Best Practice

Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide

By Michelle Goodall,

This report is part of the Social Media Best Practice Guide bundle.


Part of our Social Media Best Practice Guide bundle, this report aims to identify best practice approaches, techniques, measurement considerations, challenges and opportunities for creating your social media strategy.

It contains actionable, real-world insight with detailed explanations to help you start and improve your performance on social media platforms.

Throughout the report, we bring you examples of how companies are using social media in different ways, as well as insights from companies interviewed specifically for this guide.

For more details on the main features of social media platforms and the most pressing considerations for marketers looking to generate the most value from social media, read the complementary Social Media Platforms Overview report.


The methodology involved two main phases:

  • Phase 1: Desk research to identify relevant issues, examples and models.
  • Phase 2: A series of in-depth interviews (20 interviews in total) with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketers, communications leads and social media strategists. Interviewees for the research covered sectors as diverse as aerospace, retail, hospitality, public sector (including government), SaaS, FMCG, non-profit, agency, financial services and media.

Lead author

The lead author for our social media best practice guides is Michelle Goodall, an experienced consultant. She has more than 17 years’ B2C and B2B experience client and agency-side, providing digital transformation and social media strategy advice and support.

She has worked with a wide range of clients, including London2012, BBC, Direct Line Group, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Barclays Bank, Coca Cola, Unilever, US Embassy, and many others.

Michelle is a trainer and consultant for Econsultancy and can generally be found curating things that smart people write / make / do and getting to grips with Peach and other peripheral / transformative / game-changing technologies for her clients.


The author and Econsultancy wish to extend sincere thanks to the following respected professionals who have contributed to the report:

  • Richard Bagnall – CEO, PRIME Research UK & SVP PRIME Research Europe
  • Vikki Chowney – Director of Content & Publishing Strategies, H+K Strategies
  • Sarah Coggins – VP, PR and Social Media, Virgin Atlantic
  • Raluca Efford – Head of Digital and Social Media Marketing, Direct Line Group
  • Marisol Grandon – Head of Creative Content, The Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Katie McDermott – Marketing Director, Gourmet Burger Kitchen
  • Will McInnes – Chief Marketing Officer, Brandwatch
  • Kerry Taylor – Senior Vice President Director of Television, MTV Networks
  • Guy Stephens – Social Customer Care Consultant, IBM
  • Stephen Waddington – Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum
  • Scott Wilkinson – Head of Brand, Acquisitions and Digital, Virgin Media Business

Contributing Authors

Michelle Goodall

More reports from Michelle Goodall

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary

  • Research aim and methodology
  • About Econsultancy

2. Defining Social Media

3. A Broad Framework for a Social Media Strategy

4. Challenges and Opportunities in Social Media

5. Organising for Social Media: Typical Operating Models

6. Activity Planning

7. Aligning to Content Strategy

8. Measurement

9. Acknowledgements


  • Pdf SAMPLE: Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide (851 KB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide (3.45 MB PDF)

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