Kicking off the first post in our five part series, answering the “Top 5 questions social media marketers want answered,” we take a look at this elusive planning of a social media strategy.
Lots of companies talk about social media and 97% of marketers surveyed are using social media, but success in this marketing channel takes more than setting up a snazzy Facebook Page. According to the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report a whopping 83% of marketers are unsure of how to create a social media strategy. Without a solid plan, and a way to consistently measure results, you’re just doing social media for the sake of social media.
So how do you avoid your social media efforts being haphazard? Here are 5 resources that can help guide your social media strategy.
– Jay Baer Convince and Convert
Jay explains that listening to your customers and competition will lie out the roadmap for your social media strategy. Knowing your audience helps you set goals and gives you measurable data to back up your work. When you get to actually sharing on a social network, consider how to emotionally appeal to your target customer. First impressions can make all the difference!
Prefer a more visual approach? Mark Smiciklas from Social Media Explorer created an Infographic that explains the process.
– Market Wire White Paper
Investing some time in research can be insightful about where your company fits into current conversations. Use this insight to join Twitter chats, comment on blogs and post in LinkedIn groups. Showing you are knowledgeable in specific subject can achieve a variety of goals – from increasing brand awareness and web traffic to developing new relationships. Connect with influencers in your industry. Listen to, learn from and leverage them when promoting your own content.
– Adam Rowles, Search Engine Journal
Adam’s perspective is that it doesn’t matter how awesome your social strategy is if you can’t maintain it. By first selecting your primary goal, you’ll have clarity around how to address your audience. Is your main goal listening, customer care or relationship based? Social media functions as a personal connection with your audience. To have a conversation you must understand them – whether they’re creators, conversationalists, critics, collectors, joiners or spectators. When it comes to maintenance, start implementing your awesome plan, monitor mentions and hashtags and respond accordingly.
– Jason Verdelli, Social Media Today
What do bikes and social media strategy have in common? They’re both effective uses of the hub and spoke method. Jason suggests making your goals the hub of your marketing strategy. Once you’re moving, look for efficient ways to reach your goals. By integrating pieces of your social media strategy into your marketing mix, it can easily support your efforts and achieve your goals.
– Gerald Heneghan, Right Mix Marketing
Gerald says it best “Leaping in head-first can often be a disaster.” By starting out with goals that are easily measurable, such as customer service, generating web traffic or traffic into you brick and mortar store, you can execute on your strategy. Having a holistic approach to social media and incorporating it into your other channels can make it less daunting, more manageable. Once you’ve got your strategy off the ground, take a step back and see how you are doing. Compare your results against your goals, evaluate your progress and see what the next step is from there.