Apr.18th.2017

6 steps to build a social network strategy

Banner : 6 steps to build a social network strategy

    Developing a plan is essential for any company present (or planning to be) on social networks, to ensure the consistency and relevance of the proposed content.

    A strategy of this type is built through 6 main steps.

    6 steps to build a social network strategy

    1. Overview of the current status

    The first step concerns your starting situation. It's about asking yourself the right questions to know where your goals will begin.

    If you already have a business presence on social networks:

    • Are your pages being followed? By how many people?
    • Have there been any noticeable increases or decreases in attendance?
    • What is your current pace of publication?
    • How does your competition perform on these platforms?

    If you do not have a Business social presence, making an inventory of the competitors actions is necessary.


    2. Determine your strategy targets

    This strategy targets might not be the same as your business ones.

    Therefore, you must establish and adapt to this new type of target:

    • What are my target's expectations?
    • What are their habits?
    • What can I bring them that will make the difference?

    3. Define the objectives to be achieved

    The simplest method to define goals is called "S.M.A.R.T".

    This method advocates the choice of objectives according to 5 criteria:

    1. Specificity: Your objectives should be focused on a Specific and defined area
      • Meaning you can't be vague : you need to know exactly what you want to improve.
    2. 'Measurability': Make all this Measurable to assess the progress made,
      • Using tracking tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel will help you see the evolution of your efforts
      • This efficiency is not always measured through sales, but also through popularity growth or other Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
    3. Ambition: Your goals must be Ambitious to push for improvement
      • Wanting a raise in reaction of only a single reaction per post, for instance, will not motivate you to go further 
    4. Realism: Your goals need to remain Realistic to avoid discouragement,
      • On the contrary, aiming at a 2000 reaction raise per post will be stressful from a technical and moral point of view
    5. Time: Your goals should be limited in Time to be analyzed and if needed modified
      • Having a due date makes you see progress or adapt your strategy to go on with your development

    For instance, you might want to improve by 30% the number of reactions on your blog articles, in the next six months. Once these six months have passed, you would realize the raise did happen and you would decide to increase it a little more, adding another tool to your strategy, and so on and so forth.


    4. Understand opportunities on social networks

    Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn can create and maintain a community... but they should not be limited to that.

    They are also useful for resources (like new employees) or promotional activity (such as sharing events, news or achievements).

    In addition, a sales function appears on some of them (for example, the Facebook Marketplace).

    Keep in mind that having a social page involves mastering your brand image, especially when interacting with your users.

    We advise you to concentrate on a limited number of social networks rather than spreading over too many networks at a time, if you do not think you have the time to manage them all. The important thing is to be coherent and steady over the long-term, that is how you can evaluate the true value of your strategy.


    5. Estimate resources available to manage the strategy

    The management of social networks is VERY time-consuming: you have to choose content to post, create posts, reply to comments ...

    You must also decide who is responsible for your social accounts and how much time will be allocated to managing them. Will it be one of your employees or an external service provider?

    Also, managing social networks requires a budget to be split between hardware, advertisements and workforce.

    You should also think about the tools and skills required to make your social page attractive. For example, if you decide to post photos or videos:

    • Do you have the proper material and software to make aesthetic and interesting?
    • Will you be able to edit them yourself to have the desired rendering?

    Strategic monitoring can help you organize these points by observing the behavior of competitors or brands using the same platforms as you.

    In some cases, they will also allow you to find ideas for your posts.

    Estimating resources and competitors allow you to :

    • realize what you can really do.
    • know exactly your position without underestimating or overestimating yourself.
    • react to your competitors.

    6. Create an action plan

    Once the strategy has been defined, it's important you create an action plan for it:

    • a release calendar.
    • a list of potential topics.
    • a weekly planning to manage your social networks.
    • a list of your competitors and inspiring websites, to help you perform business watch.

    This action plan will help you get better organized and make sure you're ready for what's coming next. It will also be easily editable, if you realize your strategy doesn't have the expected results.

    We advise you to do it in an Excel sheet as it will make it clear and visible to you.

    You can obviously add new categories to your action plan, depending on your personal needs.

    Every strategy and action plan are unique. 


    In summary ...

    In summary, setting up a web strategy is a 6-step cyclic process, at the end of which it's time to evaluate once again the situation to keep on going with the strategy or to amend it.

    Getting a strategy from Internet might not be a relevant solution as every business has its own needs and means. Customization helps you bear in mind that the relevance and consistency of published content are watchwords to follow.

    Now that you have chosen your networks, you must adapt to the codes in force on each of them. This will allow you to communicate in the best way possible on each network, without penalizing your brand image.

    Keep up with our series about social networks

    Over the coming weeks, you will find our series of articles on this topic that will help you select and tame the social platforms best suited to your objectives.

    Ask for our expertise

    We can also help you establish your social networking strategy through an audit, which will allow us to analyze your business environment, before creating a detailed plan tailored to your needs.

    Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.