One of the most important steps is often missed by businesses when they think about their online presence and social media strategy. Here, we’ll help you develop your strategy and put in place some tangible goals so you’ll know when you’re reaching milestones.

1. Set long term goals. Write these down, as little or as many as you like, this should be a brain storming session and can be generic or specific as long as they are measurable.

2. Set a timeframe for these goals. A common goal for marketers is to increase traffic to their website. Would you be happy if you had an uplift in visitors and a downturn in the average time spent on your website? A goal should look something like ‘To have 2,000 unique visitors a day by 30th September. Visitors should spend at least 5 minutes on my website”

3. Brainstorm some broad ideas on how you’re going to achieve this before refining this to individual, specific action plans. Remember to keep things relevant to what you do, this could be industry news & developments, legislation that may affect the industry you’re in, historical information & key dates, etc.

4. Develop a content management plan refined down to the time / day on which you are going to post something on social media. Download a calendar – Click here to download a 2015 calendar and start inputting. This will allow you visually see what you need to post and where.

5. Develop the content you need to achieve the successful delivery of your content in order of priority. Keep in mind the lead times required for each piece of content, for example, videos may take weeks to develop, edit and refine.

6. Continue to measure and refine the plan as required. Pay particular attention to the response and ask yourself if it is working; if it is, how continue the same course of action and improve the results, if not, how do you pivot and change direction from here?

7. Have in place a set communication plan for your entire social media team to adhere to. This is essentially ‘how you talk to customers’ and is no different to how you would communicate with customer face to face.. If you think about McDonalds and how they talk to their customers, it is exactly the same in every transaction.

Remember, above all, social media is a dynamic platform and trends are constantly changing. Whilst your broad strategic goals should not change dramatically, your smaller goals and action plans may be refined depending on circumstance.