You’ve heard the buzz about social media marketing for business. You may already use social media as a marketing tool. But are you confident in your strategy? Is it generating the results you were expecting?
We’ve all read statistics like, “50% of technology companies have acquired a customer through Twitter” or “43% of US marketers have found a customer through LinkedIn.” Ever wondered how that’s possible?
It is possible with the right strategy. A lot of companies have difficulty developing a strategy, if they’re using a strategy at all. That’s why we’ve developed this series of articles that will take you through the process of defining objectives, choosing social networks, creating a budget and measuring return on investment.
So take a deep breath, relax and read over these social media strategy tips that will help prepare you for success.
How to Identify Your Social Media Objectives
The first step to developing a social media strategy is to align your social media efforts to business objectives. Doing this will not only provide a better customer experience, but will give you a better picture of what’s working. After all, that’s the point of using social media for your business. You want your efforts to impact the bottom line.
Take a moment and consider which objectives are your highest priorities. Some examples include:
- Brand Awareness
- Brand Loyalty
- Customer Service
- Employee Recruiting
- Lead Generation
- Lead Conversion.
One objective you’ll notice we haven’t listed is Engagement. Engagement will always be a social media objective, so go ahead and put that on your priority list. But let’s not confuse engagement with selling. Social media are more like telephones than televisions. So while a lot of marketers tend to use social media as a way to broadcast their message, like a television advertisement, they’re marketing as though broadcasting a sales pitch will create a decision to purchase. That doesn’t work, especially in the B2B world. Social media is about communication, so think of your social platforms as if they were a telephone, a tool for you and your followers to have a dialogue.
Making a list of priorities will better prepare you for success. Your brand messaging will be more consistent, focused and ultimately more lucrative.
Developing a Social Strategy with More Than One Objective
What do you do if you have more than one key objective? Companies that concentrate on customer service or recruiting often have a separate strategy from content sharing or lead generation. This will be the case for most of you; and there’s a way to integrate your efforts into a seamless strategy that will keep your messaging focused and direct.
- Multiple Accounts. Some companies use separate accounts for meeting different objectives. For example, it’s common to create a unique Twitter handle for customer service or employee recruiting, while another Twitter handle is used for content sharing.
- Hashtags. It dosen’t matter whether you’re using multiple accounts or one, hashtags are a marketer’s best friend. Use particular hashtags for customer service, employee recruiting and news updates. This gives people a go-to source for their particular needs.
- Groups. Groups can be used in the same ways hashtags are. For example, you may consider creating a LinkedIn group specific to an objective.
While you may have more than one key objective at a time, remember to consider the time you’ll be able to devote to social media. If you create multiple accounts, such as more than one Twitter handle, it’s imperative your team has the time to regularly update and engage on each account. Social followers are easily annoyed by irregular posting and long lapses in responses. However you decide to execute your strategy, make sure your followers know how to communicate with you on social platforms.
What are some of your thoughts about social media strategy? How do you align your social media efforts to your business objectives?