Writing a social media strategy does not have to be long and complicated.
I am always surprised when people tell me that they have no strategy. And while it seems comfortable to a fair number of businesses to wing it and see what comes naturally, that rarely works for long.
Initially, people will have ideas for their social media posts, but after a while, they grow tired or become unsure about what types of messages to post on their social accounts.
A simple exercise can step you through the basic questions that all leadership teams should consider as they draft their social strategy.
These questions are:
- Who Are Your Target Audiences?
- What Are Your Communication Goals?
- What Types of Messages Further Your Communication Goals?
- Which Social Platforms will Help You Reach both your Target Audience With Your Message Types?
- How Do You Plan to Archive Your Social Footprint? (If you are not a public agency, you can skip this step)
- What Are the Next Steps that You Need to Do to Accomplish Your Social Strategy?
I spent some time recently writing a social media strategy for my current agency, so here is a sample of how easy this can be.
Who Are Your Target Audiences?
- Residents of my county
- Public Safety Agencies within my county
- My agency employees
- Other 9-1-1 Agencies
What Are Your Communication Goals?
- Become the public’s trusted voice on issues pertaining to 9-1-1 here in my county
- Educate the public & dispel rumors/myths relating to services, technologies and public education messages provided by this agency
- Engage in conversations to enhance understanding of 9-1-1 services within my county through presence, answering questions and being a public face to our local community
- Human Resources & Employment Opportunities at my agency (i.e. providing a look “behind the curtain” of what it’s like to be a 9-1-1 dispatcher)
- Provide factual information to residents on ballot-related items that affect agency services to our community
- Provide a social presence that showcases staff talent and earns the respect of my employees & user agencies
- Enhance relationship with the news media
- Amplify messages of public safety agencies with my county
- Amplify messaging, as appropriate & relative to our target audience, from our professional associations and state-level committees
What Types of Messages Further Your Communication Goals?
- Status updates about 911 service disruptions & telephone outages,
- Technology upgrades (and what they mean to residents),
- Public Education Outreach (events, photos & key messages),
- Emergency Alert Messages,
- Employment opportunities,
- Agency awards, accreditation, honors or best practices (w/congratulations to partner agencies as well),
- Factual Information about ballot measure issues,
- Reshares of local public safety agencies & emergency management agencies in our jurisdiction,
Which Social Platforms will Help You Reach both your Target Audience With Your Message Types?
- Facebook Fan Page
How Do You Plan to Archive Your Social Footprint? (If you are not a public agency, you can skip this step)
- See what my county uses at an enterprise level (through our IT services or PIO office),
- If no existing enterprise solution, implement Social Safe.
What Are the Next Steps that You Need to Do to Accomplish Your Social Strategy?
- Secure social media accounts to set placeholder locations,
- Establish placeholder content on both site,
- Obtain input from leadership team on social media strategy,
- Determine site-access privileges,
- Set Target “Go-Live” date,
- Determine archive recommendation
- Establish Agency Social Media Policy,
- Train employees on Social Media Policy to include:
- Social Media Strategy & Purpose
- General Facebook Privacy Considerations
- Admin Access
- Archiving Basics
- “Informational Lanes” of other closely affiliated agencies
- Gathering/Sharing Ideas to accomplish agency goals
See? You can do this..simple questions with answers tailored to what your agency mission and values are. Make it happen!