Why Is It Essential to Develop a Social Media Strategy?

Image by Yan Wong from Pixabay

Why Is It Essential to Develop a Social Media Strategy?

By Miriam Lopez-Arbour

If you are good at it, people are going to read it – Seth Godin, best selling author

I would like to start by making a distinction between content and strategy.  You can publish content on your website, social media, blog or any other social media channel. Content strategy is analyzing your content, while social media is choosing the social media vehicle you will use to promote your program/initiative and creating a calendar of events to publish it.  Consider the following steps to implement a social media strategy:

  1. Identify the audience
  2. What issue does it address
  3. Develop a strategy
  4. Tools

About the audience

With the explosion of the internet, it is now possible to reach out to audiences around the globe.  It is important to determine if your audience is local or international, will it be receptive and how your program or product support the client journey.  Next, you need to analyze age demographics for example if your clients are very young, you might want to consider Snap Chat and Tik Tok.  Equally important is to understand who your competitors are.

About the problem

Determine what is the problem and the solution you bring to the table. Say for example that you want to promote a Government program targeted to Canadian women-owned businesses interested in exporting.  You would need to understand the Canadian ecosystem at the Federal and Provincial level and dive deep into the needs of this segment of clients.  You would need to understand what are the barriers women-owned businesses face.  Is it lack of funding? Is it lack of mentorship? Is it bias? Who are the key players in the field, in Government and private organizations and what are they doing in support of women-owned businesses.  What is your value added?

To position yourself as a respected leader in whatever problem you are trying to solve, you are going to need to put the client at the center of your strategy, provide solutions, complement existing resources and understand your competition.

Developing a Strategy

Using women-owned businesses as an example, let us assume that you know your audience and you understand the needs of the community.  You discover that there are several programs out there in support of women-owned businesses.  However, there is a need for “portal” or a 1-800 # where Canadian women owned businesses can find out how the Government of Canada support women owned businesses.  What steps would you take to develop a social media strategy and what social media strategies would you incorporate?


  • Develop a website.  Information must be organized, structured and labelled in a way that will serve users’ needs and help them achieve their tasks.  Monitor touch points, how are you onboarding clients, how are they learning about you, raise curiosity
  • Develop rich content and make it user-friendly.  Content must be scalable to modern mobile devices, privacy concerns and inclusive of people with disabilities.  Include testimonials and make information available in both official languages
  • Build the social media plan to promote the launch of your website and prominently include the URL link, you can do this via E-mail marketing, think also of including traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers
  • Websites are static, social media tools give you the opportunity to engage with your audience
  • Ensure you have the Human Resources in support of the social media strategy
  • Choose the platform that your clients use more regularly
  • Be consistent regardless of the social media platform you use.  Think of Google and Facebook, the websites look identical no matter where you are in the world
  • Develop a calendar of events and use a scheduler such as Hootsuite, make sure the information you are promoting is updated across all platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat
  • Write a blog
  • Design an award recognition program or a loyalty program
  • Join organizations that promote diversity, inclusion and women entrepreneurship
  • Develop a marketing campaign on International Women’s Day on March 8th

Here is an example of a video promoting diversity and inclusion and the Business Women in International Trade at Global Affairs Canada

To conclude, essential to a successful social media strategy is to understand your audience.  Have a clear value proposition in plain language so that clients can easily understand what it is that you are offering.  Be consistent in your message and branding.  Lastly but most importantly, social media, if used appropriately and monitored, is an amazing tool in support of your marketing strategy.  Spend the time and effort to determine what is the best social media platform for your initiative, program or product. 

What is your favourite social media platform and why?

#social media #strategy #content #plan

Follow me on twitter: @miriamlopezarbo

Follow me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/miriamelopzarbour-5723614b

No contacts? How about using social media to promote your event?

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Two years ago, I had the opportunity to work in Washington D.C. on a temporary duty assignment, January to March at the Canadian Embassy.  The Canadian Embassy is located on the prestigious Pennsylvania Avenue, a gorgeous building and a short walk to the Capitol.

The temporary duty assignment was to promote solutions to the challenges women face securing capital to grow their businesses, the event was entitled “Enhancing Women’s access to Capital”. The deliverables of the work consisted in creating a successful event.  Success is determined on the number and quality of participants and on the feedback provided by partners and participants.

