Steps to Creating a Social Media Strategy SummarySetting Goals1. Write down your goals.Brainstorm first. Think of all the things that you want to accomplish.2. Refine your list of goals.Look at your list. Is each goal SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic andtimely)? Focus particularly on whether it is measurable and realistic. Prioritize yourtop goals and see if you can narrow them down to your top 3 or 4.3. Look at your list. Are your top 3 goals in conflict with oneanother?This is not necessarily a bad thing – it just means that you’ll need to keep in mindthat you’ll likely be using different tools and mediums to reach different audiencesin order to accomplish these goals. Or that you’ll need to focus on a single goal tobegin with, and wait until later to try to accomplish the others.Finding Your Audience1. Brainstorm the characteristics of your audienceWrite down what you know about your audience. Demographics including age,lifestyle, geography, places they go, things they buy. Defining your audience is oftenthe most difficult part of the plan, but it’s also the most important. Strategiccommunication is audience-centered, so you need to know your audience tocommunicate effectively. Don’t worry about the outliers right now, focus on the bigcommonalities that you can identify.2. Figure out where your audience is. Are they online (and if so,where)? Are they already organized? What do they like to doonline? How do they interact? Do the people you found match thecharacteristics you listed in #1?Testing your assumptions will be very important. You may find that you need tonarrow down your audience definitions, or find the right platform. Birdwatcherswho share photos on facebook may be very different from birdwatchers who sharephotos on flickr. Sometimes the platform’s standards and guidelines will define thecommunity and how it interacts. See what people enjoy doing on these platformsand think about ways that you could meet your goals based on these activities.3. Map your goals to the communities you’ve found (or plan tocreate) online. Make sure there is alignment (at least in theory).
Join in and experiment1. Listen to others. Join in the existing community. Test yourassumptions and see if you fit in as you expected.2. Start small. Get feedback. Make mistakes and learn from them.3. Evaluate what is working and what isn’t. Plan to spend moretime on the things that are working, and think about cutting out orchanging the things that aren’t working.4. Go back to your goal setting and audience defining steps. Arethere things that you would change based on what you know now?Change them – it’s not too late!Evaluate your efforts and make big plans1. Go back to those measurable goals, and ensure that you havetools and metrics to match to each of them.2. Set up a system to track your progress3. Invest more time, money and energy in those things that areworking.4. Be ruthless in cutting off the efforts that aren’t working. Think ofthis as gardening – if you don’t prune some branches everythingcould die.5. Set up long-term planning so that your efforts are part of youroverall organizational communications plan. Revisit this planregularly, as the technology and channels are likely to change moreoften than your long-term strategy will.