December 19, 2012

8 questions every social media strategy needs to answer

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Editor’s note: This is our last article of the year. Enjoy the holidays!

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, general public.

John HaydonYour organization has a social media strategy, right? Your social media strategy is only as smart as the questions it answers.

Here are eight I recently worked through with a client:

1What are your goals? You want to have a clear goal for using Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. This is the best way to save time, get results, and know if your strategy is working or not.

2Who really are your people? What makes your people talk about you? What deep emotional need do they satisfy by supporting your organization? How do you know that you really understand them?

3What makes your organization awesome? Why is your organization taking up space on planet Earth? What do you offer that no other organization offers? If your organization were a “Star Wars” character, who would it be?

4Who’s your team? Do they really care? Are they likable? Are there clear policies and workflows that are clear and encourage participation? How supportive of social media are executive staff and other departments?

5How will you integrat with other channels? Where do you naturally have lots of attention? Events? Email? How can you “wrap” social media in and around things you’re already doing in a way that feels completely natural to your people? Bonus points if it feels exciting, fresh and innovative!

6How will you launch? What are the steps in planning, preparing, rallying advocates, and taking advantage of trending effects (blogger outreach, Twitter chats, Facebook ads)? Who’s the conductor in the orchestra, and when does each instrument play its part?

7How will you keep people interested? How will you keep your people interested enough to take action, without making them feel like it’s all about your organization? What different ways can you create value (and meaning) for your supporters during and after campaign? How will you leverage the campaign’s momentum toward the next campaign?

8How will you prove to yourself you’re on track to achieve your goals? What will you measure, and how will you measure it? Notice how the emphasis is on measuring as a process toward achieving a goal and not a final step in a campaign.

You have more good questions, I’m sure.

Post your smart questions in the comments below!


The 7 elements of a Strategic Social Media Plan (Socialbrite)John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter or leave a comment.

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