I am asked the above question often, and my answer is always, “What is your purpose for using social media?” And for me, this is a two-fold question: (1) What is the purpose of the business or as Simon Sinek says, “Your WHY?” and (2) What is the purpose of using social media?
Social media must be strategic and tactical; however, over the last decade the mantra has been “be everywhere and post a lot.” That is not the case any longer. Instead, social media is an integral part of a business’ identity. It is a digital representation of its physical representation.
Social media must start from the inside. When coaching with a client, I listen to hear his or her heart when speaking about their purpose. Upon hearing their purpose, I help them build an 8-step social media strategy.
- Perform an audit to figure out what is the current digital presence of the business.
- Set specific goals for the business and then align those goals to specific metrics for measuring in Step-7.
- Locate the business’ audience. If you are just starting and do not know your audience, review Pew Research for where consumers are on the social networks.
- Select one social network to begin building the business’ digital presence. I recommend staying with one social network, two at the most, before adding other social networks into the business’ digital marketing plan.
- Listen to the audience, ask questions, discover their needs, and find their pain points.
- Create engaging content, curate industry content, add value to your audience, and engage them – build relationships.
- Measure your social media with the metrics aligned to the business goals from Step-2.
- Adjust the strategy and repeat. A social media strategy is not a “set it once and leave it,” instead, it is a living function of a business.
Social media is an extension of who you are, and your business is also an extension of you. Use social media to enhance what is already inside you, your gifts, your values, your solutions to solve others’ problems. Social media is not a fad, it is a necessity. However, it need not be a burden. Start slow, keep it simple, design good strategies, and use repeatable systems.
Author: Dr. Michelle Post, SMS
Dr. Michelle Post is a driven, passionate, and experienced leader, teacher, social media strategist, connector, and national and international speaker. Her desire to connect and inspire throughout more than three decades of career translates into her ongoing effort to help the development of ideas, people, content, and learning.
Dr. Post is Founder / CEO of The Post Institute: Center for Life-Long Learning. She offers coaching, consulting, teaching, training, and speaking on subjects, as diverse as social media, leadership, generations in the workplace, and technology in education.
Dr. Post has appeared on Colorado’s Best Morning Show and has presented at the Autonomous Learning World Caucus at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, England. Dr. Post is also a Fellows of the Beta Phi Scholarly Society at Exeter College, University of Oxford, England. Dr. Post is the author of six books and the contributor to four more. For more than 10-years, Dr. Post has written a faith-based, inspirational blog.