Social Media comes in flat-pack form, it is there for you to build and create. Imagine a set of shelves bought from a local DIY supplier. They come in a box that you open, once opened you find the materials and tools to create furniture that will withstand heavy usage, furniture that will last forever. Social Media is no different, the materials and tools are out there for you to use but to build it efficiently into a strong marketing and social platform there is certain skill and time required.
You would not embark on assembling the shelves without a final goal in mind would you? You certainly would not start constructing your shelves without a first thought to your safety or the stability of the final structure.
The biggest challenge a Social Media manager faces is that of stressing the importance for policy and strategy to be present from the onset. It has certainly given me headaches when advising those embarking on their Social Media journey and it is just as important for small businesses to adhere to policy and strategy as it is for multi-international corporations. It is about protection and planning. Without it would be to build with ill-fitting nails, sooner or later your platform will crash down.
What exactly are Social Media policies and strategies and what is the difference between them?
Social Media Policy
In modern society a large percentage of employees will have personal Social Media accounts and all will have access to create one. Social Media policy implements what an employee can or cannot write about your company online. One could mistake it for a confidentiality agreement but a Social Media policy is more defined and centred around online communications. It is not only to protect the business but is there to protect the employee, it is there to monitor what is said about your business online.
Social Media Strategy
Social Media Strategy is the document that will contain your goals, aspirations, objectives and plans for all online communications. Without strategy it is impossible to measure your impact in the Social Media field or ROI, without it there is no structure to the information you want to provide to your customers or clients. Unlike a Social Media policy which is fixed and static, strategy should be flexible and changeable to provide new and relevant content. Most importantly it is reviewable and measurable.
Both policy and strategy are not to be taken lightly or simply ignored. They are possibly the most important things to consider and revise before embarking on your Social Media journey. When written and constructed to meet the needs of your business you should have the structure of a highly successful Social Media platform.
Part 2 of this blog will give you pointers and tips to build your policy and strategy if in the meantime there is anything further you would like to know please do not hesitate to contact me Emma.George55@yahoo.co.uk