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December 23, 2010 / Rebecca Foss

What is a Social Media Strategy?

Social media has changed the way companies are doing business and should be an integral part of the marketing mix:  a communication tool used to develop relationships with customers and potential customers.   So what is a social media strategy for a business?

Let’s clarify the definition of a social media strategy.   A business strategy in general is not easy to define or explain and a social media strategy is new to all businesses.  It is more of a creative process than coming up with different statistics, or a timeline that would include a list of plans.  In doing some research I came across a great description of this that I found very helpful.  A strategy is not a plan, a timeline, or tactics used to achieve goals.  A strategy is about organizational alignment.  If a business strategy works by creating operational alignment between all functions and activities of a business, a social media strategy is a subset of the business strategy. (Thanks Tac Anderson!)  A social media strategy supports the way a company communicates with its stakeholders (including customers, potential customers, employees, partners and anyone else impacted by the company).

A social media strategy is a simple one or two sentence statement about how your company will use social media.  So, your social media strategy could be something like this:

“My company will use social media as a means to establish connections with consumers within specific target audiences and engage with them on the platforms they are using by offering interactive and entertaining content and availability on the web when they have questions about our products.”

Once you craft your strategy statement, you can build upon that with objectives, goals, plans and tactics.  The execution of these to achieve what is declared in your strategy statement, then becomes your fully executed social media strategy.

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