These are five things you should pay attention to, before you start to design your social media strategy. Doing these five things will help you connect better with your audience, as well as manage your social media platform better.
#1 – Your Staff Needs to be Involved
You can’t run a social media platform without input from your staff. In this short run, it might make sense to delegate the responsibility of social media to just one person or one department. In the long run however, this doesn’t work.
Social media represents many different aspects of your business. It’s part of your branding strategy. Customers will also use it to complain, so it’s also customer service. Vendors will use it to determine whether or not to do business with you. It generates traffic. It literally touches just about every aspect of your business.
It’s only natural to get feedback and ideas then from every corner of your business.
#2 – Think Strategy, Not Tactics
Tactics are things like using a Facebook Sponsored Story to make an impression or doing a joint venture with another page owner. It’s a one-time activity designed to generate traffic, increase brand awareness or get more user involvement.
Your strategy on the other hand is your long term outlook. It’s a collection of tactics, as well as the overall goal of the tactics. It’s the driving force behind everything you do in social media.
While tactics are certainly important, strategy is much more so. Focus on your strategy first. Tactics are secondary.
#3 – Social Media Needs to Integrate With Other Marketing
A lot of people treat social media as an ancillary marketing tactic. That, or they consider it a stand alone marketing tactic. As a result, they’ll assign the task of managing social media to a person or team that has nothing to do with the rest of the marketing staff.
This isn’t the way to do social media.
Social media has a multiplying effect on other kinds of media. Having a strong social media marketing plan will help with branding, it’ll help with traffic generation, it’ll help with going viral, it’ll help with just about everything.
The best way to use social is to use it in conjunction with other marketing strategies, rather than to use social media as a completely separate strategy.
#4 – Think Conversations
Social media is different than traditional advertising. With traditional advertising, you take a brand and a message and blast it out to as many people as possible. It’s a one-way street, with the advertiser trying to make an impression on the viewer.
Social media is different. Social media is a two-way street. It should be a conversation, a dialogue, rather than a marketing avenue.
Think multi-platform. What kinds of conversations are people having on Facebook? What about Twitter? What about on the blogosphere? Track the conversation about your products and your brand across multiple platforms. This will allow you to actively participate in the discussion and allow you to shape how your brand is perceived.
#5 – Use Existing Interest
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is to try and generate interest from scratch. Instead, try to use interest that already exists. Tie that kind of interest to your company or brand.
If it’s an election year, try to do something around your brand and the election.
If a prominent company just issued a controversial recall, offer something that latches onto that kind of news.
If something is spreading through the social media sphere, like the Kony 2012 video, do your own piece about that piece of content as quickly as you can. This will increase the chances of making your blog popular and people will read your content with a great deal of interest and share it with others.
Latch onto existing subjects that people are interested in and use it as leverage to get your own content across the web.