Entering the field of social media for marketing purposes where it be for economic development purposes or to support an introduction of a new product has its appeal. From the potential of reaching millions of individuals to running innovative contests, social media offers a great deal to everyone if they decide to seize the opportunity. The issue is how to efficiently go about seizing the opportunity. Can organizations just throw caution to the wind hoping that their social media strategy will take root without detail planning or does a strategic plan has to in place? In other words, do you quickly spend your dollars and efforts in just getting the social media accounts online or do you spend time to reflect upon what objectives you wish to achieve.
Sounds like the old “The Chicken or The Egg Theory” for social media which has to be settled. Does a very good social media presence depend upon giving the audience the freedom to post content on whatever and whenever they feel like it or does it depend on a well thought out plan?
Here is my case that I put forth regarding why a strategy is needed before registering for a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, or a YouTube Channel. The case will be made along the lines of the following points.
- A strategy provides structure
- A strategy will ease the engagement process
- A strategy aids in avoiding content block
A strategy provides structure
In order to assign the proper amount of resources required to start and continue execute what is being done of social media sites, a strategy is needed. Formulating a strategy provides the necessary framework to set forth how much / many:
- money should be spend the effort
- time should be allocated to individuals responsible for initiative in relation to other responsibilities
- individuals are needed for the initiative
Not having an idea about the resources needed for a social media presence from the out set can be a tremendous strain on the marketing or communication departments. A strategy will clearly state how any existing resources can be devoted to initiative before the first post is made.
A strategy will ease the engagement process
Remember, using social media will open up a two way communication channel (whether you like it or not). If your intention is to sell a product or service via social media, an engagement strategy is required and can not be concocted on the fly. A strategy will guide you in the process of taking a prospective from being aware to interested to having the intention of buying. Without such a strategy, you will quickly find out how hard it is to engage in a conversation that will ultimately lead to reaching your business objectives at the end of the initiative.
A strategy aids in avoiding content block
Without a doubt, using social media tools without a content strategy will eventually lead to situations where you will be looking to colleagues and saying, “So, what do we post next?”. Such a situation of content block is a red flag that cannot be ignored and if it is, life will not get any easier as you continue to use social media. Adhering to a content strategy will alleviate the pressures of curating content that is relevant, engaging and puts your brand in front of the target audience to motivate them to buy.
I like to draw a parallel between the art of creating a good television advertisement to an effective social media presence. A good television ad is not created in a day. Although you see the output (which is 30 seconds), it is born out of a lengthy process (a strategy) in which a structure is respected, objectives are set and content is created to engage an audience. The same can hold true for a Facebook Page, Twitter Account and a YouTube Channel however; it is up to you to decide whether or not your organization’s wants to have a sustainable presence or have a page or account with few fans or follows after months of being online.
Want To Know More?
Read our past posts:
- Best Practices: Engaging and Executing For Branding Telus
- Avoiding Content Block For Your Web 2.0 Strategy
- 3 Signs That A Content Strategy Is Needed For Investment Attraction