Be Strategic!

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strategy

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
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

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:
  1. Social Media Strategy & Purpose
  2. General Facebook Privacy Considerations
  3. Admin Access
  4. Archiving Basics
  5. “Informational Lanes” of other closely affiliated agencies
  6. 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!