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Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy

Click on the image to see full-size pdf

This is a Beta version, and I would love to get your thoughts on how to improve this for the next version.

The Framework begins with LEARN, follows two streams of ENGAGEMENT and STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT, and comes together in the ongoing imperative to DEVELOP CAPABILITIES.

The five key points for each element are also written below.

LEARN
Use social media yourself
Study relevant case studies
Educate senior executives
Hear from practitioners
Explore the latest trends

ENGAGEMENT
LISTEN

Identify relevant social media monitoring tools
Learn how you can best use the tools
Discover what’s said about you and your market
Find relevant communities and conversations
Uncover key influencers

ENGAGE IN CONVERSATION
Enter the conversation
Provide relevant content
Add value to communities
Engage with influencers
Respond positively

MEASURE AND REFINE
Set relevant measures of success
Monitor measures
Capture and communicate success stories
Report to senior executives
Refine your strategy and measures

STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT
PRIORITIZE OBJECTIVES

Improve customer engagement
Enhance brand and reputation management
Accelerate customer-driven innovation
Attract talented employees
Increase sales

ESTABLISH GOVERNANCE
Identify opportunities
Understand risks
Clarify risk of NOT engaging
Set clear social media policies
Communicate policies internally

DEFINE ACTIVITIES
Define first and subsequent phases
Target initial platforms
Identify resources required
Establish responsibilities and time commitment
Link to offline marketing activities

DEVELOP CAPABILITIES
Identify internal ‘champions’ for social media
Train and support champions and staff
Keep abreast of developments
Establish pilot program
Develop a culture of responsible transparency

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 screens 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 of 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 management, attract talented employees, or any of a number of other possible goals. The 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 has been 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, but the ability to engage in constructive conversations with your customers will become increasingly central to organization 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 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. And 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 executive teams to set the enabling guidelines and policies.

Enhancing organizational capabilities, continually getting better at engaging in social media. And uncovering strategic opportunities, exploring new possibilities for organizations in a connected world. So I hope that the social media your 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

  • Annie

    Very interesting graph you have! I would like to know if there is a start point and a direction to follow. From my understanding, it starts with “learn” and then goes to the right with adjustments to be done every time you follow the circle. Crowds are moving so should you adapt you strategy to the target. Could you please add some input ? Thanks !

  • Hi Annie, I have made a video to explain the framework: http://rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2012/03/social-media-strategy-framework-explanation-and-guide.html

    It does start with learn, then simultaneously goes through the strategy development and engagement phases, which are refined on an ongoing basis as capabilities are developed.

  • George Beaton

    Clear and compelling, as always Ross.
    Improve? Yes, something needed in ‘Develop Capabilities’ on HOW to motivate staff.
    Best George

    • Good point George! However it will probably take more than a bullet point 🙂 Now that you raise it, I will put a framework around motivations (partly related to contributing to crowdsourcing initiatives, but equally applicable in this context) on my To Do list

  • Jemesjackit

    Thanks for sharing such an amazing ideas

  • Im studying social Media engagement for my dissertation. Can you name me models both academic and non academic i can use for my background research? Im struggling to get many!

    • Rudolf Kabutz

      Greetings Leah, about two years ago you were searching for models on social media engagement for your dissertation.
      Have you completed your studies and dissertation by now? I would be very interested to read the outcomes of your research on this topic.
      Thanks so much, Rudolf

  • Anahi

    Hey we would like to translate the framework in Arabic – is it possible to have the graph empty? or the actual file of the original version that we can edit?

  • dude

    Cool article, Ross. I really enjoyed it. You know, I’ve found a tool that make my strategy a whole lot easier. It’s called Capzool, and it’s tool that provides me with ready-to-use posts. It’s pretty cool actually. And it’s a time-saver too. Look into it. Use my referral code: Cap20948