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I'm in the process of submitting a job application for an online content editor position. Part of the application process requires submitting your proposed socia media strategy.

I haven't needed to compose a social media strategy before, and a basic google search does not find anything revealing.

The organisation is a Christian school, and wants to include graduates and alumni in its social network.

Any pointers to strategy ideas?

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2 Answers

While it may differ from industry to industry, my experience would suggest that an organization which is soliciting social media strategies from applicants is likely composed of individuals who meet one or more of the following criteria:

(a) Have no idea what a "social media strategy" is, convinced the organization should have one

(b) Attempting to ferret out applicants who are full of hot air (i.e. any applicant who suggests that social media will revolutionize the organization's marketing capabilities)

(c) Replacing the type of applicant who promised millions of Facebook and Twitter leads ... by looking for someone else who will promise the world and perhaps has a "better" social media strategy.

Social media is not revolutionizing advertising or marketing, despite what many self-proclaimed "Social Media Strategists" tend to announce (likewise, those preaching "TV is dead" are obviously not watching the Nielsen ratings).

People don't bother with most social media advertisements (look at Facebook ads' performance) - people use social media to share their opinions on products, air their grievances, and (if you respond to their opinions or grievances) talk to your organization.

Social media is revolutionizing customer service and public relations (for those companies who are ready to engage their customers versus just talking at them).

The best strategy for maximizing one's return on time spent working with social media is to identify ways in which customers want to interact with your organization and meet them at the venue of their choice - whether that means replying to posts on their personal blogs, correcting a problem they mention on a forum, or letting them post comments to a company Facebook wall.

The tools I've found most useful for conducting the customer service and public relations side of social media have been Google Alerts (to see whenever the brand's name gets a mention) and the company's own blogs, forums, and social media profiles.

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Good comments. I would also say at interview that I didn't come up with very much because I need to talk to people inside the school, as well as alumni to find out what would meet their needs, rather than imposing something. –  paulmorriss Mar 23 '11 at 9:13
    
Yes, I think your comments about customer service and public relations are correct. The Social Media thing could blow up in peoples faces if they focus too much on the direct sales/lead gen aspect which leads to putting promotions in peoples faces when they're just trying to interact socially. –  Ewan Heming Mar 23 '11 at 10:09
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There's a good section on building a Social Media strategy in the book "Social Media Marketing For Dummies". It's goes through the process with some pullouts and checksheets to use as a guide.

In the end it's similar to any type of Marketing Strategy - Know the business (it's history and current products/direction), the market (customers) and the industry (competitors). Then come up with and select some sensible ideas for ways and places to connect with customers in order to spread the word about the target company to it's target market.

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