Planning a Social Media Strategy is about as straight forward as asking a toddler to “sit still for a minute”. So what is a Marketing Director, Community Manager, accidental social media poster by default to do?
Social Media has morphed many skill-sets together and may be managed by a variety of different people or positions within an organization. Ideally an outside agency or consultant with experience in developing and executing multi-platform social communities and campaigns should be brought in to set up a social strategy, define key metrics for performance, and to train internal teams to manage moving forward.
Having said that, if time and resources are not available – stick with the three S’s in managing successful social media communities and campaigns – and make sure to integrate your social media with your overall marketing efforts, and you will see results and ROI.
Strategic, Streamlined and Sexy:
Strong brands in social media have a strategy, the right resources, and a plan. Start with what channels you need to build a presence on based on your target audiences.
Define social media goals. Don’t jump in on every social media channel until you are doing one really well. Maybe you have a killer Facebook business page, but you are lacking new fans, engagement or clicks back to a conversion.
Perhaps you have not had the time or resources in moving ahead with LinkedIn for your Sales team, but you know the networking tool could really make the sales process easier. Build it into your plan and have a solid strategy to ensure that any time and money spent will see an ROI in some way or another.
Write a plan for each social channel you are already using or think your brand needs to have a presence on, and identify what needs to be improved and why.
If you spend time posting and building a community on Twitter and you can’t define a few good reasons why.
That question of ROI will always rear its ugly head. Key performance metrics can be as simple as driving target referral traffic back to a website, or networking with customers and learning about the competitor.
Define what you (or your competitors) are doing well, how could it be improved, and how you will benchmark the performance or ROI. Then map out what resources are in place to manage the community, the goals for each community, and how you will measure it.
Think traffic to a website, increased engagement metrics, increases in content shares and viral distribution of your brand content.
“Planning a social media strategy is as straight forward as asking a toddler to sit still for a minute.”
No one marketing campaign has ever worked in isolation. At the same time, each of your social communities will be different in the way you deliver content, respond and engage with your followers and brand champions, and in the amount of time and resources you devote to it.
Be smart and streamlined with your messages. If you are looking to run a contest on Facebook – ensure you plan it out properly, and ensure all roads lead to a point of conversion. Conversion may be more “likers” or traffic to your website, but ensure that your target audience follows a path to enter the contest and complete an action that you had intend them to complete.
Be streamlined in your efforts overall. Avoid trying too many tactics on too many social channels. Stick with what’s working and make sure you manage your resources to be able to build your social brand over the long term.
“You have to stand out, shout out, and be proud of your brand on the social web!”
Yes I said sexy. Digital media allows us to think outside the box. Try some unique and creative tactics and have fun with it! If you are going to dedicate time and resources to develop a presence on social communities – you better use them to their fullest potential!
Learn to listen and respond instead of pushing out messages to your target audiences. The social web is the place to show the personality of your brand and really engage your consumers – not to announce a 20% off special.
There are many other MUST DO’s in building out your brand social media strategy, but if you keep these points in mind, focus on good design and content, and at the very least commit to allocating resources to get in the game – you will be ready for all of those RT’s, LIKES, Diggs, G+’s, Shares, Comments and Views.
Alicia Whalen is a Digital + Social Media Marketing Professional and recovering Entrepreneur, who has spent over a decade helping professionals understand how to embrace digital and social media. An avid tweeter and lover of travel, technology and the Ah-Ha moments.