Using POST to Create a Social Media Strategy

The POST method is an easy-to-remember framework for creating your strategy.
The POST method is an easy-to-remember framework for creating your strategy.

by John Haydon

There seem to be countless tools available for social media marketers. Tools for managing social media, measuring it, and even for creating content that looks amazing!

Yes, technology can seem like a godsend.

But if you don’t have a solid strategy, you’re going to waste a lot of money on a lot of tools that promise a lot of results.

What does a social media strategy look like?

The POST method (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) was originally coined by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in their book Groundswell (Harvard Business Review Press) is a proven framework for developing a social media strategy.


You can’t achieve even a basic level of success on social media if you don’t understand your people. No one will like, retweet, or repin your blog post if you haven’t answered the only question that really matters: What’s in it for them?


If you don’t have a destination any tool will do. Any best practice will do too.

Clear objectives helps you determine if you were successful or not. Long-term success on social media requires a lot of trial and error. But you have to know what’s a trial and what’s in error. Plus, they help you discover what you’re doing right!


Your strategy is more than just a plan. It’s a plan that will meet your objectives based on what you know about your people.

In other words, strategy is about a value exchange. What are you going to give in exchange for their email, money, time, influence and attention?

Whether it’s a meaningful pledge, or a sweepstakes, write down exactly how you will offer enough value to encourage them to help you achieve your objective.


Once you understand your people, objective, and strategy, you can confidently select the tools and tactics you’ll use for your campaign. For example, if your strategy is to engage millennials on Instagram, crowdsourcing content around a hashtag would be a tactic.

Here’s the infographic:


John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, or follow him on Twitter and Google Plus.

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