4 Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy

4 Steps to Creating a Social Media StrategyGuest post by Gerald Heneghan

Social media has exploded in recent years, letting people engage in traditional activities in an exciting online arena. So, it’s no surprise that companies of all shapes and sizes are jumping on the bandwagon and attempting to tap into this powerful source of marketing potential.

However, leaping in head-first can often be a disaster for those who are unprepared for the unique challenges of the field.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most common hurdles of social media strategy, and advise you on the best ways of navigating these.

1) Establish Goals for Your Social Media Activities

Many brands and businesses are keen to jump on the social media train without knowing exactly why. Therefore, an important first step is to identify the objectives you wish to achieve with your social presence.

If you’re a first-timer, it’s best to err on the side of caution and set modest goals where the return on investment can be easily identified. Some good examples include:

  • Listening to chatter about your brand, competitors or sector
  • Using social media as a customer service tool
  • Generate web traffic
  • Enhance interaction
  • Get more customers into the brick-and-mortar store

2) Deploy Resources Based on the Goals

Once you’ve identified what you’re trying to achieve and specifically what you’ll do, you then need to consider what resources you’ll need to deploy.

Many newcomers become frustrated with social media, but fail to allocate adequate support for their activities. Simply sticking an intern on the page(s) for a couple of hours a week won’t cut it – and you’ll often need to involve disparate areas of the business to achieve the best results.

3) Integration With Other Activities

Like Dirk Gently (the holistic detective created by Douglas Adams), you should take a holistic approach to social media marketing.  By tying social media with campaigns conducted via other web properties, email or even physical communications, you can enhance its effectiveness.

However, social channels can’t be treated like a traditional channel and you have to play to the strengths of the format with more of a focus on engagement and platform growth over time than on generating immediate sales.

4) Assess Your Results

After a pre-defined period of time, you should aim to evaluate your progress on social. Compare what you’ve achieved against the goals you set, and see how they stack up. If you’ve achieved or surpassed these – you may want to think about expanding your activities. If you’ve fallen short, try and investigate why and see what you could do differently.

One good step at any stage throughout this process is scoping out your competitors. This can provide valuable intelligence on how they’re using social channels, what they’re doing well, and maybe what they’re not doing so well.

Taming the social beast is a continual struggle that’s likely to be littered with setbacks. However, for those that stick with it and consistently try to improve their performance, ample rewards await.

This article was brought to you by Gerald Heneghan on behalf of Custard, a bespoke online marketing agency offering a vast range of tailored services. Get in touch today to learn more about our social media marketing.

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Comments

  1. Love the post, Gerald. I completely agree with all your points….I often struggle with #2, I will over-achieve, and then sit there wondering why I don’t have enough time to conquer my goals!
    Social Media is definitely a ‘beast’, and one that is not easily tamed!

    Thanks much,
    ~Dakota
    Dakota recently posted..<strong>Discounts</strong> on AmazonMy Profile

    • Hi Dokota,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I can definitely relate to the idle sitting – you know you are wasting time but you do it anyway.

      I feel a great way to conquer this is to mini goal set, if you regiment your tasks it is harder to fail.

      Have an ideas box, make your team communicate. Having an anonymous one helps with ‘real’ suggestions.

      -Rick

  2. thanks for the brilliant post. I feel the most most important step currently would be to measure (as mentioned in your post as well) but then..measure rinse and repeat..it will take some trial and error…but eventually should get what works and what wont.
    social media strategy template recently posted..10 Tips to build your social media strategy templateMy Profile

  3. The steps to develop a social media strategy will be very useful for small businesses who need help in outlining an effective plan to promote their businesses on popular social media networks. It is important to engage audiences with useful content that will benefit them and motivate them to remain loyal to your company.

  4. Seems like you have good experience in social media marketing. Social media strategy would help you to gain more traffic to the website. It increase brand identity.
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  5. This is a lot of key ingredients that so many companies forget. It’s sad because a lot of business owners create a Facebook Page or Twitter account and use it to shoot out tons of advertising. That’s not the purpose of social media – the purpose is to interact. Great read, thanks for sharing!
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  6. Social media strategy is like organizing trip. What are the demographic and psycho-graphic characteristics of your current or prospective customers? Thanks for sharing!