how often you want to measure.
After the analysis the key is to also think about how you will use the findings to affect your strategy going forward. This can be as simple as using the most engaging posts as a template when shaping new content.
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