Strategic Planning 101

Strategic planning season is here. This time of year provides great opportunity to set yourself and your brand up for success – with the right mindset and tools.

“Hope is not a strategy. You have to have a plan.” – Rachel Hollis

Here’s a guide on creating a social media strategy that will align with your organization’s overall strategy, plus some tips on maximizing your personal productivity and results.

Social Media Strategy Guide

Executive Summary
This is a great place to give an overview of the strategy’s direction, needs and/or any other pertinent information for team members, leadership or any other stakeholders. It includes things like:

  • Purpose, mission, principles, values, areas of emphasis for division or department
  • Current responsibilities and new areas of focus/exploration
  • Identify needs, budget, time, and/or resources required
  • Anticipated results of the strategic plan
  • Any other note-worthy information

Brand Message
What does your organization look like and where is its focus? Evaluating and including these elements can help guide your social strategy and ensure there are direct ties between the two.

  • Vision
  • Mission statement
  • Values
  • Messaging pillars

Situation Analysis
Here’s where you get to evaluate what’s happened over the course of the year and set benchmarks for the new strategic plan.

  • Current Situation
    • SWOT analysis
    • Usage (for each platform):
      • Audience
      • Content buckets
      • Current engagement
        • What works well
        • What doesn’t work well
      • Voice
      • Posting schedule
      • Optimization (time/day/live/paid/groups/etc.)
    • Social media audit
      • What accounts to be on/not and why
    • Goals/benchmarks

Competitive Analysis
Evaluating competitors and other industry accounts can help you develop your competitive edge, find inspiration and benchmark how your accounts stack up.

  • Comparison metrics
  • Inspiration (channels, campaigns, themes, etc.)

Content Strategy
What do the analyses and metrics guide you to cover and why?

  • Types of original content
  • Types of user-generated content
  • Types of related content
  • Frequency and percentage for each type
  • Audience to tailor content for
  • Editorial calendar

What does success look like for this year (and beyond) and what’s your plan to reach it?

  • S. M. A. R. T. Goals
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-bound

How does your social media goal tie to a business objective and what metrics can you use to measure it? What is your “why” – overall, for each goal?

Summarize the next steps based on your goals and the overall strategy.

  • What accounts to delete or create?
  • What platforms or features to direct more energy toward?
  • Outreach steps? Social media committee, presentation, conference?
  • Personnel? Hire interns or staff, team bonding, etc.?

Growing personally can help maximize your strategic planning efforts as well. Some key things to keep in mind while creating goals for your organization:

Maximize Your Productivity and Successes

  • Set your intention – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly
  • Focus on the “big three” – learn all about the big three in this podcast
  • Daily gratitude practice
  • Goal setting – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly
  • Strengths assessment – leverage strengths for collaboration
  • Personality assessment – learn more about yourself and team members to work better together 
  • Expand skill set – pick at least one new skill to learn every semester 
  • Set boundaries – say no to things that don’t support the strategic plan or goals 
  • 80/20 rule80% of results come from 20% of activities
  • Don’t be afraid to fail