Are Your Social Media Goals Aligned With Your Business Objectives
We’ve conducted our fair share of social media bootcamp sessions with clients from a variety of industries and two basic questions seem to always arise, “which social media platforms should I be using and how do you expect me to find time to do all of this?” These questions aren’t easily answered because there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Our advice varies depending on the industry and its regulation restrictions, the size and culture of the company, and many other important factors.
We’ve said it before and it is worth repeating, social media is a very power communication tool, but it is simply another tool in your overall marketing plan. Without strategic approach, proper planning and a clear understanding of the company’s business objectives, there will be no return on investment. Before you begin your journey in the social media world, or perhaps before you begin another year of continuing your established social media management strategy, consider these thoughts:
- What is the business goal that you hope to achieve by using social media? We aren’t talking about how many likes you have on Facebook or followers you have on Twitter and Pinterest. Those are important goals to consider and measure, but without being able to tie your campaign back to a business objective, you will be hard pressed to show value to the executive team. Your business goal should be something like, “We plan to use social media to increase overall brand awareness, add value to our audience by sharing ideas and original content, and generate X number of business leads from our efforts.”
- Identify who you want to reach.
- Past clients who are no longer clients could be reminded why they liked working with you.
- Current clients deserve any added value that you can share.
- Prospective clients need to know who you are and why they should do business with you in the future.
- Referral sources won’t have your company top of mind if you don’t educate them on the services you can offer.
- Determine which social media channel is the best breeding place for the target audience necessary to meet your business goal. Are your leads more likely to be active on LinkedIn or Facebook? Are they exchanging ideas on Twitter or Pinterest? What about YouTube or Instagram? Quick research to assess the situation will serve you better than just blindly leaping to the most commonly used platform because that’s where everyone begins their social media identity.
- Perhaps the answer is all of the above. Don’t let that overwhelm you. We suggest taking smaller steps to properly develop your company’s social identity. Select the social channel that feels the most natural to you, the one that flows best with what you are eager to share, and gives you the highest chance of successfully reaching your target audience.
- Once you know what you want to achieve and have a good sense of where you can go to achieve it, you need to decide what you want to share. Coming up with an editorial content calendar is the most time effective way to handle social media.
- Start with one solid, original idea and make it work for you. A great first step is to write a blog article on a new industry trend or service that your audience should know about. Then you repurpose it! Use in an eblast to your current clients, share it on your company website, make a video of it being explained, create a slide show presentation with the information for future events, and share a link to the spot where this article lives on your website via your chosen social media channels. You are instantly adding value for your audience while driving them back to your website. You are also establishing yourself as a resource in your industry and generating positive online sentiment.
The majority of companies in business today have an element of social media identity and sentiment, even if they aren’t actively participating in social media. A lot of companies have created a social media account, but have not maintained it. Some companies have chosen to ignore social media in the hopes that it will be a passing phase. Others have engaged and interacted with social, but aren’t achieving the results they would like to. Whatever your level of experience with social media is now, you have the power to make it what you want it to be. Hopefully these thoughts have gotten you motivated to take a look at the strategy behind your efforts and empowered you to make the necessary steps to a positive return on investment.
Contact us for help communicating with your stakeholders, managing this crisis, or preparing your business contingency plan.