7 Steps To Create A
Social Media Strategy
by Cheryl Laidlaw
You know that social media is important and you know that to achieve any success in business, you need to plan ahead. This means that having a social media strategy is crucial. The thing is though; the thought of creating a strategy can be off-putting. Social media is easy to use, and there is a lot to be said for jumping in and learning while you use it. This is fun, but it isn’t the best use of your time. To make the most of the opportunities that social media offers, you need to take the time to create a social media strategy.
These 7 steps will help you create a social media strategy that will pay off in the long term.
1. Focus on yourself first
Before you get carried away with the possibilities of social media, what can you commit to? How much time can you spare each day to be active on social media? Will you undertake the work yourself, do you have employees who can help or do you need to outsource the work? Also, what do you have to offer? Being on social media isn’t enough; you need to offer conent of value. This is why you need to appraise yourself and your business first before your rush in to a new platform.
2. Consider your market
Rather than trying to set the agenda on social media, you should search to see what people are talking about and what people are looking for. With social media, you need to remember that you are meeting people where they socialise. In real life, you wouldn’t butt into conversations and try to change the conversation, and you shouldn’t do it on social media either. Checking out your rivals, your local area, your target audience and other relevant areas will provide you with an idea of what you should be engaging your audience with.
3. Create goals
To be a success, you need to have goals. This is true for all businesses and all projects. If you are using social media, you clearly have aims, so make sure you record these aims and work towards them. Having goals give you a focus and it ensures that you can measure your success.
4. What social network is right for you?
There are plenty of different social networks to choose from and they all have their own personality. Take the time to explore the different options and see which one fits best with your business. Some networks offer more opportunity for engagement and user experience. If you are intent on engaging with your users, make sure that you are on the right social platform.
Now that you have researched the networks, it is time to make a plan. This should include who is going to do your social media work, where they are going to engage, when they are going to use the sites, what you aim to say and why you intend to use social network. The 5 W’s are always a good fall back in business terms and they are ideal for creating your social media plan which will make it clear exactly how your business aims to utilise social media and what they expect to achieve from this action.
6. Take action
Planning is important but you have to take action and act upon your plan. You’ll likely make mistakes, but that’s okay, because it is all about learning and developing your style and voice. You’ll also find that making the odd mistake can make your business seem more personable and if you deal with any slip-ups in the right manner, you can boost your image and identity further.
7. Always listen
Yes, social media websites give you a chance to engage, promote and develop an audience but like all good forms of communication, social media websites are about listening. You have a genuine opportunity to get high quality and actionable feedback from your audience, so make sure that you are in a position to use it.
Let me know how you get on in the comments section below, I’d love to know.