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Social Media Strategy Framework: Explanation and Guide

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We believe in the value of visual frameworks, to help make sense of complex issues. A great example is the immensely complex and fast-changing field of social media. Our Social Media Strategy Framework is designed to help organizations to design and implement effective strategies that are relevant to their particular situation. Framework begins with learning and goes on to two simultaneous streams of activity – developing strategies and engaging in social media before moving on to developing organizational capabilities.

Let’s go back and look at each of the steps in more detail. The first step is to learn through executive briefings, looking at relevant case studies, and most importantly, learning by doing. There is no substitute for experiencing using social media for yourself. You need to prioritize your objectives. You may want to increase sales, enhance your brand’s management, attract talented employees, or any of a number other possible goals. Relative priority of these will drive how you design your strategy.

Governance is critical for organizations to engage in social media effectively. This requires assessing and understanding the risks, the opportunities, and also the risks of not engaging in social media. Out of this comes clear policies and guidelines that limit risk while allowing useful experimentation, initiatives, and value creation for the organizations.

From here, activities are defined – including what happens in the first and subsequent phases of your strategy implementation, the social media platforms used, clarity on the resources required and the responsibilities, as well as how your social media initiatives relate to existing marketing or organizational initiatives. On the engaging side, the first step is to listen. You can use a range of free and commercial social media monitoring tools to discover what is being said about your company, your competitors, and your industry, and uncover who are the most relevant influences in the space.

You want to soon move on to engage in the conversation by responding positively to what is being said, connecting with influences, and adding value to the community. Having set measures of success, you can monitor how you’re performing, communicate that internally, and over time refine your program so you achieve the results you want. Finally, it is essential to continually develop your capabilities as an organization at engaging with social media. Social media is not about to go away, and the ability to engage in constructive conversations with your customers will become increasingly central to organization’s success. This requires training, getting the right people involved and shifting organizational culture to one that can thrive in an open conversational business environment.

What I’ve presented here is a framework, which you can take, adapt, and use in whatever way is most valuable to you in developing your own social media strategy. I hope you find it useful. At Advanced Human Technologies, we help organizations through executive briefings, helping senior teams to understand issues and opportunities, developing social media strategies, applying this and other frameworks to set useful strategies, establishing effective governance, working with boards and the executive teams to set enabling guidelines and policies, enhancing organizational capabilities, continually getting better at engaging in social media, and in covering strategic opportunities, exploring new possibilities for organizations in a connected world. I hope that the Social Media Strategy Framework is useful to you, and I wish you and your organization all success in the wonderful world of social media.

See the social media strategy framework in 11 other languages:

Chinese – 社交媒体战略框架

Dutch – Sociale Media Strategie Kader

German – Social Media strategische Rahmenrichtlinien

Italian – Schema della strategia relativa ai mezzi di comunicazione sociale

Japanese – ソーシャルメディア戦略構造

Korean – 소셜미디어 전략 프레임워크

Portuguese – Modelo Estratégico dos Meios de Comunicação Social

Russian – Структура стратегии в социальных медиа

Spanish – Encuadre de Estrategia de Medios Sociales

Turkish – Sosyal Medya Strateji Çerçevesi