Social media has become an integral part of the fabric of culture and the social media phenomenon has opened new outlets for business-to-consumer outreach. Great strategy lets you stay in touch with customers and develop marketing campaigns for products and services based on customer needs.
Your business must develop a social media strategy to market its brand if only because of the sheer number of active users across the social realm. It is a simple fact that businesses with a solid social media plan will have a much greater return on investment. Developing a plan and reviewing it on a regular basis helps you focus on producing results. Determining the most engaging types of content and building on those determinations creates a successful social presence.
Wondering what should be included in a social media strategy?
Below are some key points to consider:
Set Goals – Begin with the End in Mind!
Clearly identify your objectives because everything else will evolve around them. Keep your expectations realistic and achievable.
- Goal Examples:
– Drive Conversions
– Increase Social Reach
– Build/Strengthen Thought Leadership
Before jumping into the massive social media pool, do your research.
- Learn about each of the top social media sites, how to use them, and what benefits each can bring to your business.
- Identify and understand your target audience.
- Every channel added is first a cost and then a benefit. Weigh social media channel options to decide if the investment in each is worth the possible outcome.
- By virtue of their global popularity, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a few industry-specific blogs and forums will most likely be at the top of your list.
Content is the engine of social media. With your goals in mind, determine what types of content (key messages/concepts/themes) will support each of those goals and drive results.
- Voice/Tone: A good tone is conversational and friendly. Posts should be free of animosity, communicate enthusiasm about your product or service and remain unique and original.
- Image: For a vibrant presence, always think visually.
- Integrate: Advocate the use of integrating social media strategies in every department, from IT to marketing. Your employees are your biggest advocates and should always be a part of your marketing efforts. Identify spokespeople who can help gather and share content from each department.
Develop relationships – Rolodex of connections
Build relationships with people and businesses in your industry.
- Subscribe to blogs in your industry and make a list of influencers relevant to your niche.
- Connections will be made by following conversations. Cultivate social media relationships honestly and respectfully; relationships will build naturally.
Defined goals and objectives give you guidelines for measuring success.
- Measure behavior, not just data.
- Weak Metric = Number of Facebook Fans
- Strong Metric = Facebook Engagement Rate
Experiment, Analyze and Improve
Your social media strategy doesn’t end with measurement.
- Experiment with a multitude of strategies and study the way your audience engages.
- A successful dynamic presence comes with practice, and as you dive deeper into your social media efforts you will quickly understand what works and what doesn’t.
Keep in mind that everyone’s social media strategy will look different. To be effective, know the metrics that matter. Educate and share social media strategy with employees. Communicate how your social media strategy is creating value and leading to desirable outcomes, furthering the process of integrating that strategy company-wide.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get the most out of your online conversations and develop your strategy today!