A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a Q&A session for a social media strategy workshop that was held by a friend of mine – Chryssa Skodra – for a group of start-ups in Finland. I really enjoyed being part of it via Google Hangout as I got to interact with some bright entrepreneurs and share my knowledge around social media and blogging.
My friend Chryssa, who follows the HubSpot blog and knows that we post a ton of useful content there, also asked me to send over a list of curated articles on social media strategy to share with the participants. I happily obliged, of course, and thought that this list of resources would be super useful for you too, so I decided to share it with you today.
Please note, this a strategy guide, not an implementation guide – how you create and optimise your social media profiles or what social media posts to create are topics for another piece. This one is about understanding what social media is, how it can benefit your business and what you need to consider to get started.
My ultimate list of HubSpot posts to guide your social media strategy:
This piece is like the bible for people working in the field of social media or anyone getting started with it. It’s your go-to resource to understanding all aspects of social media. Why did I put it first on the list? Because in order to develop a strategy, you need to understand the social media landscape, what’s available and what choices you have before you can make decisions.
The first step towards developing a social media strategy is defining your goals and tying those to your business objectives. So, how is social media going to help you acquire new customers? Is that what you want at all, or is it just traffic and leads? What are your short-term and long-term social media objectives? And by reaching them will that help you achieve your overall business goals? This post explains how you can use social media at every stage of the sales journey.
One thing you need to help you define those goals I talked about in the previous paragraph, is to understand the key factors that determine social media success – time and experience – and how they correlate with your goals, choice of social media networks, content plan and schedule. That’s exactly what this piece covers.
Working on your long-term social media goals? Read this post! Our HubSpot CMO talks about six words that describe the future of social media marketing: permission, customer-centric, real-time, chaotic, neurotic and fun.
Setting expectations and managing those correctly is one of the most important cornerstones of social media success. Knowing exactly what you can commit to, what you can do with the resources you have, how you can manage that and realising that social media is not a one-size-fits-all solution is essential to guiding your activities and actually getting the results you are hoping to accomplish.
Talking about a recent study of 7,000+ businesses, this post offers you some useful benchmarks and metrics around social media posting frequencies, types of content, followers and interactions so that you can compare your efforts against those of other companies and industries. Why is this important? Because social media moves fast and you need to evolve, adjust and adapt constantly if you want to stay relevant.
This rather shocking piece shares the results of a research, which found that the average large company has 178 corporate-owned social media accounts. Crazy, right? The post sheds some light around how many social media accounts you should be managing.
Today, there’s just simply way too much information and noise on the internet; so many self-proclaimed gurus and experts; so much misguided advice and best practices. This piece talks just about that and gives you the right direction around the things you need to consider when developing your social media strategy.
If you work in an organisation or with a client that is more traditional, you will inevitably face the challenge of convincing the top-level executives why it is worth investing in social media (without that buy-in you don’t really need to bother developing a strategy). Check out this post for some great arguments and ideas how to respond to various objections, including some nice stats.
In line with my previous point, this blog post offers you some amazing statistics and research-based facts why social media is not a fad and why it is worth your time, energy, efforts and money. It can also show you which networks are more relevant for you and where you should start your social media journey.
You have your strategy in place, you are ready to start creating your profiles, publishing and sharing content and engaging with your audiences. But what’s missing? Well, your measurement plan. As Peter Drucker has said, what gets measured, gets managed, so you can’t have a strategy without an idea of how you are going to evaluate your efforts to see if you are reaching your goals. This article tells you what you should be looking at to analyse your activities. Here’s a bonus piece with some more success metrics and tools you can use.
With your social media strategy you may not be getting into the specifics of what types of content exactly you will be creating, but knowing what’s out there, what’s possible and what works is super important to understand what people like to see and share. This post will give you some amazing examples to inspire you and help you plan what resources you will need to create the content that resonates with your audience – this is part of your budget planning too.
I hope you find these posts useful. My takeaway from them is that for a successful social media strategy you need to follow seven action steps:
7 Key Action Steps to Develop your Social Media Strategy:
- Do you research –> around social and your competitors
- Define your social media goals based on your overall business objectives
- Understand your audience and their behaviour
- Choose the right networks based on your audience and your resource capabilities
- Create a content strategy and content creation plan (who does what and when)
- Have a measurement plan with success metrics and KPIs
- Evaluate and adjust consistently
Summing up, it is vitally important to know what you want to achieve, how you are planning to get there and what success looks like before you start just “publishing stuff”. Clear goals, informed decisions and well-planned activities lead to successful results.
PS: If you interested in listening to the Google Hangout, you can find the recording here – starts minute 10:03.