That seems a little harsh…True.  But here at the RTM, there is no dilly dally.  Denying the truth doesn’t make it better.  But just pointing out flaws doesn’t make you better…and I want you to succeed.

So, how do we fix it?

Tie Your Social Media Strategy to REAL Business Goals

I’m not sure why you’ve decided to pawn off social media to the college intern but stop.  Yes, I know they’re on Facebook but that doesn’t mean they understand how Facebook ties to business goals.  If you’re a clothing brand, you wouldn’t hand over sales or marketing to the intern because they own a shirt.

Social media is an extension of marketing.  Do not treat it differently.  You have a business plan, a marketing plan, sales plans…you need a social media strategy and plan.  If you’re serious about social media, give it the respect it deserves to drive real results.

Tie your strategy to real business goals.  Social media, although technically pretty inexpensive…takes a tremendous amount of time.  If you’re going to spend that much time on a project or tasks…it better drive some real business results.  Know what those are.

Get Specific Goals…Kill Fluff!

Creating “Brand Awareness” is a half-ass goal that doesn’t mean anything.  If your only goal is brand awareness, then as soon as someone becomes a follower on Twitter…you’re done.  Right?  Well, one person now knows about you…technically that’s awareness.

Probably not the final result you had in mind.

Dig down deep and dive into specifics.  If you want to increase sales via social media…by how much?  If you want to increase brand awareness, how much web-traffic do you want?  Define exactly what you want.  Kill fluff, it’s the archnemesis of specific goals.

Commit To The Strategy

You need to be committed to your social media strategy.  You wouldn’t abandon your sales strategy after a month.  Be committed to really diving into social media.  If your strategy is researched well, it will work.  If you’re not going to be committed, stop now.  You’re guaranteed to fail.

Revolve Around Engagement

To maximize social media, you need to engage.  A push only strategy does not work.  People are bombarded enough on television, radio, print, billboards, and everywhere in between.  If you’re just sending out more ads over social networks, your response is going to be small.  Engage with your audience.  Create and respond to dialogue.  Spark opinions.  Get involved.

Assign A Time Aspect

You need a time table attached to your social media strategy.  You can always adjust over time, but you need an End in Mind.  Are you assigning monthly goals?  Quarterly goals?  If you have no time table attached then technically you can never fail…because the game is never over.  You never have a bar to judge if you’re winning or losing so you can adjust and fix areas that need it.

Allow For Flexible Execution

Your strategy should be solid, but the tools and networks you use need to be flexible.  The “Why” is always more important than the“How”.  The “How” will change over time.  New tools will come out. Find out what is working best and attack that.  Drop what’s not returning high value.

Know What A Win Looks Like

How do you know if you’re succeeding in your social media strategy if you don’t know what a “win” is? is the sale?  Is it a ReTweet?  Is it more social mentions?  Figure out what your wins are, then you can focus on getting more of them.

Create Value

Your strategy needs to create value for your audience.  Everything you do should be with the customers or targets in mind.  Does this blog post create value to my readers (You don’t need to answer that question about this post, I already know it’s amazing).  Does my Twitter account distribute valuable content?  Does my Facebook Page spark valuable engagement?  Always be thinking value.