“I have a cunning plan” – the immortal words of Baldrick from the TV show Blackadder, usually just before announcing a less than convincing plan which is immediately rubbished by Blackadder himself.

When working for a small business, freelance or as an entrepreneur it’s easy to have more than one ‘Baldrick moment’. We discuss the top strategy dos and don’ts to make sure your social media and digital strategies pass the Blackadder test.

Do Research Your Ideas

Has your idea been done before? Don’t worry if the answer is yes. What’s important is how successful it was for them. Looking at a competitor’s strategies can give you great insight into what audiences will respond to. It also gives you an idea of the standard currently out there.

Don’t Rush12 Days of Social Media Christmas Strategy Dos and Don'ts

It’s understandable that you want your social channels to perform well, maybe even better than your competitors . We’re sorry to say there’s no magic button to get the engagement you seek. Take your time with any strategy and always plan what you’re going to do. The bigger the strategy, the more time it’s going to require.

Do Test, Test and Test Again

Any strategy idea should be tested before going live. You can do this by splitting your strategy into smaller elements and running them individually or A/B testing social media posts. This is also seen in email marketing campaigns.

Don’t be a Copy Cat

While researching you’re probably going to see some great ideas for social media campaigns and strategies. You will be tempted to outright copy a competitor’s campaign either for its appeal or the engagement it’s driving. STOP. The reason their campaign is working is the time and effort they have put into researching and developing it. Definitely take influence from it but design something bespoke to your business and objectives.

Do Buy a Whiteboard

Or at least a large piece of paper. Mind map with your team your goals, resources and raw ideas, using that piece of paper to visualise a campaign best suited to you, from the budget to the end goal.

Don’t Panic

If a strategy doesn’t go to plan, the key is not to panic. If you’ve planned each day or week of your strategy, then look at what you can adjusted or bring forward to boost or balance whatever isn’t working. Be sure to run this past your team or if you’re working alone then sleep on it before making any spur of the moment decisions.

Do Invest in a Reporting System

You might find that the social scheduling tools you already use such as Sprout Social offer report functions to track how well your posts are performing. Make sure they provide the sort of metrics you need to track success. There are plenty of third party reporting solutions out there. Having a detailed report will help you track long-term strategies as well as review at the end of your campaign.

What we’ve talked about here are just the basics of getting a strategy together. Be prepared to put in the time and effort to make your strategy a success. Planning is so important, take your time, plan every move and expect the unexpected.

Are there any strategy tips we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.



Phil is the Digital Account Manager for Team Organic. With a background in business banking and a passion for Social Media he takes his job seriously with a cheeky smile on his face!