Whenever we build social media marketing strategies for our clients, we usually start with one small “requirement”: create a goal from it and come up with a variety of ways to reach it. The step we take is starting strategies before laying out a full strategy to fit them. Here are some starting points in building a social media marketing strategy.
Beginning an End in Mind
Strategies are the path that will take you to your goals. Below are the common goals that you may want to achieve in social media.
- Increase customer base
- Drive sales
- Generate leads
- Build awareness
- Make money from your content
- Receive feedback
- Reach new channels of customers
- Improve internal communication
- Educate customers
- Establish thought leadership
Pre-Strategy: The Questions
Do your customers go online? What social networks do your customers use? Lots of people nowadays are online; however, there might be services or products that are not commonly purchased through the web. What is your story?
Social media platforms such as blogs and videos allow negative comments. Some company cultures are not ready to communicate with those opinions. Are you prepared to handle negativity? Or, are you willing to face negative criticism? Social media will give you an opportunity to respond on customer complaints and thus, will prevent problems.
Do you have any tool or idea on how you will measure the results you could gain? Fortunately, Google Analytics (which is free) has a function for this that anyone can use.
How long would you like your strategies to run or to be given a try?
How will you include these strategies in other people’s daily lives?
Are you willing to take risks, adjust your plans, and experiment with the strategies that you would come up with?
Whether or not you decide to go forward with building a social media strategy, most of the answers in the questions above might tell you a little bit about your business.
Starting a Strategy:
If you decide to put a social media strategy into place, you need to plan the trail you’re going to acquire and expand it with an understanding on how will you reach your goals or targets.
- Listen. Implement a listening platform. You can use Google Blog Search or Twitter Search. Remember, listening is what most people say as the new secret to marketing. Also, social media is not about us, it is about the customer.
- Communicate. Create a starting place to hold your conversation such as a blogging platform.
- Methods. Determine the type of contents you wish to create to build a work flow around it.
- Groups. Most social media strategies could leverage through groups or community and on how you will embrace the people you seek to assemble around your businesses.
- Marketplace. Build a marketplace external to your community if your strategy involves making money. I recommend that you keep them separate for easy tracking of conversions.
- Outreach. Communicate with other communities or group platform and share the way back to your own platform.
- Awareness. Encourage relationships with the media you’re creating and learn how to build awareness through them.
Strategies to achieve your goals, missions, and resources that you will use and integration of the entire project should tie with your main business. Here are the three plan points that are important for everyone.
- Start building with an “over there” flavor.
- Prepare a plan to make it “the main thing.”
- Plan for “let’s bury that mistake” and win.
So, what’s your take? What are your goals?
No matter what your answers would be, I hope that this article helps you build your social media marketing strategy that will help you grow your business. Word of advice: Start, Prepare, Plan and Win.