Whether you’re starting a social media marketing plan from scratch or redefining an existing social media strategy, I’ve found that taking a moment to reflect on some key questions can be a really valuable exercise.
These Big Important questions—capital “B,” capital “I”—can help point you down the best path with your social media efforts and ensure that the time you spend is aimed at the right places and toward your top goals.
In this Coaching Blog, I’ve listed 25 of the questions that I’ve found most helpful when coming up with social media strategies for my business!
25 questions to help define your social media strategy
To kick start your thought process, consider the following.
On Setting Goals
1. Why have you joined social media?
2. What is your brand’s overall purpose?
3. What do you or your company aim to achieve with social media?
I’ve found that these questions often take you down a couple of parallel paths.
The first is thinking big-picture with the goals you set, planning out a mission for why you’re on social media. The second is setting specific goals to support the mission and purpose that you’ve defined.
On Knowing Your Audience
4. Who is your target audience?
5. Which social channels do they use?
6. What topics and sources of information are most important to them?
7. What events matter to them and their lives?
8. What problems can you help them solve?
9. What jobs can you help them complete?
Step one with this section is to think deeply about your audience. Some companies and products can pull from their customer data or market research, building personas for their customers. Other social profiles—for personal brands, for instance—might go off of an intuition about the makeup of their audience.
Once you’ve got a good grasp on your audience’s make-up, you can then find which social networks these segments hang out on, and you can think about how your product or service fits with your audience’s needs.
On Defining Your Brand
10. What is your brand voice?
11. What is the tone of your social media updates?
12. What emotions do you hope to convey through your brand’s visuals and messaging?
One of my favorite underrated factors of a good social media strategy is voice and tone. The words you use and the emotions you convey have a huge impact on your audience and the way your brand is perceived.
I have put together a great guide on coming up with the voice and tone for your brand. Here’s one exercise that I recommend.
On Planning Content
13. What types of content should I post on which social platforms?
14. What type of content best supports your content marketing mission?
15. What are the main topics, categories or messages that support your brand?
16. Should you use social media to provide customer service?
I call this section “Choosing your Hot Buttons.” Here you’ll find which types of content resonate best with your brand and your audience (discovered in the above sections).
These questions can help you determine what topics you cover on social media as well as what type of media you end up posting (text updates, links, quotes, photos, videos, etc.).
For the types of media, here is a useful break down of ways to look at the emphases of different social networks, including images, video, etc.
Kitchen-sink networks: Twitter and Facebook
Image-based networks: Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr
Video networks: YouTube, Vimeo, Vine
Business-focused networks: LinkedIn
SEO and authorship networks: Google+
On Content Creation
17. What realistic resources do we have?
18. Who should set up and maintain my company’s social media accounts?
19. What is the workflow from content creation to publication?
20. How often should I post new content on my social networks?
21. How does social media fit with our other campaigns?
When you’re considering the resources you have available, it’s good to think about not only the time, energy, and manpower that you’ll need to commit to sharing on social media but also to think about the expertise that you or others might have. It’s possible that there may be a learning curve to get going with social and that this could impact the time it takes to get started and the time it takes to continue.
For the specific content itself, one way that I’ve found useful to come up with answers here is looking at the accounts that inspire us.
On Analyzing and Measuring
22. How will you measure ROI and define success with your social media strategy?
23. What is working with your social media marketing efforts?
24. What is the customer journey from search to purchase?
25. Where does social media fit within your funnel?
The measurement stage is a big one, and no less important than the others even though it often comes last. Having answers to these questions ahead of time will help you follow up with your strategy and see what works.
Measuring ROI is a much-debated topic. I’ve found a lot of value in benchmarking my social media stats so that I can compare the performance of my posts. For ROI itself, there are many great ways to consider how engagement on social media relates directly to sales, and often, these conversations refer to where social media fits in in the funnel, your customer’s journey.
These 25 questions are some of the ones that have helped me define social media strategies in the past, and I hope that they will do the same for you!