Do you have a comprehensive social media strategy?
Now, be honest. Do you REALLY have a social media strategy? Is it a comprehensive social media strategy or just a bunch of piecemeal tactics — SEO? content? Facebook?
Did you tie metrics to your strategy to monitor and improve your ability to reach your goals?
Create a comprehensive social media strategy
Start with goals — SMART goals. Goals should express the aims of the business and fit with your mission. And, don’t just create goals related to the end game — making money, increasing market share, or other conversion type objectives. Set goals for all the elements that build to reaching these end objectives, ie. customer satisfaction (sentiment), quality, responsiveness, etc. Now, create objectives for elements specific to social media, such as content marketing goals, SEM goals, SEO goals, etc.
Your KPIs (key performance indicators) come straight from your goals. Which metrics represent measures of each element in your goals.
Next, you create a strategy. Your strategy should include both an environmental scan and an internal audit of your current tactics and processes. Building on these internal and external factors, you should identify opportunities to improve.
In developing your strategy, carefully consider where you’re likely to get the most return on your investment. Today, I met with a prospect who was overly concerned because his Google+ page wasn’t showing up when you Googled his business. OK, if everything else is going RIGHT with your digital marketing, you can worry about little things in hopes of getting just a few more conversions out of what you’re doing. But, prioritize things. For instance, this prospect had NO content marketing strategy — which has a major impact on your SEO. And, face it. Organic search is how most folks in his target market would find his business. That’s where he should focus first — on building traffic through organic search via content marketing rather than little elements like his image showing up.
A great social media strategy doesn’t help much if you don’t have equally good tactical plans for implementation. Break down your strategy into individual actions necessary to accomplish elements of your strategy. For instance, maybe you’ve determined you need to add Pinterest to your social media strategy. What do you need: an image and about for the profile, some pinboards related to your brand, and a plan for posting to your pinboards. Be sure to identify the who, what, where, how much, etc necessary for each element.
Social media analytics
Ah, now we come to the core of many social media strategy problems — assessment. You need to map your performance against your goals to determine if you’re meeting your goals. What do your KPI metrics look like?
I look at some metrics, such as traffic, shares, and likes on a daily basis. Other metrics I look at on a weekly basis. However, I know some very good people out there who NEVER look at their metrics. And, that’s a mistake.
You need to not only prove the ROI of your social media strategy, you need to constantly tweak your strategy to optimize your ROI. You just can’t do that without the proper tools in place to show you what’s working and what isn’t.
- Which content gets the most shares”
- What time works best for posting content?
- Who are your influencers or those influential in your market?
- Where do visitors go on your website and are there elements on your website that would help you convert better?
Goals, not tools
So, why did MOZ title this whiteboard “Goals not Tools”?
Good question. Because certainly, you need tools to run a successful social media campaign — tools to manage your content marketing strategy, tools to assess performance, tools to help evaluate the environment.
Figured out the answer yet?
The title doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use tools to help with your social media marketing, it means you should think in terms of goals then find suitable tools to help not the other way around. The choice of tools depends on your strategy, not the other way around.
And, inherent in all this is a sound understanding of social media marketing. Social media marketing isn’t advertising and social platforms aren’t just another channel for spreading your brand messages.
Social media marketing, at its core, needs to be about helping folks solve their problems. Heck, ALL marketing should be about helping folks solve their problems and doing it better than the competition. After you take care of delivering solutions, all that’s left is letting people know you can help them and encouraging them to let others you have something of value.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.