Marketing, Strategy

What is the first step in social media marketing?

We read and hear a lot about social media. We ourselves are on social media. In my view, the first step for social media marketing is to determine if social marketing is a strategic fit for the business.

In business, there is rarely a one-size-fits-all answer to any question. If that’s the case, how do we determine if social media would help our business? The good news is that there are various analysis frameworks we can use. One such framework is the 5C’s framework. We can use the 5C’s framework to evaluate if social media marketing is a strategic fit with our business model.

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Before executing any social media marketing efforts, we must first answer the question “can social media marketing really support my business?”. It depends, but probably. To find out, we have to analyze our business and the landscape in which we operate. The 5C’s model may help with such analysis.

  • Company: Who has the time and commitment to maintain the social media channels?
  • Customers: Is social media the way our customers want to engage with us?
  • Competitors: What are our competitors already doing on social media? How do we differentiate our efforts from theirs?
  • Collaborators: Who may be a good partner to help me execute social media marketing?
  • Climate: How can we leverage social media, but not becoming reliant on a specific channel of communication?

After determining that it’s a good idea to include social media as part of our plans, we can build a social media strategy by following these 7 simple steps:

Step 1: Listen, Analyze, and Compare: To start, we need to first understand where our audience is at currently.

Step 2: Choose the Platforms: Next, we need to determine which social network we would want to use based on where our target audience is.

Step 3: Research Content For Creation and Curation: We would already know what types of content work best for our audience based on our research in Step 1. While it’s good to be unique, it’s important to tailor to our audience.

Step 4: Identify the Social Team: We would need someone who would be responsible for maintaining these accounts. This work takes time! For some of us, it’s a team of one for everything. That’s okay, as long as we still plan the time.

Step 5: Humanize and Engage: There are a lot of automation tools out there. However, social networks are platforms for socializing. The key is to maintain consistent interactions with our community.

Step 6: Build the Toolbox: There are a lot of tools to help us execute our social media plans from social listening, post scheduling, analytics, and more. As we grow in our social media savvy, we can continue to add to our toolbox.

Step 7: Select Metrics to Track: As the saying goes? — ?What gets measured gets done.

Getting started on social media can seem intimidating at first. But it really can be a game-changer. No industry has mastered social media quite like the food truck business. Wafels & Dinges is one of the most successful food trucks in New York City. They have won their audience with Twitter. They have been delivering a consistent brand voice on social media, using some of their long-time employees to nurture these precious relationships with their customers.

I once asked them, “Your Twitter stream is hilarious. Who does your Twitter?”

Joe. He’s been with the company since the beginning. He really started responding to Twitter on the train on the way home. It’s between Joe and Thomas and others who were with the company since the beginning that really developed the voice of the company.

So, after deciding that it’s a smart idea to start doing social media marketing, the next step is to just get started. Like anything in entrepreneurship, it’s one foot in front of another. Have a great idea? Get started and keep going.

Are you ready to build your own social media strategy?

Check out and download our ebook on Social Media Marketing here!

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About Jeannie Chan

Jeannie Chan founded Curious. She is a brand strategist who takes on business problems big or small. She inspires organizations to raise the questions no one dared to ask or thought to ask. She has ignited new thinking and delivered growth to Fortune 500 companies, startups, and nonprofits. Jeannie loves espressos, and lives in New York City with her two cats and her beloved. Learn more about Jeannie at
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