Resolutions – Is it Time for a Social Media Strategy?

Setting and achieving simple goals

By Patty Swisher Posted on January 23, 2013

w-social-small-1It’s the New Year, it’s that time that rolls around every 12 months or so and has us thinking about goals, objectives, plans, and adjusting our course. Does your plan include social media? If so, it might be a perfect time to think about creating a social media strategy.   Here are my take-a-ways for establishing a social strategy:

First, you must decide: What do you want to achieve?  Why? Some of the reasons you might use social media include networking, collaboration, recruiting, or thought leadership. It is recommended that your social media strategy be tied to your overall marketing and business goals and objectives. Social media is one tool in your marketing communications tool box and should be part of a comprehensive, integrated marketing communication plan.

Once you’ve decided what, then you need to set goals and objectives. From these motives, some goals might include: Build awareness, Establish thought leadership, or Reach new markets.  S.M.A.R.T. Goals have been around for more than 20 years. SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic (or Relevant), and Timely. 

While everyone will tell you that the number of Fans or Followers you have is not an indicator of your social media success, and generally I agree, it is easy to see why we gravitate to these measurements of progress. I don’t recommend that these be your long term goals, but if you are just starting out, it is an ok place to start.

Your goal might look like this:
Goal: Increase awareness of our use of BIM in the delivery of residential design projects.
Objective: Double the number of Facebook Fans for our company page in twelve months. 

It is specific: Use of BIM; Facebook Fans. It is measureable: double; if you have 50, you want to reach 100. It is attainable: if you were able to get 50 fans, you are able to get 100. It is realistic: there are 300 million Facebook users, you can attract and retain 50 additional fans. It is timely: in this case you have set a time frame of 12 months.

Next, you need to lay out your tactics. These are the specific steps you will take to achieve your goals.

When will you post? What will you post? What will you do to promote your page/posts?

Finally, after you have determined what you wish to achieve, after you’ve laid out your goals and objectives, and after you’ve implemented your tactics, your strategy must include analysis and measurement of your activities. What works? What doesn’t? Analyze, adapt, and improve.

These are the basics.  Have questions or comments? Share them below.

This is the third in a series of articles on Social Media. Read part 1 and part 2.

Patty Swisher is a 15+ year veteran marketing communication professional in the A/E/C industry. She is an SMPS Pittsburgh Past President, current member of the MBA Social Media Task Force (and presenter), and co-founder of Social Media Group Pittsburgh – an organization dedicated to sharing best practices in social media marketing. She can be found on Twitter @pmswish.

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2 Responses to Resolutions – Is it Time for a Social Media Strategy?

  1. Great article, Patty. I really appreciate the very specific example that you’ve given. I think it’s this kind of writing that really allows us to understand how to create a plan that’s directed and actionable. Keep those tips coming, my friend!

  2. Pingback: AIA Pittsburgh | TAPping into Social Media in Architecture

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