Want to create a social media strategy? Well, the good news is developing a social strategy isn’t ‘complicated’, it’s not a ‘dark art’, and you don’t need to have the word ‘guru’ in your job title to be qualified. It also doesn’t matter what part of the world you are in; whether you are in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, or Egypt, your strategy process is the same. It’s even the same whether you are writing it for you your marketing, comms, events, or advertising. But we’ll come to that later.
However, there are three vital things you do need to know if you want to get your social media strategy right. You need to know the following:
- What is a strategy
- Who is your target audience
- How social media platforms work
In this blog, we are going to focus on what a strategy is. Sounds basic, right? You’d be surprised how many people still aren’t sure what a ‘strategy’ is, and how many more have the objective ‘write a social media strategy, in their social media strategy objectives. Nope. Please don’t do that.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing how to create a strategy. That’s why agencies like Bright Company exist. It’s our job to work with you to develop that strategy and share the development process along the way.
So, What is a Social Media Strategy?
Before we delve into the what, let’s start with the why. Why do you need a strategy? Or, why do you need a NEW or DIFFERENT strategy? We’ve worked with hundreds of brands on their strategies, from business strategies to marketing, comms, and social media strategies. The conversation usually begins the same.
“We don’t need a strategy, we have a clear brand, we know what we’re trying to do”
This is music to our ears; if a solid strategy exists then let’s not waste time! Let’s leverage those strategic insights, learnings, and details in your strategy and put it to work. A complete strategy means we can focus on the fun part – the creative tactical ideas. But just to be sure, at this point we will do a few things. Because we all know what happens when you assume something.
Firstly, we’ll take a look at the brand’s digital footprint – their google results from “all” to “news” to “images”, we’ll check out their website and complete a few actions (or at least try to), we’ll interrogate the social media and social conversation, review their SEO, and we’ll generally scout around to see how things are going.
Secondly, we’ll ask some questions, for example.
- Can we see the strategy? Often this is where we hit our first hurdle. Sometimes (often) there isn’t a “strategy” document, more an idea of a strategy held in the minds of a few key people. Or other times, the strategy we are presented with is more of a tactical brand document – full of creativity but no strategic direction. Don’t get us wrong; we aren’t expecting you to present us with a desk-breaking volume of work, not at all. In fact, the shorter the strategy the better in our opinion. But, at minimum, you need a central strategy document that the whole team and business understand and are working towards. Otherwise, how do you know you have achieved it?
- Tell us about your target audience. This isn’t a test, this isn’t a trick, and it’s certainly not to highlight what some people know, and some don’t. The opposite in fact. Usually when we ask a cross-section of people across a business, ‘who is your target audience?’, more often than not we get differing answers, or same-same but different. Why is this important? Because the customer should be at the centre of your business. If your customer isn’t at the front of people’s minds each and every day, well, who are you doing it all for?
- What are your business objectives? Often we know what we want to achieve in each quarter, but what does your business look like this time next year? How about in two years’ time? What about in five years? But why do we need to know this for a social media strategy? (we sometimes get asked). Because the purpose of your marketing activity is to help your business achieve its business objectives. If you can’t create a link between your social activity and your business objectives, then what is your social media for?
One of two things can come out of this, one – yes you do have a strategy, so let’s get creative and bring that to life, or two – the strategy looks like needs some more strategy in it before we can get to the creative stuff. Let’s go back one step so we can go forward eight steps.
No matter what articles you read, there are really only three steps in creating a strategy. If you want to create a strategy and a plan, then there are six steps.
True story. A strategy has three steps. At Bright Company we follow SOSTAC®. SOSTAC® is one of the most popular strategy models in the world, and we are big fans. SOSTAC® is a simple, clear, uncomplicated method to creating a strategy. Each step is followed in order, one after the other. With SOTAC® your strategy could be one page, or it could be one hundred. We’ve delivered strategies of all sizes.
What does SOSTAC® stand for:
- S – The Situation – where are you right now? (SWOT, USPs, results, customer insight, PESTLE, internal capabilities, market trends and insights, current performance)
- O – The Objectives – where do you want to be?
- S – The Strategy – how do we get there? (and we don’t mean, create a TikTok page, a social media platform is a tactic, not a strategy)
- T – The Tactics – what tools will we use to get us there?
- A – The Action Plan – what is the plan to get there? (this is the ‘putting the strategy into action piece, often left out of many strategies)
- C – The Control Plan – did we get there? How do we know we got there? (this is the part where we review the KPIs we set from our objectives against their milestones, did we achieve them?)
It’s as simple as that.
However, if you are looking for help with your marketing strategy, communications strategy, or marketing strategy, or you simply want to speed up the process, then here at Bright Company we would be happy to help. We’ve created strategies for hundreds of brands that have helped companies achieve their goals – whether to drive awareness of their brand, change perceptions, drive leads, sell tickets, reach niche audiences, and much more in between. We also do a whole lot more besides strategy development, so, if you’ve got a strategy you don’t know how to implement, or a project brief you need help with, or a challenge you aren’t sure how to solve, then contact us. We’d love to hear from you.