How to Write the Perfect Social Media Strategy
A well written, comprehensive Social Media Strategy (SMS) will give you, as a CEO, the visibility you need to make accurate decisions on allocating more, or less, money towards your social media efforts.
1. What’s a Social Media Strategy and why does it matter to me?
An SMS is the unifying document that ties all your social media efforts into one concise, yet comprehensive document.
The very first iteration is a road map to success on what content will be created, who will create the content, which sites will be used, how often content will be pushed and to which sites, and what success will look like.
As your company delivers on its strategy, the SMS will be revisited and updated every few months as your company learns about what is working well and what can be improved.
Social media matters to CEOs, because it will disperse what I call “the fog of war behind social media”. It will instead focus on a language that makes sense to you like ROI, resource allocation, and employee morale. Without an SMS, you are blindingly managing whoever is currently doing your social media for you.
2. What are the most important points of a Social Media Strategy?
Lead generation should always be part of your goal, but you will find that getting quality employees via social media might happen first. After all, finding talent and social media are a natural fit.
Other goals, while softer, are nonetheless beneficial to your company. Energizing and engaging your current employees by allowing them to tell the world about what they do is one of them, as is being perceived by clients and competitors as being a leader of your industry.
Who are you going after, what do they look like, generational and gender distribution, online habits, occupations, hobbies, etc.?
This is the area that needs actual data to validate assumptions. Techniques to get those include running a sample of email addresses to social media sites to see who among your intended audience has an actual account. If you are B2B, do not hesitate to research actual people, one by one, until you have a representative sample. Sites like Spokeo will help.
You cannot and shouldn’t have the same frequency of posting if you are B2B rather than B2C.
Selling to decision makers requires respecting their time and educating them on what matters to them. Articulate your content around major monthly events like new product release, trade show participation, and online webinars. Make sure to promote your events before, during and after the event, by posting pictures, videos, slides of presenters.
Part of the SMS is a rotating 6-month calendar of events and other content opportunities so your team never runs out of engaging content.
What are your top competitors up to? Are they posting regularly, getting published in industry publications, having an engaged audience?
All of this info is widely available and should be used to rank them accordingly.
One step further is to look for a handful of “master companies”, meaning a few companies that deliver on their social media. They might not be from your industry, but they must cater to a similar audience than you do. You can identify them using smart search tools built into tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite.
This is such an important part of your SMS, and yet, too often overlooked.
Who in your organization is going to create content and who is going to be in charge of engaging your audience?
The best-case scenario, multiple employees should be in charge of content creation, especially Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), as they have intrinsic knowledge of what you do. Marketing should be in charge of engaging your audience via social media campaigns and reporting the results to you.
Bad Ass Reporting
And I mean it.
Your team needs to give you straightforward ROI metrics linking social media to your original goals like lead generation, revenue generated, employees hired, and employee engagement, at a minimum.
On top of standard reporting that comes from most social media monitoring software on the heath of your social media presence are the number of likes, visitors, and audience engagement like re-tweets and postings.
A well written, comprehensive Social Media Strategy (SMS) will give CEOs and top executives the visibility you need to make accurate decisions on allocating more, or less, money towards your social media efforts. This is done by creating a road map to success on what content will be created and by whom, which sites will be used and how often, and what success will look like.
When creating an SMS, look for:
- Lead generation, hiring and softer goals like leading the industry.
- A complete picture of the audience you are going after, including their online profile.
- A 6-month detailed content strategy that respect your audience and engage them, one monthly event at a time.
- Detailed ranking of your top competitors and which companies you could learn from.
- Engaged employees that can and will contribute content.
- Monthly reporting that speaks your language and shows your progression towards the SMS goals.
Philippe Cesson is CEO of CESSON 3.0, a marketing and training company based in California, with offices in San Diego, New York City and Miami. Cesson’s speciality is helping companies succeed in social media, bridging the generational divide and “Navigating the New Normal.” Visit our site at https://www.cesson.com