Yep. We’re talking about social networking again. We’re talking about it because you’re talking about it. In fact, I can’t get away from people talking about it. And one of the most common conversations I take part in, overhear, and judge are those about how to do it “right.” It’s social, meaning it’s casual, interactive and it’s meant for everyone. Naturally, you’re going to get some different views. That’s OK, a lot of the ways it’s happening are right ways. But in this post, I’d like to cut to the chase. I’m going to lie out some foundation for building your social media marketing campaign that I just don’t think you can avoid. And if you’re doing these things, it’s hard to do social networking wrong.
Define your audience (keeping in mind that it may be different than usual) and figure out what you want them to do. Is it a change in perception? Brand recognition? Sales? Brand loyalty? Pick one or two, and be sure that every move you make is done to support that goal. Then, figure out how you’re going to measure that goal.
Phases, deadlines, management, it all needs to be addressed. Think about those things you don’t want to think about: Do you have a painful approval process? How will you break away from that? Does your communications director have a really dry personality? Maybe she’s not the best person for the job. How many hours do you have to respond to interaction? What will you do for negative interaction? Who is the backup when the one person managing the accounts gets sick? Make sure you’ve addressed every “if.”
Social media land is a mighty big land. If you’re going to have a blog, you might as well have a YouTube channel for when you upload video. And if you’re going to have a Facebook account, you might as well be on twitter so the two can mingle. And if you have something to say in one place, I’m sure you can think of a way to turn that into a picture, a video and 140 character post or a discussion topic. Dive in, but only if it falls in line with your plan. Each of these platforms isn’t always good for every industry, however, if you fit into one, you likely fit into another.
It better be good. It better be just what your audience is looking for because after all, they’re the ones who decide if they’re going to be social with you. Throw your finely edited videos, perfectly structured blog posts and photoshopped images out the window if that’s what it’s going to take for you to have good content. And keep it balanced. Make it personal, professional, entertaining, smart and most importantly, in line with your goals and overall voice.
I don’t mean you have to use numbers, buy you have to do something. Report from the very start whatever it is you’re looking for. One of my favorite things to consider is the outcome rather than the analytics of each individual platform. A good way to do this is to look at your Google analytics to find out which of these sites is actually driving traffic to your site. It can tell you that those people care enough to learn more or in some cases you can see exactly where they went – a sign up page or a contact page for example. If they did that, then who cares if they did or did not give your status update a thumbs up.
Don’t stop! Watch your overall social media work like a hawk. Are you getting boring? Are you still growing your fans, followers, and what-have-yous? Are people interacting with you? Are you meeting your goals? You’ll need to tweak, refresh and re-access constantly.
We’ve talked about these topics here quite a bit because no matter how much we do, the conversation never stops. If you’re hungry for more check out these blog posts from fellow BG bloggers:
And if you think I’ve missed something, please share. But, let’s steer away from the minor details. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to dispel a negative tweet or no perfect balance of followers vs. following, just be sure you’re looking at the big picture.