Four Steps to a Smarter Social Media Strategy

by John Stevenson

I attended the “Social Media Strategies for Entrepreneurs” event at the Crews Center on March 25 — featuring University of Memphis journalism professor Darrin Devault. social media strategy

Devault gave those in attendance useful tips about how to leverage social media in startup endeavors. Below, I’ve summarized some of the takeaways from his presentation:

  1. Identify your audience. Do some research. Determine where your audience is. When are they online? Where are they accessing social media? Knowing this will allow you to better position your content and develop a voice that resonates with your followers.
  2. Inform your audience. People like pictures. Create visual content. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are increasingly emphasizing photos and videos in their respective “feeds” of posts. Take advantage of that. Make your product come to life.
    • Creating an editorial calendar can help you plan an even spread of content.
    • An infographic is a great way to turn large chunks of information into an easy-to-understand and attraction-grabbing visual.
    • Weekly recurring social media posts (i.e. #tbt, Throwback Thursday) can give your audience a reason to return to your page each week.
  3. Integrate your content. What platforms are best suited for your content? Assess as many of the social media platforms available to figure out which ones best align with your mission and content strategy.
  4. Engage your audience. Social media platforms allow you to talk with your audience. Take advantage of that opportunity. And realize that you don’t control the conversation. Constantly broadcasting self-promotions goes against the notion of the public conversation that many social media platforms allow. Develop relationships — there are humans behind those usernames and avatars, after all.

I consider myself somewhat versed with social media, but I learned several things from attending this event. The University of Memphis is fortunate to have free events such as this at the Crews Center and knowledgeable professionals who are willing to share their insight with entrepreneurial students.


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