Third Step – To Create a Social Media Strategy

So you have decided on your audience and asked the question “Who is your Audience?”.  You have decided on your Objective, what you want your audience to do and now what. Well you have the information you need to move to the next step. Keep in mind that the first two steps take a little bit of time. You may have never asked yourself “Who is your Audience” or “What is your Objective”. So even if you do not desire to have a Social Media Strategy the first two questions are great ones to find out when you are in business. You would be surprised at how many businesses struggle with those two questions. But that, as I said previously, is for another series of blogs.

So now you need to decide where to put your message, right (No sorry that is Wrong). This is where people get bogged down. They think they have all the information to move forward, but not quite yet. This is one of the most important steps. It is the step where you decide how you are going to become a  “Trust Agent” (If you haven’t read the book by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith you need to.)  We will spend some time on this in the next few weeks, but if you get the book you will be ahead of the curve.

The third step to creating a Social Media Strategy is to decide on your Strategy. You need to ask yourself another question. How are you going to fulfill your objective to meet your audience needs? You need to have a map and that is your strategy. This is how you become a Trust Agent to your audience. Don’t make the mistake of so many and begin selling your wares, whatever they are, before you build the trust. This is just one part of the strategy. So for those of you who want a very detailed definition of “Business Strategy” please follow the link by clicking on Business Strategy.  For this blog we are going to use a much simpler definition.

Alternative chosen to make happen a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.
When we talk about strategy I have narrowed it down to a very black and white statement.
What will be different when you are done? What will success look like to you?
If you can keep those questions in mind you will be able to narrow your strategy to an achievable action of time, resources and effort. The strategy that you decide on is as important as the first two steps. It will guide you on what communities to join and become part of the conversation, it will help you with your messaging, and it will keep your messaging consistent throughout your entire Social Media Strategy.
For some reason this step is a hard one for most. It is the step that people spend the least amount of time, but it should be the one that you spend the most time on. Coming up with a great strategy will help you succeed in the least amount of time. Remember that Social Media success goes to the Tortoise not the Hare. (If you don’t know the Tortoise and the Hare story ask your parents or your kids or what the heck click on the link).
Here are  a few hints to help you start developing your strategy (Remember it is a Social Media Strategy)
  1. Research where your audience is spending their time in social media.
  2. Ask colleagues and customers what social media sites they use and more importantly which ones they count on for good information.
  3. Start keeping a record of the answers you receive from the above.
  4. Set up a “listening station” See “Listening Station” for step by step details.
  5. Don’t develop the strategy on your own,  have a team or colleagues help you.

(These are just a few ideas to help you get started. You can go as deep as a SWOT analysis if you want.)

There is only one more step so stay tuned.

Les Adkins, Founder and CEO of Orange SMS


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