The 7 Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy

More companies are now committed in building an online profile to help improve their online competitiveness. You begin, commit to worrying about social media tools last, not first. Why? Because tools will change. They always do. There was a time when Netscape seemed invincible. Yahoo, too. Myspace also. If you fall in love with tools, you’ll constantly be changing directions, with no real plan to guide your way.

If you’re looking to create a sustainable, effective social media presence, then you should be able to answer these 7 questions to successfully have a social media platform in place.

1. What’s Your Pitch?
Can you describe what your company does in 120 characters or less?

2. What’s the Point (Goal) ?
What type of program is this? Awareness, Sales, or Loyalty? Pick one.

3. What’s Your Relationship with Your Audience?
What does your audience know about you today?

  • Nothing
  • Aware of you, but never acted
  • Acted once
  • Repeat actions/enthusiasts
  • Advocates

Pick up  two of these segments to focus upon, but make sure they are adjacent on this scale. It’s too confusing to have a strategy that targets advocates AND people that have never heard of you. That would be two strategies, not one.

4. How Does Your Audience Use Social Media?
Using the Forrester Social Technographics Ladder, understand how your target audience (as defined by gender, age, and geography) uses social media. If your audience skews older, you may not want to engage in a lot of “make a video” contests, since that segment indexes low on the “Creator” scale.

You can play with the Social Technographics Ladder data right here:

5. What’s Your One Thing?
What’s the soul of your brand. What’s the one thing that defines you – and it’s not features and benefits. Volvo = Safety. Apple = Innovation. Disney = Magic. What’s on the other side of your = sign?

Note: This is not easy to figure out. You may need to engage in some brand anthropology, and have an agency help you find your one thing.

6. How Will You Be Human?
Social media is about people, not logos. How will you let down your guard? If you’re a small company, congratulations, this should be pretty easy. If you’re a big company, how can you act small again?

7. How Will You Measure Success?
Lots of ways to measure social media success, so make sure you determine your key metrics BEFORE you get started. I recommend picking three solid metrics to track. Appropriate metrics differ based on what your objective is for the program. See the slide deck for details. Now, you can worry about tools, and outposts, and social media tactics.

Speak with your Social media Consultant to devise a plan to leverage the right strategy.

  • Mark Sping

    Thanks for the great post — news I will use!!

    IMO, you’ve got a great take on this — so many skip the strategic thinking and head straight into tactics. Explains why so many people wonder what they may be getting from social media efforts (or any mktg efforts, for that matter).

    While I am relatively new to SMM, I’m a long time marketer, and I can tell that you’ve got it goin’. I’m definitely following you, Jay.

    Thanks again for a great post.

  • Becky

    Many thanks for sharing this! I’m wondering how to combine “Point = Awareness” with “Focus on Repeat actions/enthusiasts -> Advocates”.
    Don’t these collide? Or Loyalty for Nothing -> Acted once?


  • Harry Webdesign

    A very good post – common sense in some ways, but the clarity around your metrics in your slideshow is extremely helpul and worthwhile. Thanks!

  • Thanks Harry and do hope you come back again.nn1

  • These are steps which can make any social media campaign successful.I really like your thoughts. bay area web design

  • Hi Bay,
    Great you liked this.


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