Depending on who you speak with, social media can be anything from a huge asset to a major headache. I’ve connected with organizations across the country, and there’s one misconception many folks have in common regarding this technology – social media doesn’t require strategizing and planning. Wrong.

In fact, I’ve seen organizations go from ground zero to a social media star just by creating a simple social strategy plan. I know, I know – it can be very overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start.

One of the best ways is to develop a strategy using the three Cs methodology. It’s simple, easy to implement, and can be customized, based on your organization’s goals and campaigns.

Connect: Draft content that will get your online community to connect with you aka comment or like your posts. Depending on the platform you use, you can publish polls, stream live videos, or ask engaging questions. Engagement, or connection, is key when building your audiences and keeping your content interesting (especially if your audiences include multi-generations).

Abila client, American Industrial Hygiene Association, knocked its tweets out of the park by retweeting its members, and sharing industry insights and relevant content that’s getting retweeted left and right.

Cultivate: Cultivating an online community can be tough work. It’s easy for your platforms to turn into a customer-support center, which is not always the goal. Cultivating a community starts with strategically growing your reach and audience size through boosted posts and advertisements. Don’t shy away from this idea. Facebook has great ways to target audiences all the way down to zip code, age, interests, and gender. And, more importantly, budgets can start small, I mean really small. As little as $10 a week can go a long way.

Cultivating an online presence through social media is great for increasing your brand’s awareness and ultimately building new opportunities for your organization.

Counsel: As an organization, your online presence says a lot about your credibility in the industry, as well as your expertise. Create a content strategy that allows you to be a leader in the industry, share relevant and important updates, and provide solutions when needed. Your audiences will look to you for guidance in a plethora of ways, and it’s important to have your content and social media channels support this.

If you have other suggestions to improve social media strategies, be sure to reach out to us and share your thoughts via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.