Before you create a fan page for your organization or craft that first tweet to share with the Twitterverse, you should create a strategy for using social networking tools. Planning ahead helps you keep your interactions with others-be they fans, friends, customers or clients-meaningful, consistent, appropriate and in compliance with organizational standards. They can keep these communiques in line with governmental rules, too.
This kind of proactive thinking surely guided Vanderbilt University to create the "Social Media Strategy Worksheet." Rather than rushing onto the Web 2.0 scene, the University developed this tool so that major decisions are made before establishing pages and profiles.
The worksheet can help your organization or department identify and answer important questions and develop an organized, unified approach to using sites like Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. It covers eight criteria from which you can create a framework that helps you: