Social Media Strategy- The Planning Stage

As part of my Social Media 100 series, and because I believe it will have value to the space in general, I’m working through all the elements of a social media strategy. What comes first? Planning.

In coming up with the elements of a plan, I found a few surprises. One, I hadn’t considered having a “trial” phase or project as part of a strategy. Maybe there are elements that you’re not ready to roll up against your main brand. For those, you might want to trial them in a less direct way. Another surprise was that I hadn’t considered the training required for internal resources until I had a conversation with Cynthia Closkey.

What follows is simply the list of elements to consider when building a social media strategy for your organization. I’m submitting it to you for consideration, in the hopes that you’ll find it useful for your projects, and so that you can point out things I might have missed. Please note that every item below explodes out into all kinds of sub-categories and information. This is just the list view.

Social Media Strategy – Planning

  • Research – the internal social media evangelist looks at what might be possible (maybe by coming hear and reading my stuff as a starting point).
  • Trial or Full Plan – decide whether you want a trial phase, perhaps even not company branded (like doing an ice cream blog when you’re Target stores, without any Target branding, just to try out blogging as a culture.)
  • Goals – without a clear understanding of what your goals for the program are, these steps are worthless.
  • Target Audience – is this blog for customers, colleagues, coworkers, moms, who?
  • End State – once this project is running, what will be better within the company?
  • Resources-Internal – who gets the responsibility (fun?) of maintaining a community, creating content, being a good social media citizen?
  • Resources-External – do you hire consultants, advisors, analysts to help you launch? Do you outsource the entire platform, like American Express or Fast Search?
  • Integration Points with Existing Ops Structure – if this is a tiny offshoot of its own, it won’t live long. How do you tie what this person’s doing to the larger org?
  • Input from Team – Once you have your plan, do you shop it around internally? If so, help them own it. Give your ideas “handles,” so people can take the ideas and make them their own.
  • Reporting Structure – is the social media project’s keeper different than the creators’ boss? Where does the information gathered go? Who needs to know when something comes up?
  • Training – this turns out to be an important step. How will you handle it?
  • Legal (?) – the project should be blessed once at least by legal, but then do you make every step of the way a legal hurdle to jump? I lean towards no, but your culture might say differently.

Again, this is a list to stimulate thought. What does it have you thinking? Were there any surprises? Does it help you think more about your business interests in social media tools and methods? What have I missed?

The Social Media 100 is a project by Chris Brogan dedicated to writing 100 useful blog posts in a row about the tools, techniques, and strategies behind using social media for your business, your organization, or your own personal interests. Swing by [] for more posts in the series, and if you have topic ideas, feel free to share them, as this is a group project, and your opinion matters.

Get the entire series by subscribing to this blog, and subscribe to my free newsletter here.

Print Friendly