Social Media Strategy comes first!

I had a hurried call this week from a friend and fellow business woman about her social media situation.

“I’m going to be on the media this afternoon, and I need to get a Facebook page up quick – can you help me?”

Good friend or not, I wasn’t in a position to put a Facebook page up for her that afternoon and politely told her as much.

“Don’t worry. I’ll give it a go myself,” instant messaged me. Five minutes later the questions started.

“Hey do I do it from my existing business page? Or my personal profile?”

“Personal profile,” I answered.

A person has to be an admin of a page. A business can’t be an admin of a business page after all. Read more on this here.

“Am I a public figure or a business?”

“Company or organisation?”

I stopped her right there.

“Honey, you need a social media strategy! You shouldn’t be setting up a Facebook page without thinking this all right through.”

It makes me cringe. It’s setting yourself up for failure on social media. These same people who set up social media in this way are the first people to say social media is a waste of time and didn’t work for them.

They’re also notorious for starting pages with the best of intention, and then enthusiasm wanes and the page joins the ranks of the many other derelict pages in the Facebook and other social media wastelands, rotting like an old car in a swamp. Your bright shiny car (read: brand) is turning to scrap, and probably doing your brand more harm than good. You’d have been better to never drive it out of the showroom!

I thought I’d share this conversation because it illustrates such a good point. When I look back I’ve had so many similar conversations with people keen to give social media a go because they think it is the right thing to do, and I bet this won’t be the last.

Sure, on the surface, it appears relatively easy to whack up a Facebook page. But you can take a wrong turn, and I’ll tell you right now, NOTHING MUCH WILL HAPPEN without a solid business, marketing and social media strategy.

Everything filters down from the top, so let me run you through the thinking process I’d encourage you to go through before going near the ‘Create Page’ item on the drop down list of Facebook.

1. VISION

 

What is your overall vision for your organisation or whatever it is you are doing in business?

2. MISSION

What is your mission statement for your organisation?

3. BUSINESS STRATEGY

What are you trying to do in business and how are you trying to do it? (in a nutshell)

4. MARKETING STRATEGY

Knowing your vision, mission and business strategy, how will you market? What channels will you use? How does social media fit into your overall marketing suite of activities?

5. SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

(note it’s way down at number 5!)

Once you know all of the above, and where social media fits into your marketing strategy, you’re ready to consider your social media strategy (note – I still haven’t mentioned a thing about establishing a business page). The simplest way I can explain a social media strategy is to consider the 5 Ws and 1 H of social media namely:

• WHY – are you doing social media? Why are you setting up on this particular network?
WHO – are your target market/s.
• WHAT – will you post? What will they respond to?
• WHEN – will you post? 8am or 8pm? Week days? Weekends? When do you think your target market will be online.
• HOW – How will you monitor your social media once you go live? How will you measure success?

Go through the process above (it may take time, you may need help), document it, and only then, should you be considering starting a page on social media.

And even then, whilst you may be able to start a basic page with some basic cover art and profile graphics, perhaps a couple of starter posts, there is a lot to be said for getting the assistance of a professional to optimise your bio, secure the correct username, and do the first few posts to get you started.

Need help with your marketing or social media strategy? Talk to us! We offer a 15 minute no obligation complimentary chat, and from there can schedule 1-2 hour consults right through to half day and full day strategy sessions with key personnel, or the entire team. 

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