Building the strategy
First you need to understand what a strategy is, and isn’t it. A strategy should define the main aim of your social media presence and set the parameters for what it will deliver and how it will be delivered. It will be supported by a tactical plan that defines how the strategy will be delivered, including the channels, resource and budgets to achieve it.
This frames who you want to reach via social networks. For this you need to understand your core audience (personas, profiles, demographics etc.) and identify any new customer types that you want to attract based on your products/services. It can help to split this into three types of social follower:
Regular customers who are already connected to you via social media. You want to retain them and increase their purchases and engagement with your social profiles.
Customer who have shopped with you before but aren’t regular shoppers and haven’t connected on social media. You want to nurture them, bringing them closer to you online and therefore increasing purchase rates.
People who have never visited the website or purchased from you but who are regular online shoppers, and users of social media. You want to use social media to bring them into contact with the brand, and ultimately move them to purchase
Your strategy shouldn’t be set in stone; it needs to be flexible to respond to changing market conditions.
Include an explanation of the review process:
- Who will lead the review (business sponsor)?
- How often will the review take place?
- What data/insights will be used to inform the review?
- What will the outputs be?
- How will outputs be measured/monitored?
Some people include social media guidelines in the strategy but we don’t think this is the best approach. Guidelines are part of the tactical execution, providing a set of rules for the business to adhere to. It’s not a strategic activity, so this content sits best within the tactical plan, or as a separate document referenced by the plan.
Creating your social media plan
This provides a summary of all activities that need to take place to support the implementation of the plan. For example:
- Social Media Audit (Word doc) – to be completed by <name>, including summaries of the following:
- Benchmarking of social media integration
- Benchmarking of Facebook profile
- Benchmarking of Twitter profile
- Review of suitability of other platforms e.g. Pinterest, Youtube
- Recommendations of next steps for each platform / area
- Social media content calendar (Excel document) to be created, with stand-alone thematic moments, and full integration with wider marketing plans
- Measurement framework to be devised (Excel document)
- End of phase evaluation report to be completed (PPT plus full data in Excel).
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