Before initiating any social media marketing campaign, you need to really focus on a specific strategy. Without a specific goal and execution path to success, your social media marketing campaign will not run on all cylinders. Instead you may be moving…but you have no idea what direction.
Before you complete your strategy, make sure you answer these questions
Where Are Your Fish?
You need to know where your customers are most active. It’s not feasible or smart for your brand to be everywhere. Do your homework and figure out exactly what social networks your customers are active. Fish where the fish are to maximize your return on your social media investment.
Why is This Valuable to Your Customers?
Before your brand gets social media activities underway, you need to answer what value this social media marketing is providing. If you can’t answer without hesitation why your customers or potential customers will find your social media profiles valuable, you aren’t ready to create them.
Without value, you have no engagement.
Does This Create Engagement?
Aside from value, you’ll need to have a set of activities created specifically focused on creating engagement. If your networks aren’t actively engaging in your activities, you’re posting worthless information that will result in zero benefits to you or your customers. Make sure you have a path to active engagement.
Without engagement, is without success.
What Do You Want To Accomplish?
You need to have a reason for every activity you do. Why do you have a Twitter profile? Why are you creating a Facebook page? Every social media activity needs to be actively reaching a goal. Know what yours are.
Why Will This Reach Your Goal?
Assuming you’ve already answered what your social media goals are, now you need to answer why your activities will reach them. If you can’t answer why your social media activities will lead to your specific goal, then you need to drill down further or look at other social media options.
Not every network will lead to your goals, figure out what will give you the best opportunity for success.
How Long Will It Take?
What are your time-lines for your success? Do you have one? Most social media strategies either leave this part out, or are unrealistic. Establish time frames so you can track whether or not you are likely to reach success. Evaluate how your doing, adjust your timeline over time.
Do You Have Management Buy In?
Does upper management buy in to social media? This is important because if they don’t…you’re almost guaranteed to fail. Without the acceptance by management your legs will be cut right from under you. Unrealistic goals will be wanted in an unrealistic time frame. Once these goals which are already unrealistic aren’t met, you’ll be directed to engage in other activities. Make sure they support what you’re doing and if they don’t, use your energy for persuasion.
How Are You Measuring Success?
So you’ve established goals, how are you measuring success? If you’re purely tracking filling an event or sales that’s pretty straight forward. But if a goal is something like “Brand Awareness”, you need some specific indicators to track how you’re doing.
How Are You Tracking Execution?
Along with tracking overall social media goals, you need to have a system set up to track activity. You need to have a set of leading indicators set up and monitored. Otherwise you’re basically driving blind. You know that you’re moving but have no idea where on the map you are. Track how your activities are driving the overall goal and adjust if needed.
Social media strategy is a long and tedious task. But without the proper strategy and roadmap you’re making success as hard as possible. You would never engage in any other part of your business without a plan, don’t neglect social media marketing.
Use these questions to test how strong your strategy is.
This is DAY 16 of my “28 Day Blogging Challenge“
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Scott S. Bishop is editor for Real Time Marketer and a marketing strategist with a specialty in social media. He is an avid blogger and active across the net. He is @thescottbishop on Twitter