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Using SWOT for Social Media Strategy

Posted by on November 26, 2008

If you have ever taken a marketing or a business class then you may remember what SWOT stands for.  SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  Using a SWOT analysis is a great way to break down and analyze a particular strategy.  Today I’m going to talk about using using SWOT specifically for social media strategy(ies).  Getting started with using SWOT is relatively simple, you don’t need any graphs or diagrams, just for sections of a document or a piece of paper that are divided up as mentioned above.  Before you get started make sure that you have a clear understanding of your business goals and objectives, you have to understand the bigger picture.  Without a knowledge of the goals and objectives it is not possible to create an effective SWOT analysis.  What I have created below is a very simple example of a SWOT analysis, you or your company may have a completely different set of items that fall under the categories, and that’s fine.  My goal here is to explain what SWOT is and why you should use it.


As you may have guessed this section is reserved for the strengths of the campaign or strategy.  There isn’t really a right or wrong answer to these sections, just make sure you really think them through.  Strengths of a social media campaign or strategy may include things such as:

  • penetration or market reach
  • active community members who are willing to become brand evangelists
  • resources in terms of time and manpower, your team is able to respond quickly and effectively
  • management or the C-level executives support the social media medium and give you the go ahead


  • trouble scaling or maintaining a social media campaign
  • lack of tools or resources to track and monitor social media campaign results
  • not effective social media presence or campaign, meaning goals are not being met
  • tough to train or convince management team on social media principles


  • creating/joining online presence on sites where the company currently doesn’t exist, i.e. facebook
  • new target or niche markets that are untapped
  • promotions, discounts, offers that can be utilized through social media platforms
  • partnerships with a publisher or advertiser
  • penetration into a new geographical market


  • macro factors such as economy, will this affect your user base or your campaign?
  • competitor is going after the same space or same audience with similar campaign
  • is the current campaign sustainable, can it continue?
  • what obstacles stand in the way of success and failure?

A couple of things to keep in mind regarding SWOT:

  • Every strength is a potential weakness
  • Every weakness is a potential strength
  • Every opportunity is a potential threat
  • Every threat is a potential opportunity

Keep in mind that you can and in fact should use SWOT, not just for your social media campaigns/strategies but for all relevant aspects of your business.  You will be surprised at what you will uncover once you complete the SWOT analysis.  Once your analysis is complete you have to remember to act.  There’s no point in sitting and starting at your opportunities and weaknesses, go do something because you can bet that your competitors are.

Thanks for reading!

  • AGainer

    Swot's are a really great way to let you show exactly where you stand. It takes critical thinking skills to be able to create a SWOT that is informative and timely. I think one of the most important aspects of a SWOT is how accurate and timely it is. I would recommend conducting SWOT's quarterly so that you can stay ahead of the competition. As you pointed out a SWOT will do you no good unless you take action from it.

    • yep quarterly sounds about right for SWOT. it's a versatile tactic that can be used for various departments, that's what makes it so powerful. it's a simple way to analyze something.

      thanks for the comment!

  • ggiersch

    Great use of traditional, some even consider outdated, strategy model with newest of media options. Going back to the basics is often a good move.

    • yep, going to basics is a great way to refresh a strategy 🙂

      thanks a lot for the comment!

  • yep, going to basics is a great way to refresh a strategy 🙂

    thanks a lot for the comment!

  • Pingback: Week in Review: Social Media, Blog Marketing, and Internet Marketing()

  • Anonymous

    A great use of the classics, some even considered obsolete model strategy with new media options. Back to basics is often a good shot.
    SEO Company India

  • Some swot analysis examples would have been nice. There are some good examples and templates in Creately diagram community . There are 1000s of SWOT analysis examples like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Nike can be found here.