Social Media Strategy: Four Key Elements to Get Your Started

April 16th, 2010 by | No Comments

photo by Horia Varlan

So here you are – thinking about jumping aboard the Social Media bandwagon. Everybody’s talking about it – everybody’s doing it – why shouldn’t you?

First and foremost – don’t ride the train because everyone else is. Above all, remember that Social Media is a tool – one of many tools, but a tool that can be extremely valuable to your overall marketing strategy.

Next, remember that just like any other medium you would pursue – there MUST be strategy involved here – before getting engaged and involved with Social Media, you need to figure out what you want to get out of it – you need to set both short term and long term goals – before ever stepping foot into the Social Media playground.

To get started, here are four key factors to think about when developing your Social Media Strategy:

People. What are your customers ready for when it comes to social media?  What are they already doing?  Do your customers read blogs?  Do they post ratings/reviews of products/services?  Do they read but never comment?  Do they watch online videos?  Do they create their own blogs? Do they have profiles on social networking sites?  Before you start strategizing, you need to know how your customers and prospects currently use social media.  You also need to know where they hang out online.  Otherwise, you can build an entire strategy in the wrong place, aimed at the wrong people.

Objectives. Are you using social media to research and understand your customers?  Are you using it to talk to your customers?  Are you hoping to energize your most enthusiastic customers and use the power of their online word of mouth to build your brand? Before jumping into the deep end, you need to analyze what you want to get out and how much you need to put in.

Strategy. How do you want relationships with your customers to change?  What message are you trying to communicate? How do you want your business to be perceived in the online space? What should people be telling their friends about you? What’s your “plan of attack”?

Technology.  After you decide on people, objectives, and strategy, what technologies should you use that will best suit their needs and yours? What tools make the most sense in effectively spreading your message? Do you need to be active on Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? Do you need a presence around the web or should you target your focus on one key platform.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, but should get you started in the right direction. Remember that just like any other plan, without a strategy, you’ll be wandering around without a clue of what to do.

Matt Cheuvront is the mastermind behind Life Without Pants. Take the next step by saying hello on Twitter and subscribing to his blog today!

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