What Exactly is a Social Media Strategy?

Why start anything without knowing what you want to do, or where you want to go?  That sounds obvious, yet many of us begin our online presence without knowing those things.  That’s OK for a while, but for growth or success to happen you really need to know those things and have a strategy that will get you there.  It’s like having (and using) a map to find your desired driving destination.

So, just what exactly is a social media strategy, and how do you get one?

Begin with knowing what you are after.  That will help you determine what your ‘brand’ should look like.  If you are looking for a job, your brand will be what you can do for a target employer.  What kind of job do you want, where should it be located, and what kind of benefits are required.  If you are promoting a business or a ministry, your ‘brand’ is your ‘unique offering’, or what makes you different or better than the competition.  That will help you determine your target market.  Who do want to attract, or who do you want to notice you?  A church, a business, or even a job seeker might answer with anyone, but that might not be the most efficient or productive strategy.  You want loyal followers, ones that share your interest or need your products.  For a business to have a thousand followers that don’t need your product doesn’t accomplish much, unless of course they would refer their friends to your business.  If a church was noticed by a thousand people of a different belief or denomination, it probably wouldn’t help much.  If a job seeker was known by a thousand people who weren’t ambitious enough to get out and look for a job or even network, they wouldn’t help much.  I use the three analogies of a business, a ministry, and a job seeker to help you understand exactly what a target market might look like to you, and what your ‘brand’ might be. 

Find Your Target Market by Considering:

  • who would be interested in your skills, your product, your services,
  • how often would they would visit, potential objections they might have,
  • where they go to find information (internet, friends, magazines, media, etc.),
  • what influences them (their friends, heroes and idols, websites they enjoy, magazines they read, and TV shows they watch),
  • and finally where they live (can/would they actually take advantage of your services and products?).

Even if your “brand” appeals to almost everyone, the old 80/20 rule still applies.  20% of your followers will generate 80% of your activity or revenue.  So, it’s critical to figure out who that 20% is, and what is your target market!

Now, you need to determine Where to find your target market.  Since this article is about social media, you need to know where your target market might hang out online.  Determine which sites they use frequently and you will have a better chance of being noticed by them. Look for:

  • blogs they read
  • LinkedIn groups they are members of
  • other social media sites like facebook or twitter they use
  • entertainment, or non-work related sites they frequent

If your target market is using your competition, determine why the competition has their attention.  Don’t be a me-too; determine what they are not currently receiving, and what you might offer to meet those needs.  If you are missing some things the competition has, what can you do to add them, or even provide more value?  You want to position your ‘brand’ to stand out from the competition.  If the competition has a better website, how can you improve yours?  See past posts on Linked4Ministry:  https://linked4ministry.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/is-a-website-or-social-media-really-important-to-ministries/ , and https://linked4ministry.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/how-backlinks-help-your-website-traffic-increase/ to understand what makes a good website, and how to use backlinks to draw more interest or find out where your completion gets their backlinks.

Whether you are putting a resume together, building a website, putting a LinkedIn group together, or doing an e-mail newsletter, you need to consider how it looks and what it includes:

  • Is it professional looking, and easy to read? 
  • Does it include key words and magnetic headlines that will attract your target audience?
  • Is the content valuable to your target audience?
  • Does it make your target audience feel like “this is for me”?
  • Is it easy to navigate, and quick to find or retrieve information?

Retention – Will what you are doing cause your target audience to remember your name, qualifications, business, or ministry benefits?  Just getting your social media outlet in the hands of your target audience doesn’t mean they will bite; you must make an offer “they can’t refuse”!  Offer something so great that it’s almost unfair to the competition.  Just make sure the offer is really that good, and you can back up what you tell them.

Existing vs. New – Most businesses and ministries know it’s easier to keep current contacts than to find new ones, so don’t forget the value of your existing friends, clients, and partners.  Send them information you believe they will find interesting and useful.  Tell them about upcoming events (yours and others) they can take advantage of.  In other words, remind them frequently why they like you and find value in your relationship.

Find a Partner – There’s a reason that Jesus sent His disciples out ‘two by two’.  Having a friend or partner to help you on the journey not only can give you encouragement when you need it, they can give you perspective you might not otherwise see, they can give you referrals that can bring in additional help, they can listen and think when you are busy speaking so you don’t miss opportunities.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. thanks for all tehn information…

    nice to visit your blog…

    see ya…

    Reply

  2. This is a great article, Bill! Our ministry is knee deep in this.. soon to be waste deep and hopefully swimming soon! Lots to absorb and so many tools out there.. obviously the well known ones like FB, Twitter and so on.. but also lots of lesser visibility ones that can be very helpful I’ve found that blogging, and posting on others blogs are immensely helpful in gaining traffic and SEO visibility.

    Reply

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