Just as social media permeates every corporate discipline and industry, so will every social media strategy plan created by any given company be unique to their business objectives, internal resources, culture, as well as many other factors. Hopefully readers of my blog will have already realized that there is no cookie cutter approach to any of this, so if someone offers you a downloadable social media strategy just by answering a few questions, you should be running for the hills – fast.
I receive a lot of inquiries from companies as to how I work with them vis a vis helping them create a social media strategy plan, so I wanted to create a resource for them, as well as you, as to how I recommend you go about developing your own unique social media strategy.
1. Read Maximize Your Social
I wrote Maximize Your Social to both share my social media strategy consulting experience with the world as well as to allow you to create your own social media strategy plan using the unique methodology that I created. That’s why whenever a business inquires about my services, I literally tell them to buy and read my book. Not only will it give you a feel as to what it is like working together with a social media strategy consultant, but it also just give you enough insight and confidence to start the process of creating your own social media strategy.
If you don’t have time to read the book, at least take advantage of this summary social media strategy infographic that I created:
For those that still need more hand-holding, I offer the following services to help companies create a unique social media strategy plan:
2. Spend a Day Together with a Social Media Consultant
Social media is not rocket science, but it requires strategy, education, and a mindset to derive business value from it. For small businesses as well as those that primarily want to utilize social media for marketing, I recommend companies to spend a day together with me. What do I cover in a day-session on-site with my customers? A lot … here is one example agenda that I would recommend for a pack-filled day of social media coaching:
- Create Social Media Objectives. These must be aligned with your overall business objectives and require an understanding of your business model, direction, target customer demographic, branding, etc.
- Audit Your Current Social Media. Based on the objectives we’ve agreed upon, we take a new look at your current social media presence vis a vis platforms, content, engagement, branding etc. and see what makes sense and what doesn’t.
- Compare Your Social Media Presence with Competitors. This is often an eye-opening exercise where we will glean more insight to help with our own social media strategy plan.
- Review Social Media Platform Options. Which networks make sense to have what type of a presence on?
- Create a Content Marketing Strategy. This will depend on everything we discussed in creating your social media objectives, looking at your competitors, as well as the options per platform.
- Look at Other Options, including Paid Social, Campaigns, Influencer Marketing, etc.
- Decide How to Measure Your Social Media ROI. Based on your objectives and metrics that we create.
- Develop a Game Plan Road Map. This often includes issues such as managing resources as well as deciding on the right tools.
Ultimately, the direction the conversation goes with my clients really depends on every customer’s current situation as well as what they want to get out of our time together, but the above is a snapshot of what I usually cover for an initial agenda. At the end of the day, though, the session together ends up being an applied brain-dump of my experiences to allow companies to significantly increase their social media literacy and become confident in the future implementation of their social media program.
3. Engage a Social Business Consultant to Create a Comprehensive Social Business Strategy
The one-day session I outlined in 2. is for smaller businesses, those that only want to use social media for one department, or those that have limited budgets. For all other companies, I provide my bread-and-butter social media strategy consulting package from which Maximize Your Social is based on. These are often larger companies utilizing social media across multiple departments or offices.
This approach requires a lot more time to understand the needs of all stakeholders and create a strategy that has buy-in from all involved. It also requires the deliverable of a written strategy, approved by all, that serves as the internal “bible” for implementing, measuring, and managing their social media program going forward.
4. Keep a Social Media Advisor on Retainer
While it is my intention with any of the above services to make companies as self-sufficient in their social media program as possible, I realize that there are some companies that want a little extra help in the beginning of implementing their new social media strategy or in quickly improving their social media literacy in certain activities such as Paid Social, influencer outreach, or special campaigns. For these companies I offer a monthly retainer service so that they can literally keep a social media advisor on staff until they feel confident that they are 100% self-sufficient.
With more and more companies realizing the need to create and own their own social media strategy, it is important to understand that working with a specialized social media strategy consultant has one big advantage when compared to having an agency draw up your plan: There will never be any potential conflict of interest regarding the contents of the strategy itself.
How has your company created your own social media strategy? If you’ve used outside services, were they provided in a similar fashion that I am providing them in? Would love to get your feedback and better understand the state of our industry. Thank you!