Articles about social media strategies are practically everywhere. Marketing experts have been going on and on about how to do social media but most of these strategies are half-baked and are often run of the mill. Don’t you want to hear something new and doable at the same time?
Below are seven steps the social media team in our company has devised, which work very well and might work for you too.
1. Create a Cross Functional Team
Don’t trust your social media strategies to one to two people in the company. Being social concerns the company as a whole, which means more people should be involved and information should be free flowing.
Creating a cross functional team does the trick to have more people handle the social side of marketing while containing sharing to a limit that won’t go beyond what is expected and justified. You would not want someone in the company to mess up your strategies because of carelessness, would you?
2. Listen to Your Potential Market
Listening is often a neglected practice in marketing. Some experts think they know what their market wants and devise strategies without actually testing or confirming whether assumptions are true. If you are familiar with the Lean Method, you would know that validating assumptions is the most important step before creating marketing strategies.
Listening to your market will help you understand their needs, which you can use as basis on your social media planning. Do remember that your market is your guide on how to behave or act in social media.
3. Know Your Focus Goal
What is the point? That is the foremost question you should ask when launching a social media plan. It is important that you know not only the direction of your social media actions but also its direction – online presence, branding, lead generation, traffic, conversion etc.
Aimless social sharing and interaction is a waste of time and will not do your company any good. Make sure that every tweet, like or share has a rationale, purpose and an expected result. This will help you determine whether it is a success or if there is a need to change tactics.
4. Determine Your Success Metrics
How will you determine whether the steps you take on social media marketing actually work and make a difference in your company? Success metrics are must-haves when formulating plans and selecting a goal. You should know what to measure to establish comparison between activities and results. For every Facebook post, how many likes, comments, or shares do expect to get? How many backlinks do you suppose one press release will funnel to your website?
However, you have to make sure that the success metrics are actionable considering the time it is accomplished. Don’t expect to get 1000 real and interested Twitter followers in one week because that is impossible to achieve.
5. Analyze Your Audience
While listening to your potential market is important, it is equally so with existing clients or audiences. They are the people you are interacting with constantly. Learn their demographics and psychographics then use the data to guide you in further establishing stronger relationship.
It is important that you have a good grasp on what your audience want to know, what they already understand and what you want them to do after reading your post. Knowing their demographic and psychographic data will help you learn how your content will affect them.
6. Be Human
When it comes to social media, sometimes companies compete with getting attention than actually giving attention and end up doing social media instead of being social as an average human being does. In this case, clients are often neglected and are regarded as mere audience used to receive every information.
Sending out link after link and posting contests, sweepstakes are fine but when it is the only method used to reach or connect with followers and fans, then you will never achieve the success.
7. Create a Social Media Plan
After you have determined your purpose in being social and have established success metrics to measure your strategies, then you are ready to devise a social media plan that contains all the “how” of Twitter, Facebook and whichever social media network you mean to use.
It is great if everyone in the social media team knows how each social platforms work to maximize the benefits. If not, learn every nook and cranny of the platforms before starting any of the socialization indicated on the social media plan.
Social marketing is complex when you want to do it right. It requires insight and well-organized thought process that observe the structure of the company and the behavior of the target market. One slip can break all social marketing efforts, so take as much time in observing, listening and planning. Hope you find this post useful in your social media undertakings.
About Author: Maricor Bunal writes for different web marketing agencies/projects and specializes on social media and search optimization. She currently writes full-time at Buy Real Marketing, a site that offers social media solutions.