Brands are killing it on social media, generating success, attention, and more importantly business. Today’s market essentially calls for the integration of social in a variety of markets to generate that desired success. It pays to be on social and it pays to do it right.
Social marketing is more than just posting on Facebook, there are a variety of factors to consider before implementing a social marketing strategy and often times businesses drop the ball. When getting your brand on social, don’t get carried away. Instead, include these 3 elements to your strategy:
1. Consider “Why?”
Many businesses often begin most of their strategic planning with “how?” How are we doing this, how will this get done, how will this get paid for? Instead, begin with asking “why?” Start by applying this on a larger scale: why do you exist as a brand, why should they care about our business? Essentially, consumers buy not “what” you’re selling, but “why” you’re selling it. Apple has adopted and created a fantastic foundation on this principle:
In terms of social, the same principle applies. Consider why you need to be on social. From there, consider why you should be on certain channels, why should consumers visit your social networks, or why consumers should engage with you. If you approach social in this way, the rest will naturally come out.
2. Content first, conversation second.
Both are important, both are essential. Engagement is crucial to good social business; it connects consumers to the brand. This can’t be done, however, without great content. At the recent PR and Social Media Summit at Marquette University, Director of Social Media for Hanson Dodge Creative, Sarah Van Elzen spoke on the 10 Principles of Good Content. These are my favorites:
- -Be informative. At this stage, the web has become an incredible resource for information. Brands that can give useful, resourceful information to its consumers and tie it back to the brand can be a great source for engagement.
- -Be transparent. Consumers enjoy having a face to a name, an inside look on who is behind their favorite brands. Honest content brings relevance and trust from consumers, often bringing engagement with them.
- -Be useful. Give your consumers what they need. Generate content that will give them useful, practical knowledge and tie it back to the brand. Useful content will make consumers want to check out your social networks and share what they find interesting.
- -Be optimized. Creating a heavy social presence does not mean that consumers and engagement will suddenly surge. All efforts go to waste if consumers have trouble finding your online communities, stand out and grab their attention.
3. Measure everything, learn and adapt.
Too much effort goes into a social strategy for it to go down the drain without effective measurement. Take the time…scratch that, make the time for effective measurement and evaluation. Analytics sound intimidating, but essentially it’s simply looking into the content you’ve generated and analyzing what’s been working and what hasn’t been effective.
Pick specific metrics that matter to your brand, and measure them consistently. Ideally, establish a baseline before your social media program starts. Is the goal of the brand to increase positive sentiment or increase communication through your channels? What will be impactful to your company? Make sure this is clear and important.
If things are not working, make sure you understand why it’s not. At the end of the day, social strategy is about the business and if it’s not generating that or affecting it in some way, social may not last long in the overall marketing plan.