Strategy Is Everything

020714_mishmash-social-mediaWhether you’re a business or nonprofit, a well-thought-out strategy will make the difference between success and failure for a social media campaign.

First, define your goals and objectives. Why are you on social media? To create awareness? Build an engaged community of followers? Solicit donations? Once you have that figured out, make certain your objectives are SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

Just because “everyone is on Facebook” doesn’t mean your brand has to be there too. Find out where your target audience spends most of its time and then put your brand on those platforms.

Implement an editorial calendar with content relevant to your brand. Post open-ended and engaging questions for followers, success stories and event updates. Remember to include dynamic images and videos to promote engagement. And keep your content diverse and engaging.

Your strategy can also contain tactics such as monthly give-a-ways and contests, games, an ambassador campaign, live Facebook chats or tweetups, YouTube webinars or gatherings on Google Hangouts. Whatever you choose, remember to make it audience-driven.

Finally, have a plan to measure success. Resources such as Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, HootSuite Analytics, Twitter Counter and Tailwind for Pinterest will help gather valuable metrics to analyze the results so you can evaluate, tweak and plan for future campaigns.

Gerri Baum directs social media for Kalix Communications in Baltimore and is a social media manager for Sociality Squared in New York City.

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