Is your social media not giving you the results that you hoped for? Well, maybe you need a better strategy. Wait a minute, you have a social media strategy, right?
Allow me to back up and explain the value of a strategy with a personal story.
I have been using the Stonglifts 5X5 workout regimen for about 8 weeks now. The plan is simple. Three times per week, I do 3 different exercises for 5 sets of 5 reps each. The idea is to increase the weight I use by very small increments each week. For example, this week I bench pressed 185lbs on my last set. At no point have I increased the maximum weight by more than 10 lbs from week-to-week. Sure, there were times when I wanted to quit because of slow gains and times when I wanted to make huge leaps because I was feeling good, but I committed to the plan and it paid off. This unimpressive, unremarkable program gave me some of the best gains I have made in my fitness life. In those 8 weeks, I have lost nearly 20lbs of fat and gained over 10lbs of muscle. I feel like Thor.
Sometimes I think the social media community, myself included, has put the cart before the horse in regards to the emphasis we place on tactics vs consistency. Admittedly, we can be a little trigger-happy when it comes to the newest tools and tactics out there. We forget that the key to our own success in the success of any individual or organization comes from executing a quality social media strategy.
Even a sub-par program, if carried out to completion, will result in greater effectiveness than a perfect strategy, done only half-way. Don’t be the guy who gives up on his workout routine when his six-pack fails to appear after two trips to the gym.
Here are 5 steps to crafting and executing a killer social media strategy.
Step 1: Determine your goals.
What are your or your business’ strategic objectives for the month, the quarter, and the year? How much is a new connection on social media worth to you? It will be up to you to determine how much it is worth to you to increase your social media presence and what you realistically expect to accomplish in a given period of time.
I like using SMART goals. Make sure they are…
Specific – Any lay person should be able to understand what you are trying to achieve.
Measurable – Tie specific metrics to the goal, such as new followers or blog subscribers, so it can be quantitatively measured.
Achievable – Be realistic. Give yourself a chance to feel the sweet success.
Relevant – These should be goals that help you progress towards your larger strategic objectives or higher purpose.
Time-bound – Give a time limit. Otherwise, you’ll feel no sense of urgency.
Step 2: Assess your tools and your team.
You will need to make an honest assessment of yourself and your team’s ability to perform certain tasks related to social media. Additionally, you will need to be honest with yourself about the time it will take to do those tasks. Depending on your other responsibilities, will you realistically have the time necessary to devote to doing the work? If not, you may want to consider bringing in some outside help, or perhaps a virtual assistant to take on some less important tasks in order to free up some time.
Step 3: Based on your goals, determine the amount of time you will need to devote to completing your objectives.
Based on the goals you have set and the time/resources you have available, estimate how much time it will take to reach your goals. Now that you have done that, add 20%. Give yourself room to take one step back and two steps forward. There is no shame in this.
Step 4: Set deadlines and make appointments with yourself to do the work, so you don’t “fall off the wagon”.
I recommend this tactic only because it has worked the best for me. As a recovering procrastinator, I have tried every productivity method in the book, and this has been my preferred method of sticking to deadlines, especially those that require regular input. If you make an appointment with yourself to get certain tasks done, you reduce the risk of missing deadlines due to meetings or ad hoc tasks taking you away from your responsibilities.
In my experience, having a content calendar set in advance is the best thing you can do for yourself in this regard. It will reduce the weight of having to come up with new material from scratch each week. This calendar should be full of content, which you have decided based on my rule #1 for social media.
Step 5: Stick with it. Resist the urge to jump ship at the first sight of rocks.
We have all seen the posters that say “keep calm and carry on”. Well, go buy yourself one. There will come a time when you think you should abandon ship. There will come a shiny new tool you think will revolutionize your marketing. There will come a time when you think that it isn’t worth your time. Well, you shouldn’t. It won’t. And it is. Commit to yourself, from the beginning, that you will see it through to the end.
Do you have the focus to stick with the strategy through all of the changing business and societal changes?
Step 6: (Upon completion) – Assess the strategy.
What worked? What didn’t work so well? Make adjustments based on your findings so you improve each time.
This is the time to look back and see if the focus and dedication was worth it. This is the time to review all the metrics to see which of your efforts were the most worthwhile, not beforehand.
Do you think a coordinated strategy would help you achieve your goals with social media? Let me know what experiences you have had. Include challenges and solutions.