Many companies created their Facebook and Twitter accounts because…well, because everyone else was creating a Facebook and Twitter account. Now they sit and wonder what they are supposed to post on the pages and profiles and, more importantly, what the point is for keeping it going. Is there anyone listening to them, and even if they are, what do they do with these social consumers of the content so they will give them money?
If we compare social media to television, radio or other traditional print media, the questions and the approaches are similar. You start with a strategy…a game plan! To build more business, you have to identify the audience or buyer. Where are they and what are the different ways you will reach them? Your next step is to design a plan for each of the avenues.
Placing a single ad in a local paper is not a strategy. It is one piece of an overall strategy. And even before placing an ad in your local newspaper, you would have had a meeting with the ad sales person to find out who reads this paper, what will the ad accomplish, what will the ad look like, what do you want the reader to do after reading it, and how often must you run the ad before seeing results. You would want to know how much the whole campaign would cost BEFORE signing off on the first ad.
Posting on Facebook is not a strategy. Auto-feeding all of your tweets or blog posts to your LinkedIn account or Facebookmprofile is not only NOT a strategy, but it is ineffective and irritating. Facebook, Twitter and any other site, are just tools or pieces of your overall marketing strategy.
Marketing is about raising your brand awareness, building a relationship with people who do not yet buy your product or service, informing those potential consumers on how and why they should work with you and give you those dollars. So to decide which tools you will need and then know what to do with each tool, you need a plan.
Here are 6 questions to help you create a social marketing strategy:
- Who is my ideal buyer or target? Be specific. You will most likely NOT reach “the world”. Are you trying to reach business travelers, women executives, sales people, disorganized and busy moms, etc.
- Where are these people hanging out or how are they receiving information to make buying decisions. While it’s true that most people are now social consumers, reading review sites and asking their Twitter community for their recommendations for products and services, there are still those that read magazines, listen to drive-time radio or search in the yellow pages…..okay, scratch that last one! The only thing people are using the yellow pages for is a door stop or to boost short dinner guests!
- What content will I provide on each platform identified above? Will some platforms tollerate more promotional content than others? What will each audience find interesting enough to engage further with you? (travel tips, discounts, informational video snippets, news, humorous viral videos or photos, photos/ videos of customers engaged with your brand, etc)
- What do I want people to do from each platform? Do I just want their likes and comments or am I wanting to drive them to buy something or give me their email address for additional sales/ marketing opportunities? Do I want them to connect with me on additional sites, and if so, how is that site’s content different so there’s a reason to do so?
- How often will I drop content on each, and more importantly, who will lead the charge on each platform?
- How will I promote each platform and drive the right people to connect with us? How will our inside staff play a role in informing current customers about these platforms? What should they be saying? Do I have the information on signature lines, websites, business cards, etc?
It’s a lot more work than just throwing a promotion up on Facebook, but you may be able to finally see some results for your efforts! Which is really step number 7…measuring your results, but that is another post all together! What are your thoughts or questions? I’d love to hear from you.
And of course, if you are overwhelmed by all of this and want someone to help you, contact me via email or Twitter. Stay connected on our Facebook page for tips and tools for building your business and managing your brand!