On Friday, May 2nd, I’ll be leading a workshop for the Grow 2.0 Conference – Let’s Get Social: Social Media as a Business Growth Tool. Whether you’ll be attending Friday’s workshop or are simply looking to refine your social media marketing strategy, answering these five key questions will ensure your strategic ducks are in a row and that your social media marketing efforts can be easily measured and refined to ensure optimal success.
What are your company’s social media marketing goals?
Business goals and marketing goals should be carefully aligned, and social media marketing should be one of multiple tools leveraged to achieve the aforementioned goals. Social media marketing does not happen in a silo – it is conceptualized and maintained through careful coordination with sales teams, advertisers, public relations professionals and the c-suite. It’s not about ‘doing social media’; it’s about using social media to showcase and enhance what your small business is already doing.
How much will you invest in social media marketing?
While the platforms themselves are free to use, content creation comes at a cost. Whether you have in-house marketing staff who can support the process, plan to hire a marketing agency or have a hybrid solution in mind, the time spent crafting content has an associated cost. The good news is that, oftentimes, the great work your business is already doing and the thought leadership across the team can serve as the foundation of a social media marketing program. That said, ensuring success will require a plan and a process be carefully established and maintained. It’s about more than launching a Twitter presence or a YouTube channel – it’s about laying the foundation for a continuous presence in each of these arenas.
Which social media platforms best suit your business?
Just because an iconic brand like Oreo, Tide or the like succeeded on Vine, doesn’t necessarily mean Vine is the ‘go to’ platform for your business. With your social media marketing goals top-of-mind, assess which platforms your clients, prospects and competitors are using. A short e-survey of stakeholders can often identify on what platforms clients and prospects are open to hearing from your company. Take the opportunity to drill down a level further in your e-survey by asking if stakeholders if they found your social media marketing content compelling, would they be willing to share the content on their own social media channels? This will help to asses the added reach your content may enjoy on various platforms.
How will you measure the success of your social media marketing program?
Success metrics are far from universal. In fact, they are every bit as unique as the business itself. It’s important to have a wide range of success metrics outlined, ensuring the metrics align with the sales funnel with measurable distinctions for its top, middle and bottom. Social media marketing metrics should also align with overall business goals. For example, if social media marketing is one of five tools being leveraged to achieve a 20% increase in revenue, one should be able to quantify what portion of the 20% emanated from social media marketing. As we noted earlier, gone are the days of the five-year marketing plan. Your social media benchmarks should evolve with your business goals and needs.
Who will own your social media marketing program?
The debate over who owns social media – marketing, PR, CSR, etc. – is unending. Reality is that it doesn’t matter which department owns social media, because each and every one of these department can and should contribute to and benefit from it. What is important is to ensure that some owns oversight of the process. That is to say: that someone is making sure each platform is being updated appropriately and that measurement is ongoing. It is also important that there is a process in place for funneling content to the social media team. As noted earlier, social media marketing can help businesses to get more mileage out of what they are already doing. Just be sure to focus on repurposing while steering clear of diluting the value of the brand’s content.
Social media marketing strategies are not one-size-fits-all, but a well-planned strategy that can adapt to changing business needs is an asset for any business.