Given the business and professional successes that can be attributed to it, social media strategy has become a darling of marketing. Therefore, it’s not surprising that hordes of “experts” have popped out of nowhere and began to extol various sites that have proven themselves as effective channels for promotion and engagement. It’s also not surprising that almost everyone “in the know” insists that every enterprise needs a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a Google Plus profile. It’s the biggest thing you can get into, and the best part is that it’s for all purposes free.
Of course, what we’ve come to discover over the social site boom that we’ve experienced is that you can’t expect it to work out for you IMMEDIATELY. You can’t expect any old social media strategy to work out for you just because it worked for other people in the industry. Much like a hosted PBX solution, you need to make sure that what you’re using has all the elements that you need for YOUR situation—and not just because it seems cool.
But how do you ensure that you are using the correct tactics for your online promotional efforts? Here are things you’ll probably want to consider.
Your actual goal
What is the point of your presence on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus? Is it to get your name out there? Is it to sell more products and services to new people? Is it to help existing customers maximize your product? Your social media strategy must always reflect only one of these goals for at least a given period and must never try to hit several goals at once with a single status message or Tweet. You can’t expect one post to do everything for you. What’s more, you have to make sure to keep your expectations reasonable –you can’t expect to connect with 500 people in the course of a day.
Do you know who you’re talking to? Have you taken the time and care necessary to engage an audience that you want for your brand? Do you know who your audience is and what they are listening to? Your social media strategy must also take this into consideration before it is deployed. If you don’t, then you won’t be able to create the sort of content that will make it easy for them to connect with you—the easier it is for people, the more likely they are to support you.
Your content focus
Is the content you’re generating true to both your brand and the aspirations of your customers? This is likely the most difficult aspect of using social sites for the promotion of a business. You have to align what you want to happen with what your target market wants to hear or learn from you. And since your social media strategy simply cannot work without content, you’ll have to be really smart with what you put out there—posting about something because it’s a popular topic when it doesn’t have anything to do with what YOU have to offer is not a good content decision.
Your ability to manage it
Did you get into this thinking that it won’t be as much hard work because it just seems fun? Did you choose a tactic without considering the amount of time and energy required to execute it? Are your accounts either stagnating or confusing because you didn’t assign someone to make sure that you’re on track and on-brand? Then you’re in big trouble. Social media strategy requires a measure of consistency when it comes to sharing and interacting with followers and contacts. If you and your people can’t handle it, then you may have to regroup and restructure your operations before you move forward.
Your ability to acquire and interpret data
Do you tend to look at metrics that are relevant to your goals? Do you know someone who does? Do you have people in your team who can help you understand what you’re looking for, and what needs to be done in order to improve the situation? This is actually the most important thing you need to include in your approach, because it makes tweaking your social media strategy easy. If you find paying attention to the appropriate numbers difficult, then you can’t win.
So, given all this, do you think that you have the right social media strategy for you?