Social Media Strategies Made Easy

29 Dec

I am often asked for advice on setting up a social media presence for companies, organizations, and friends. Based on the initial conversations I have with each, the following are the top 3 items we discuss and questions that I ask.

What are you trying to accomplish with your social media strategy?

  • Do you want it to be a “bulletin board” for announcements?
  • Do you want it to engage people in a two-way dialogue?
  • Do you want it to be a “display board” for your work?
  • Do you want it to be all of the above?

The answers to these questions provide a major step in planning your social media strategy.

Where is your audience and what is their comfort level with social media?

  • Do you notice they are more active on Facebook?
  • Do they participate in discussion forums on LinkedIn?
  • Do they comment on industry or association blogs?
  • Are they new to social networks and need encouragement and education?

The answers to these questions provide you with insight into which platforms might be best and how much education you may need to provide in order to make them inclusive tools.

What are the benefits and uses for each of the major platforms?

  • Facebook – creates one of the easiest starting platforms since so many people are already using it in their personal lives. Little education will be required since it has become multi-generational and multi-functional.
  • LinkedIn – creates a professional platform for those interested in learning and exchanging best practices. It provides great professional forums for discussion, Q&A’s and outreach to others in your field. Added benefit: It creates a new network of professional connections and contacts for professional services.
  • Pinterest – allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more.  Subsequently, it may be a part of your social media strategy but not a stand-alone strategy.
  • Twitter – provides a “directional tool” for where people can find more information on your topic. If you think of it quite simply as a directional road sign: “Wally World’s Best Rollercoaster – click on this link for more information.” Your link will take them to either another social media platform where they can find more details, or to your website.
  • YouTube – provides a great complement to your other social media tools. You can start simple and then progress into your own YouTube Channel. Short videos have become the most effective communication tool for adding personality to your strategy. Added benefit: Websites using video in their online content organically increase their search engine optimization.

Keep in mind that these are just the first steps in designing your social media strategy. Over the course of the next few articles, I will offer more details to each of the subsequent steps.

If you have specific questions or areas you would like explained in more detail, feel free to comment below.

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