Social Media Strategy Development in Six Steps – Part 1

A social media strategy is important and helps you use social media as a successful tool.

Social media is an important part of your communication. You should integrate social media into all your marketing campaigns and activities. In order to be successful, it is necessary for you to define a strategy and implement it consistently as social media is too important to be used spontaneously and on the side.

I would like to share with you my tips for developing your social media strategy. There are two blog posts about it, today I will share the first part, and in a few days I will share the second part.

Steps for Developing your Social Media Strategy

  • Objective
  • Which portals to use
  • Defining topics and style/ tonality for each social media platform
  • Setting up the team
  • Setting and planning content: Editorial plan
  • Tools

Social Media Strategy, Step 1: Objective

First, consider which goals you would like to achieve. Why use social media communication?

Goals that you can achieve with your social media strategy:

  • Awareness of the company and its offerings
  • Positioning as an expert
  • Generate traffic for the website or landing page
  • Attract prospective customers
  • Establish direct contact with interested parties
  • Intensify contact with existing customers
  • Monitor market trends and competitors

You can define the goals for the company in general, or based on a campaign. Ensure that you define measurable key performance indicators for all targets. Only then can you control the success of your social media activities.

Possible Key Performance Indicators for Social Media

  • Number of contacts (followers, friends, contacts)
  • Reach / impressions
  • Interaction rate: How many of the contacts complete an action such as “Like”, share or comment
  • Website traffic

The individual social media platforms provide you with detailed statistics. 

Social Media Strategy, Step 2: Selecting Social Media Platform

In the next step you determine which platforms you want to use. Even if you are already present on the various social media platforms today, I recommend that you analyse your current setup. Perhaps the profiles were simply created to show a presence, but you had not set any targets yet. If you are sure you are using the right platforms, define them and step 2 is already done. If you are not sure, have a look at your target group and your goals and analyse exactly which platforms are the right ones.

Analyse which media or platforms your existing and potential clients use:

  • Where are your potential clients active?
  • Where do they get information?

For example, select 20 of your existing clients and 20 companies that you would like to have as clients, and check which social media networks they use. In addition, you can ask your colleagues from the sales department to provide you with this information. Alternatively, you can start a survey with your existing clients.

Now define a selection of platforms and match this selection with your objectives. With which platforms can you reach the set objectives? Do you also consider how many resources are available to you to actively run social media? If your resources are limited and you are still at the beginning of your social media journey, I recommend that you focus on just two platforms.

Social Media Strategy, Step 3: Define Themes and Style

Now define which content you would like to share via the social media platforms. The content may vary depending on the platform, the style and tonality can also vary. Thus the style on the business networks like Xing and LinkedIn is rather formal and factual. Facebook expects entertainment, information, and authenticity, and may also be written in a more personal way.

The following table shows examples of the topics for the different portals and how often you can publish posts.

Social Media PortalSubjectFrequency
XingCompany news, events, product information, offers, posts from the Website or the blog1-2 times a week
Facebook(Company news), events, products, social issues, entertainment, videos with instructions or product presentationsDaily to a few times a week
TwitterCompany news, events, products, information of third parties, current market topicsSeveral times a day
Google+Company news, events, product information, offers, posts from the Website or the blog.Daily to a few times a week
YouTubeCompany news, events, product information, offers, posts from the Website or the blog –  all topics for which a video can be produced.Once a week or when a relevant topic comes up

The tips for the next steps can be found in a second blog post: Developing a Social Media Strategy, Tips, and Recommendations – Part 2.