Make You Strategy Before Your Social Media Initiative

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

Yet when it comes to marketing—especially as it concerns the online marketing of their small business—I see many owners wishing for success instead of planning for it.

Strategies for carrying out online marketing plans are indispensible, but are especially needed for social media marketing. Why? Simply put, because things change so rapidly in a social media environment, and because it is so easy to neglect your online presence.

Without a strategy, put in place and followed regularly, you will have no idea how to calculate personnel requirements for the campaign (how many people should work on it and what should their contributions be), which platforms you should focus on (Facebook or Twitter or both), or even how to measure success (is it the number of “Likes” or something else).

Unfortunately because social media marketing is so unfamiliar to most, many small business owners do not even know where to start. Following are some sections you should include in a comprehensive strategy to steer a worthwhile social media marketing campaign.

Goals and Objectives: Here you should clearly define what it is you hope to accomplish with your campaign. Do you want to simply create brand awareness or top-of-mind awareness for your business product or service? Or do you want to increase sales directly through the channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) you are using?

Audience Demographics: You should clearly spell out who your audience is (their characteristics online and off) and where they spend their time online. This will help you not only determine what social media platforms you should invest your time and effort into, but also what you should say to them when you do find them on the chosen network.

What Platforms Will You Use: Drawn from both your objectives and what you understand about your audience, determine what networks or platforms you will use. A bad approach is simply to try to be on every platform. This typically strains your resources and you may end up doing a shoddy job on them, turning customers away instead of bringing them to you.

Create Posting Guidelines and Schedules: Write down when you will post updates (what time of the day and day of the week), and how frequently. You should also determine and record what posts will consist of—images, videos, text, links—and what tone, voice or content they will contain.

Determine Roles and Time: You should assign roles according to skill and authority. You could for example give many people the role of creating content, but only one person the authority to post the content. You can also assign different people to different platforms. Lastly, determine how many minutes or hours per day or even per week they should spend on the tasks assigned to them.

Measurement: You need to clearly spell out what will create a successful campaign so that you may understand your progress along the way. Without measurement you are simply drifting and going through the motions, but if you understand your return on investment measurement, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

These are but a few things many organizations include in their social media strategies. But regardless of how long the strategy is, these are important points to think of as you begin marketing through social networks.

Word One Consulting
clint @
2263 S. Main
Las Cruces, NM 88005