The event was held on March 20, 2018. The two-part event included keynote speeches and a panel discussion, followed by a networking reception and remarks by the Ambassador. The event, which attracted the attention of many notable organizations, had two main objectives: (1) promoting solutions to the challenges women face in securing capital to grow their business; and (2) profiling Canada’s progressive and robust entrepreneurial landscape to encourage more U.S. venture capital firms to invest in women-led Canadian start-ups. The event firmly aligned with the objectives of the Canada-U.S. Council for the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders and complemented the Canadian government’s priority of building a more gender-balanced and inclusive economy.

Key to the success of the event was an active social media effort, inspired by the Capital of the U.S., we developed a hashtag #CapitalForWomen. Canadian and U.S. partners advertised the event on social media and on their official websites. The day of the event, 211,613 accounts were reached on Twitter alone with 554,235 impressions. . The event was recorded and, over the next month, released 20-second video segments via social media to expand the event’s reach to a wider audience.


Here is a quote from one of the panelists:

“You brought a powerful group of speakers together and I learned so much. The attendance was great. We reached just the right, engaged audience, who I know appreciated this rare opportunity…” – Aerica Banks, Google

I had never been to Washington before. I was not disappointed.  I loved it!  My residence was a block away from the Capitol and two blocks away from the majestic National Mall monuments, I enjoyed free access to world-class museums and art galleries, the Potomac, Arlington Cemetery and much more.  One of my favourite activities, outside of work was running along the National Mall monuments, I was impressed every time. I felt so small compared to the colossal and historic monuments, especially the sculptures of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King! 

Have you used social media to promote an event? 

Thank you for reading this blog.

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Innovative and Cool on line Investing using social media tools

Photo Credit:  Pexels

Locked in their basements, young fearless and bored by the pandemic, Generation Z entrepreneurs took to investing in the stock market challenging Wall Street and the financial system.  Over social media, they coordinated forums and chat rooms to trade and purchase massive volumes of shares of companies that are “shorted” by the financial hedge fund managers (a practice they claim is unfair).

Wall Street, Government, regulators and traditional investors, all took notice.  They are now developing policies and regulations to protect market volatility.  Investors are traditionally people with money, these young rascals are changing the profile of traditional investors and challenging the system by arguing it is an unfair system, all people should be able to make money in the stock market, even if you are not rich.

This young and no-so-young group of investors helped by new technology like easy trading app Robin Hood, claim, and I quote “ that they are on a mission to democratize finance for all” making it very easy and simple to learn about investments and how to make money investing in the stock market. They also have a twitter account @RobinhoodApp with a follower membership of 371K.  Like Facebook, Robin Hood services are free, cutting the intermediary.  Like Facebook the product is YOU. 

Here is a video explaining how easy it is to learn how to use Robin Hood and even receive a random free stock option

Millennials and others spend hours discussing investment strategies on Reddit – an on line social news aggregator and discussion website and Tik Tok an on-line video sharing social network, and many other tools at their disposal to learn the investment game.  Traditional and digital media, television and radio are following and covering the story as it unfolds. 

Most companies chosen by this cohort of investors lack the fundamentals with weak and/or no earnings, reminding us of the Tulip mania .  Typically if an investor wants to borrow money to invest and or buy stocks “on margin” he/she is able to phone a financial advisor (for a fee) and at least have peace of mind before making financial decision on how to proceed or not. Not these young investors, they are prepared to take risks.  Are they right?  The future will tell.   

These young investors are not shy either; they are sharing their stories and good fortunes on digital and traditional media. I read a story of a student claiming, he was able to re pay 20K, student loan, because of smart investing.  This type of testimonials has created hype among peers, everyone wants in, everyone wants to win.  On a sobering thought traditional investment analysts warn caution.  Stay tuned!

The impact social media plays in this story is phenomenal.  Where is this going?  What would be the results?  Is this the story ultimately about people joining in social media to combat an unfair system?  What do you think?

Thank you for reading this blog. 

Shifting mediascape

Photo credit Pexels

How are you adapting to change?

The current events, have forced humans to adapt to a new reality.  We have had to learn, in a very short period of time; to use new technologies and systems to remain relevant.  Digital communication versus- face-to-face and or in-person meetings can be daunting for some.  

