10 questions to ask about your social media plan
Social media is an overloaded term that broadly describes a variety of online platforms that utilize internet technology to enable social interaction. The most common examples are blogging, podcasts, forums, and social networking
sites like Twitter and Facebook. Social media is quickly becoming a prominent tool in the modern marketing world. Websites can no longer be static bulletin boards that promote products and services. Social media opens up a dynamic dialogue with your audience, allowing for interaction and personal connection. The always on world of today has forced companies to consider how they engage virtually and shift their marketing strategies to include this new engagement mechanism. A strategy involving social media is not something any company should approach lightly. It highlights your brand, company cultures and values in a very public way. In this blog post we will look at ten questions to ask about your social media plan.
Traditional marketing is far from dead and abandoning traditional marketing channels is a huge mistake. However, engaging in social media extends several critical areas that have been difficult to penetrate without a large marketing budget or team. Unlike many traditional marketing methods, well executed social media marketing provides an instant connection between you and your target audience. Social media can also be used to reach very specific niche customers, ensuring that you are catching the attention of people who will be interested in what you have to say. Well executed social media allows you to create and join groups of like minded individual that want to share information about your products, services, or ideas. Customers who have a personal connection with you business and feel as though you care about their feelings and opinions are more likely to return when they need your services again.
Including social media into your marketing mix means you are making a series of decisions and promises to your customers. Smart businesses keep their customer promises. Here are ten considerations for any social media strategy.
1. Have you spent enough time learning? Like any new strategy the initial investment of time and energy is essential to understanding the outlets and how they work. You wouldn’t implement a new technology without understanding it? Would you?
2. How will you integrate social media into your existing channels? Social media is an experience. It’s a unique experience that evolves from personal experiences. Capitalize on your positive brand attributes and key differentiators in your social experience.
3. Do you have executive sponsorship? Encouraging and promoting executive leadership to participate in social media channels is one of the best ways to communicate your companies brand, unique values and culture. Also, when it comes time for budget discussions it means they are vested in the experience.
4. How will you define engagement? Engagement is a two way street. My mother always told me that a one way conversation is called yelling. Anytime you create an engagement vehicle being part of the conversation is incredible important. If you commit to a strategy involving social media make sure you are responsive, open, honest and transparent.
5. Are you committing to freshness? Being involved in social media is making a conscience decision and promise that a company will keep their content and brand fresh.
6. How will you offer a unique channel to your target audience? It’s myopic to view social media as only an engagement vehicle. It’s a chance to brand your company and culture. No matter what you do make sure that your usage is unique and interesting to your target audience.
7. How will you ensure authenticity in your approach? In a world full of instant information. Be true to company values, spirit, personality and character.
8. How will you take advantage of syndication? Leveraged reach is critical to scale a viable social media strategy. Let the worldwide technology network broadcast your messages. That means you have to be interesting and relevant.
9. What engagement guidance will you provide? Define a playbook to help your employees represent the spirit and brand of your company. A playbook isn’t meant to sound like big brother but help employees understand the relevant communication guidance for proper behavior. Even simple guidance like being “honest and authentic” is a great start.
10. How will you monitor your presence? How do you determine success? Monitoring your social footprint is a great way to see the path to success and the areas of improvement.