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How to develop a social media strategy

There are thousands of charities on social media, and millions of other organisations and people too, all fighting for your audience’s time. If you want to stand out online you’ll need a clear sense of what you want to achieve and how to go about it.

Here are our essential steps when developing a strategy.


Know how social media can support your organisational goals

Go through your organisational strategy and think creatively about how social media can help. If sustainability is a priority, can you use social media to fundraise more or develop corporate partnerships?


Understand the key threats and opportunities you face

Take a look at your charity’s business plan and also talk to colleagues about the main issues in these areas. How could social media help or hinder in these areas? 


Define your goals

What do you want your charity to get from social media? Do you want to grow your community, or raise more funds? You must select clear goals, not just voice aspirations: ‘raise funds of £10,000 via social media by July 2017’ is good, ‘raise our profile’ is too vague. 


Plan your content

It’s important to map out your social media content before you launch your campaign. Read our guides on how to campaign using social media and how to manage social media.


Know your audience

You can’t produce relevant, targeted content unless you know who you are targeting. Aim to profile your audience in detail. Read our guide to researching and locating your audience.



Make sure you report on whether you have achieved your goals. A quick round up of key stats and any other successes from the campaign will help ensure that your hard work is recognised. 

Read our guide on how to measure success on social media.

Further information

Social media

StudyZone course on strategic social media (free for NCVO members)

See also: Zoe Amar's guide to starting your social media strategy


Page last edited Feb 27, 2017 History

Comments (2)

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A KnowHow member
A KnowHow member on Apr 07, 2011 05:25 PM

I quite like this diagram - I think it could be useful as a starting point for a strategy as it picks out the key areas (e.g. listen, engage, measure and refine, develop capabilities, define activities, establish governance and prioritise objectives) and also lists some of the tasks that come under those areas.

Jess Shpek
Jess Shpek on Sep 26, 2016 11:02 AM


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