For example, who would have thought that, as a result of the pandemic, we would not be able to travel at our own leisure, no spring break?  New words are now part of our conversation related to travel like, what did you do during your  “StayCation”? 

Shopify’s CEO Tobias Lutke,  a Canadian an E-commerce platform that has seen amazing growth since the pandemic, put it this way:  “office centricity” is over. The company decided to keep company offices closed, allowing most employees to work remotely on a permanent basis .

We say “I’ll send you a whatsapp invite?  See you on MS?  Let’s plan a Zoom call?  For some this is very easy, but for others, not used to digital tools not familiar with the process a real challenge, not to mention homeless people that are left out.  In the words of Charles Darwin “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Change, that’s it, change!  Our lives changed in a very short time, and yet, thanks to social media tools, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and much more, have allowed us to stay connected, not only with our Canadian friends but also to people from all over the world.  We are able to see in real-time the development of events as if we were present in the moment, whatsapp has a free call service, do you recall how much it cost to make an overseas call to say Europe and or South America?  Now you can do this for free.

Digital is everywhere, on media like Reddit you can get up to speed very quickly, if you are having trouble with anxiety  Apps like Calm are developed to help you.  Depending on your topic of interest you can read thematic Blogs, participate in Forums, listen to Podcasts and much more.

The whole school system and students, have had to change and learn to adapt their teaching methods.  Teachers now develop curriculums on-line, for mature students this may be easy, but I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to keep the attention of a 1st or 2nd grader?

As a global community we are all feeling the change, adapting to technology, social media tools and much more.  What’s next?  How are you adapting to change?

In my humble opinion, the train has left the station, digital advertising and social media are here to stay as part of our lives for better or worse, let’s make the best of it.

I would love to learn how are you adapting to change?

Thank you for your interest.   

Living Online in 2021

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2020 was a year like no other.  I thought I had seen it all after going through the Ottawa Ice Storm of 1998 that caused extensive damage to trees, deaths, shutdown of schools, power outages, closing of retailers, and $5 -7 billion in damages . 

Then came COVID.  In the fall of 2019 we started to hear of a new viral pneumonia in Wuhan, China and that the spread started in Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan.  In January, a first case arrives at Pearson airport.  Top political and public health leaders assured us that the risk to Canadians was low.

On Friday March 13, I left work, after a hard week at the office, now ready to start the weekend!  I am in the habit of leaving the lap top at the office so I can unwind and “recharge”, I usually take my mobile, but not this Friday.

Monday morning I learnt the Government of Canada was shutting down offices and the majority of public servants ordered  to work from home; access to the buildings restricted.  I had no lap-top, no phone… all my working tools locked in the office.  I managed to obtain special permit to access the building and was able to retrieve working tools.  Next challenge, how to communicate and work remotely (something I had done on rare occasions).  At the speed of light I had to learn how to establish a group in Whatsapp; Google Hang Outs; open a Zoom account and learn Microsoft MS Teams. 

Over nine months have gone by; my life has changed dramatically, my personal and work-life are intertwined. I travel from  personal  to work tools intermittently.  The lock-down restrictions have also changed the way I shop.  I was not in the habit of ordering on-line, with the freedom to move around and go places, I enjoyed visiting establishments, developed relationships with the store owners, received advice and exchanged ideas. 

With the current restrictions, I turned to on-line shopping, if I am lucky, chat with a human.  Over this period, I have noticed a ton of advertising crawling into my personal g-mail account, for example, when I order from a merchant, I start receiving offers from other merchants offering similar products, also – at the bottom of the screen – a carousel of advertising  “you may also want” or “people that bought this, also liked this and that” and on and on it goes.

So here is the issue, if I want to buy/order on-line products from Amazon or the Apple Store, to mention a few, I am now required, to open an account or check out as a guest, either way provide a ton of personal information (something I did not have to do at the store). What’s more, if I don’t check the “I Agree” box I can’t complete my order!

The data that I am giving to the merchant is somehow being “tracked” and fed into algorithms that are controlling my results in search engines and who knows what else. My data is being collected and sold, with very little control or oversight on my part. Is this greed, or have we become the victims of a system of our own design? How are we being protected? Can we do something about it?

I would love to hear your thoughts! 

Follow me on twitter: @miriamlopezarbo

Follow me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/miriamelopzarbour-5723614b