What’s in a Social Media Strategy?

%social engagement %social listeningThe following elements should be included in a social media strategy.

Management – Because of the nature of social media, how it is multi-dimensional, multi-channel, and in various modalities of text, pictures, and videos – it makes sense to have a cross-functional team involved in managing it. That way each part of the organization can have input as well as get the benefit that is relevant to that particular team.

Listening - It’s essential to listen to what is happening in all of your social media channels, and that includes the competition. What are they saying? What are people responding to? Where are they getting traction? Because of the zero-cost of monitoring weak signals, pay attention to emerging trends while they happen.

Financial or Non-Financial Goals? - Be clear about what the social media goals are. Are they financial or non-financial? Are they brand focused or sales focused? Making this distinction is important for measuring ROI. As far as conversions go, a great indicator to measure is the actual customer acquisition cost. Is social media more cost effective than traditional methods?

Measurement - Make an investment in the tools necessary to measure your activity and see where non-financial and financial ROI occurs. Social media teams tend to focus on non-financial goals, such as engagement and traffic. Marketing teams might be more attentive to actual sales/registrations/conversions versus the cost of campaigns.

Personas Work - Articulate who the target audience is. Map out the personas of the demographic you intend to reach, and use these personas to help shape both the content and the appropriate channels to maximize effectiveness.

Current vs. Published – For example, Twitter and Facebook messages are in real time, Facebook posts, blog articles and YouTube videos are published content that is consumed when users see them. Make a distinction between these two activities, and place a priority on one or the other.

The Reason You Do What You Do - Talk about the “why”, rather than the features and benefits, or the “what”. “Why” is more interesting, more passionate, and more human.

Know Your Voice - Articulate the persona and personality that the brand is. Brand messaging will be fractionalized if the messaging and response in social media does not come from a cohesive brand platform. Create a plan that insures all content, including profiles and introductions, reflect the same message and tone.

Calls to Action - If the campaign is sales or registration-focused close the loop by telling them what to do.  Pick the social media/landing pages that are designed for the purposes of conversion.

About Tim Robertson

Currently collaborating on a book about Big Data, Tim Robertson has helped create an enterprise-level social media platform, taken best practices in branding to developing nations, and helped build one of the Alexa “Top 1 Million Sites in the World”. He has over 20 years experience in innovative marketing, branding, and design.

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