This article is also featured on Business Business Business under the heading "BUILD A ROBUST SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY WITH THE HELP OF 6 PROFESSIONALS (PART 1)"
I am not exaggerating when I say you need the skills of 6 types of professionals if you wish to deliver a successful social media strategy. This is because social media marketing is more than just registering for a Facebook or Twitter account or posting random photos or comments.
Successful social media marketing involves the skills of a detective, strategist, policy maker, head hunter, builder and judge. In this 2-part post, you will learn how to apply specific skills to build a robust social media strategy for your business.
Before you even sign up for a social media account or decide on which social media platform is best for you, you need to do some detective work. Contrary to what people think, social media is not free as it requires time and resources. It is, therefore, important to get a clear picture of your social media landscape before you begin.
The first step of your social media strategy is to research and build your understanding of why's and how's. Key questions to ask are:
Does my business really need to go on social media?
Are my customers on social media? If yes, which social media channels do they use?
What are the needs of my potential audience? What social media contents will they be interested in reading?
What about my competitors? What do they do? What social media platforms are they using? What kind of contents are they pushing out?
Once you have a clear picture of what social media can potentially do for your business, it is time to turn on your strategic mind and strategise. Questions to ask at this stage include:
What are my goals with social media? Is it brand building or is it to drive sales?
What social media tools are suitable for my business? Each social media platform has its own strengths and weakness and each demands its own specific management strategies. So if you cannot tell the difference between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn, you need to do more research before beginning your social media campaign.
What is the focus of our content marketing? Will it be blog post-based or more image-oriented? Do we have a theme or do we want to adopt a "user generated contents" approach?
Are there any tools that can help my business to run social media campaign more efficiently? Let's face it, businesses do not have resources to monitor social media 24-7 nor the energy to publish hourly social media contents. So the sooner you learn about social media automation the better.
It is great to have people helping your business executing a social media strategy. Not only it helps with the workload, having a dedicated social media team also keeps your online contents fresh.
To ensure members of your team working in a cohesive manner, it is important to think about putting social media policies and procedures in place. Unlike large companies, most small businesses often ignore this step. But setting the ground rules right from the start will ensure your social media strategy is implemented in a professional and a consistent fashion.
Key questions to consider here are:
Who should be on the social media team? What kind of access level should I be giving to my team? Remember, you can reach a lot of people instantly with social media. Therefore, think carefully about who should represent your business before relinquishing the authority.
What are acceptable social media behaviours like? What language should my team use? What contents, both texts and images, are appropriate?
Take Home Message
As you can see, wanting to use social media to gain an advantage for your business is very different from actually executing a social media strategy.
In this post we focus on building your social media strategy by applying detective skills to research and explore, using your strategic mind to plan and reducing your risk by thinking like a policy maker. Part 2 of the post will talk about utilising the skills of a head hunter, builder and judge to complete the social media strategy.
In the meantime, you can begin putting your strategy together using this FREE Social Media Strategy template. If your business needs some advice designing and executing your social media strategy, Notonos Global is here to help.
About the author
To connect with Suzi Chen, visit her bio here.