Social media is here, and it's here to stay. It's an ever evolving medium which means you need to stay on top of your social media strategy so you can implement the newest techniques as soon as possible. If you've never written or maintained a social media strategy it can be daunting to know what you should be focusing on first which is why we have compiled the top three key elements for any business.

1) What is your objective?

What are you using your social media for? Is it to provide a service for your audience (e.g. job recruiting) or do you want to spread the word about the amazing products you have on sale?

Thinking about what you want from various social channels will take up the majority of your planning but don't be disappointed if you don't achieve them in the time you've planned for. Social media is not static and you will find there are highs and lows. It is near enough impossible to estimate how many fans or followers you will gain per month – social media is all about learning who your company attracts and what your audience needs from you.

Your objectives may change over time as you discover more about your audience so use your strategy as a guide and remember that nothing is set in stone.

2) Who is your audience?

Although there will be some trial and error in the beginning you should already have an idea of who your target audience is. If you specialise in clothing, is it female or male? Designed for a younger generation or is it more mature? By using intuition and common sense in the very beginning you can save a lot of time when considering which direction you want your social media to take.

When you know who your audience is it's essential that you then engage with them with an appropriate tone. If you're selling young people's clothing they probably don't want to talk to someone with too formal a tone.

3) Which social network are you going to use?

There are many social media channels out there and each of them are perfect for different areas of your business; use as many as you like, just use them correctly. Most businesses will work in business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) but which social networks fit those categories?

  • Facebook: Mainly B2C. Nine times out of ten, this where your audience is and this is where you will engage, inform, and learn more about who they are.
  • Twitter: B2C and B2B. Micro-blogging gets your message out there to businesses and consumers, allowing you to engage easily.
  • LinkedIn: B2B. Great for networking with other businesses by asking questions, and starting debates.
  • Google+: Mainly B2B. Google's social network may be lagging behind but it is a great place for discovering other businesses and publishing those SEO optimised articles.

Article by John Borthwick of Fifteen Digital.

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