Activity: Develop Your Own Social Media Strategy
Social Media Strategy Framework
1. Define the purpose and objectives for the use of social media by your
Create a short "mission statement" that will provide direction. It must be precise enough to guide in the development of the strategy, but it should not contain the details about which technologies will be used. Ideally, this will be two or three sentences long - no more than half a page. Important: this mission statement should be completely aligned with the mission statement of your organization!
2. Describe the target group(s) for your social media presence.
Define the group(s)
of people to whom your organization is targeting their social media presence. If you
identify more than one group, consider developing more than one project, each with a
separate strategy. Prioritize each target group and complete your strategy for one
before starting it for the next.
3. Research your target group(s) use of the Internet and social media.
you determine the needs of your target group(s)? Do not rely strictly on "gut feelings;"
instead, research how they are interacting online. To make an informed choice on
which Internet or social media tool(s) to use, you must first have a clear understanding
of how to reach your target. This will also help you avoid bias in developing your
4. Determine the resources available.
Who will work on this? What are their skills?
What kind of budget will your organization provide? Are you willing/able to hire outside
your organization? Is there a willingness inside your own organization to spend time
and money on this? What role will existing staff play? Will you be using volunteers?
5. Analyze possible tools for use.
What categories of social media tools will you be
looking at? Can you use existing websites and tools (such as Facebook or YouTube) to
accomplish your mission? Based on the answers to the preceding questions, what are
the most appropriate tools? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
What message will be communicated by the selection of these tools?
6. Select the tools you will use.
This is where you make the specific selection of the
tools you will be using. Can you defend your choice? Can you show a direct link
between your goals (step 1), your target group (steps 2 and 3), and the resources
available (step 4) to this choice of tool(s)? It is important that your tool selection is
based on the most appropriate tools to meet your goals and your target group; do not
pick a tool just because you are the most comfortable with it.
7. Determine the steps necessary to develop, implement and maintain your
Once you have determined which tools you would like to use, you must
develop a list of the steps needed to get the tools up and running. Do you have the
appropriate resources (people/money) to do this? You then should determine the
processes needed inside your organization to ensure that the strategy can be
maintained for the long-term. Who will be tasked with the day-to-day operation of the
site? After developing these lists, are you still confident in your selection of tools? Do
you need to scale back?
8. Forecast results.
This is where you set goals that can be measured. Ask: if we follow the strategy developed in steps 1 through 7, what can we realistically expect as results? If not satisfactory, go back to step 1! The goals must be measurable, so be sure that you have methods for measuring these results.
9. Assign roles and responsibilities.
If you have not already done this, be sure you
identify all the people involved in the various parts of implementing your strategy. Be
sure you get commitment from them and (if necessary) their managers. You want
complete buy-in on the project.
Besides the people you have identified in earlier steps, you will want to make sure you
identify two more key roles:
1. the one person in your organization ultimately responsible for your online presence.
Ideally this is someone on the paid staff of the organization. This person does not
need to know all the technical details but does need to know how to get issues
2. the steering committee (ideally, 3 to 5 members) who will oversee the long-term
health of the project. This should include at least one person with decision-making
authority in the organization.
10. Write it up!
Write up your strategy and share it with those in your organization. All
members of the team should understand their roles in the success of this project. The
documentation should also explain the different processes being put in place, who is
responsible, and how they will be measured.
11. Carry out the plan.
Have weekly and monthly meetings to monitor progress. The
steering committee should meet regularly to monitor progress. Create a reporting and
communications system, using a tool such as BaseCamp or a blog.
12. Evaluate results.
Review both quantitative and qualitative statistics. Are you
meeting your goals? Make updates to your plan based upon results. Be ready to do it
all over again if necessary - technologies and culture change!