3 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy

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Do you have a social media strategy for your business?

If you don’t, you could be missing out on game-changing results.

The businesses that do social media marketing well will see even bigger wins in 2012, as the gap between who “gets it” and who doesn’t grows wider by the minute.

What is the good news?

You don’t need to be everything to everyone anymore. Chances are your strategy will be more effective. If you,

#keep it simple

#be where it matters to our business (Do notbe everywhere)

#focus on where you’ll see results

Below is a three-step plan designed to help you develop an effective, streamlined road map for social media success. We will talk today about Step1.

Step #1: Assessment

Start with a single question: “Why I need social media?” The answer will dictate everything you do in this first phase. Assessment is to evaluate where you are, where you want to go and what the wins will be along the way.

·         Put Your Audience First

First things first: You need to clarify your audience’s needs, wants and challenges—not to mention where they’re spending time online. Use tools like Survey Monkey or Google Docs to quickly and inexpensively survey your customers.

 

Each time I want to learn more about my audience's behaviors, I create a quick survey and post it on my social networks to go straight to the source.

The five major benefits of knowing your audience are considerable:

  1. Laser focus: You can create content that resonates instantly.
  2. Break barriers: Confront pain points head-on to build trust.
  3. Language: Increase engagement by being a person your audience relates to.
  4. Empathy: The more you listen, the better you can respond to specific needs.
  5. Positioning: You can become the go-to source in your niche.
  •          Define the Guiding Theme of Your Strategy

Since you’ve identified your audience, the next step is to:

  •          Ask yourself what you want them to do. What’s your theme? It’s usually one of three things:

o    Awareness

o    Sales

o    Loyalty

Loyalty and awareness can both lead to sales, of course—but stick to just one overarching goal for your strategy. Consistency and simplicity are the keys.

Now it’s time to get really specific. This might be the hardest piece in the assessment process, and yet it’s critical to your success.

  •          Ask yourself, what does my business actually do?What do my fans say when they’re happy? What is at the core?
  •          Talk it out with your team. Together you can focus on “One Thing”—the heart and soul of your brand. Your “One Thing” will affect every content and posting decision you make.

For examples;

Disney = Magic

Apple = Innovation

What do you equal?

Your “One Thing” is the voice of your strategy across every network.

Identify Metrics and Monitoring Opportunities

How will you measure your strategy’s success? Depending on your theme, the metrics may change. For example:

  • If your theme is awareness, you’ll want to measure growth, engagement, brand awareness, share ability, likes and subscribes.
  • If it’s sales, look at click rates, social e-commerce sales and conversion rates.
  • For loyalty, look at engagement, sentiment and influence
  • (HINT: Klout and EdgeRank Checker are good sentiment-measuring tools).

How will you measure your strategy's success?

It’s useful to monitor some overall trends too, like mentions of key people at your company, your company name, brand names, product services, competitors and industry keywords.

And if you’re new to data measurement, take baby steps. Start with a simple free tool like Google Alerts.

Put It All in Writing

Don’t wait for an emergency to nail down your communication policies. For example, what happens when there are negative comments? How should the company’s social sites be used? Are there guidelines for what fans and followers can post to a company Facebook page?

Drill down on the answers in a written editorial guide tailored to your business, team and goals. A good guide will address:

  • Who is your team? Who is responsible for what?
  • What’s the point? Identify why you’re using social media, and what you want to track.
  • Where? Identify the networks you want to focus on.
  • When? Be as specific as possible; e.g., blog at 8 am, post it to Facebook at 10 am.
  • How—identify team tools and platforms. Including examples is great, especially when it comes to formatting of content. Your guide should enable anyone new on the team to know what’s going on.