Know Thyself

Pearls of wisdom in business are everywhere.  Have you ever heard this one? – “You can’t be all things to all people”.  Meaning, not every person is going to like your product or service, no matter how many posts, vlogs, or memes you post.  What a company can do though is to be themselves to the best of their ability and attract those who love them for who they are. 

Depending on if there is a design and implementation of a social media strategy happening for a new start-up or for an established business, you may encounter different steps along the way, but for the most part, they are more similar than different.

The first step to either age of business is a meeting with the business owner (or similar authority) to understand their desire and goals for a social media presence – in essence, to listen.  A well-stablished business may want to increase market share in one product or service, while a start-up may want something more basic, like awareness of their existence! Each desire will be as individual as the company is and so there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Understanding the business, who they are at their core and who they identify as is the first step at creating a social media strategy that makes sense to the company its being designed for. 

The second step is to set goals and define roles.  Goals should be specific and quantifiable and determined by the business owner or as a team.   The roles of who executes what task can then be discussed, for example, the Social media manager may rely on staff members for content or photographs of their product.

The final step is to measure the measurables at prescribed intervals.  At the initial meeting, it should have been agreed upon that there would be intermitted review of the newly implemented social media strategy.  At these reviews, it would be discussed if the targets and goals for a social media account, that were determined at the first meeting, are being met.

For those companies who already have been in business, incorporating a complimentary social media strategy into their current marketing and advertising endeavours is a must.  Start with an analysis of what they are currently doing.  They may or may not have been keeping to their brand identity in every post, and some may have been a part of the “zombie social media” segment, but hopefully they have created a theme or story of who they are online. If you have discussed with the business owner what their company vision is, their company goals (long and short) and what they believe their identity to be, moving forward you can have a social media that compliments their current marketing and advertising activities.

Complimenting their current strategies is a-must for numerous reasons.  The most important reason to the business owner is not to confuse their clients or customers.  If you have a social media strategy that differs from current marketing strategies is disorienting and may negatively impact sales, in more extreme cases.  The most important reason to the social media strategist is potential alienation of the company owner and staff from the social media manager and raise questions of the efficacy of the strategist.  They may think you haven’t been listening to them and who they are and are running your own agenda or don’t care enough to listen to them.

Understand your company, listen to who they are, work within their theme, think about their goals and post content with authenticity.  Narrate a story of who the company is in an authentic way that supports their brand and you can successfully integrate or create a complimentary social media strategy.

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