3 Ideas to Grow Your Social Strategy

Facebook is one of the modern wonders of the world. Never before have brands had access to a platform where they can easily and inexpensively interact with a majority of the world’s affluent population. Similarly, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn give your company access unprecedented access and information about customers and would-be customers.

Many brands have invested in ‘building a presence’ on social networks and have filled their pages with lots of content and have garnered thousands of likes. It’s important to note, presence on a social media networks is not a social strategy, it’s only the first step.

Consider that it’s still early days for social, the dominant players are still tuning their algorithms and feature sets. In December, for example, Facebook made a change to the News Feed that caused many brands to see a significant reduction in Facebook traffic. Also, new upstart social networds are carving out demographic and functional niches and who’s to say that we won’t see another mass extinction like the one that took out MySpace and Friendster. (Did you know that Friendster once had 115 million users?)

Given this reality, here are 3 ideas to improve your social strategy:

1. Diversify your social presence. Conduct small scale experiments with targeting specific metrics. For example, experiment with promoted Tweets as a way to generate sales leads or start responding to comments on your YouTube videos to improve customer service metrics. You’ll get an idea for what kind of engagement you can get from these networks and you’ll have some basic how-to knowledge if one of these networks suddenly becomes very important to you.

2. Create a social strategy for each department that also works for the whole company. Marketing, sales, product management and customer support all have different goals and should be using social differently. However, the overall customer experience should be consistent. Creating cohesive cross departmental social processes is harder than it sounds.

3. Create an ‘on domain’ social presence. Social networks are a great place to make connections but there’s always a risk of the rug being pulled from under you. (Just ask Zynga.) Put in place a plan to migrate your social media followers to your own branded customer community, to your CRM system and to your email list. A customer community gives customers a social outlet and gives you complete control of the content, branding, privacy policy and data.

Social is here to stay and it’s time to start working on a more mature strategy. How are you working on getting more out of social media?

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