6 steps to creating a social media strategy for your company
Today, every company should have a strong presence on social media. Companies that use social media effectively incorporate a social media strategy. It’s essential for your business to develop a social media strategy to minimize wasted effort, time and data and to be sure your content is appropriate and aligns with other public relations and marketing goals.
When you launch or revamp your company’s social media campaign, you should create a social media strategy before you begin posting.
There are six steps to creating a successful social media strategy:
- Conduct a social media audit.
You must first understand how and what your company is currently doing on social media before you create the steps to get your company where it needs to be. Log all of your social properties, follower counts, engagement rates and average activity per week in a working document. If you’d like to keep track of your competition, log their activity as well.
- Set objectives, key performance indicators and key supporting messages.
Use goals that directly contribute to the larger business objectives of your company to guide your social media strategy. Each social media goal you establish must be S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Remember that goals and objectives are different. A key message is what you want the public to know about your company.
- Specify brand persona and voice.
Make sure your company maintains consistency throughout different communications with a working document that defines your brand voice. Consider the type of content your brand will share, the tone you want your company to have and the personality of your brand. Is your brand humorous or is it more formal?
- Put together a content game plan.
Consider who will create the content; what channels you’ll use to publish the content; and how often you’ll be posting the content. Creating a content calendar, similar to an editorial calendar, is a way to organize this information. When creating content, consider the time of year and the impact of topics to ensure you share the most effective message with your audience. For example, you don’t want to post about frostbite in the summer.
- Create social media policies and guidelines for your company.
Develop a policy that explicitly outlines what is appropriate use of social media and what isn’t. To this end, create a critical response plan for when your company or a customer posts something negative. A critical response plan is a social listening protocol, a list of designated decision-makers, a step-by-step action plan for dealing with a particular scenario and pre-approved messaging.
Remember the social media audit you created at the beginning? Keep tracking how you’re doing on social media and how much engagement your company receives on different sites. By measuring your results against your objectives regularly, you identify which strategies and tactics work well and which don’t.
Creating a social media strategy takes initial time and effort, but it’s essential to grow your company’s community, to build engagement and to cultivate brand ambassadors. Once you establish your plan, put it to use and reevaluate it quarterly or semiannually to see what may need to change. Social media isn’t new anymore, yet so many companies still struggle to manage it properly or are afraid of maintaining their social media presence.
If you aren’t utilizing social media for your clients, you should start today or contact an expert to assist you. Download Axia Public Relations’ free e-book The Essential Social Media Management Guide to learn the best practices for reaching your target audience.
Becca McClure is a passionate public relations professional who works on various client public relations campaigns and projects. Clients love her infectious positive attitude and her strong work ethic. Becca joined the Axia Public Relations team in February 2016. Learn more about Becca McClure. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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