As it turns out, I actually do teach a class on social media at a university nearby my house. So here’s my own personal list of the 20 Things to Know About Your Social Media Strategy. This list changes a bit every year, but here’s the most recent edition. You’ll have an opportunity to add what you think should be on the list at the end of the post.
Please note that this post is a continuation of Part 1.
11. Multiple Content Types in a Social Media Program
- Posting Pictures
- Blog Entries
- Product Updates
- News Releases (particularly company news, but also niche-related news)
- Details About the Company
- Thought Leadership Content
- Questions Soliciting Feedback (Two-Way Content)
- Customer Success Stories
12. Using Twitter
If you’re a company, Twitter is not the place for your intern to share about their love for bacon (unless you’re in the bacon industry, of course, or perhaps have a relevant post about bacon. Yes, I have one of those.) If you’re a company, Twitter is best used for the fast follow and two-way communication. By fast follow, I mean connecting with people, and then connecting those people with real time information to the latest news, stories, ideas, and opinions relative to your business. It’s the quickest way to share information with people that are most interested in your products/services. By two-way communication, I mean soliciting feedback and providing a space for interaction between the customer and the company.
13. What Else is There Besides the Main Three?
And by the Main Three, I mean Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Here are some others your should be leveraging if you can (of course, this list is not exhaustive):
- Pinterest: Provides a touchpoint – or “board” – for images of a brand, which can be pinned from all over the internet. For example, a business may gather images on a Pinterest board to highlight an upcoming product release.
- Foursquare: Allows people to “check-in” and share where they are with a group of friends. Businesses can use Foursquare to offer deals (discounts/coupons) and provide special bonuses to repeat customers.
- YouTube: Platform for posting videos. Businesses can use YouTube to offer free workshops/classes, or to see a particular brand in action.
- Hoot Suite: Integrates social media platforms onto one “dashboard” to allow greater management of posting so that status updates can be scheduled and updated simultaneously on more than one platform.
- Radian6: Tie together social media monitoring tools, engagement software, and CRM systems to provide greater insight on a specific target customer.
14. Does Blogging Count?
YES, blogging counts as social media. It’s another way for customers, colleagues, and thought-leaders to connect with other thought-leaders. It’s also the best way for your company to create and offer original, quality content – which ultimately will bring more traffic to your site (and subsequently raises your Google ranking). Here is John Jantsch’s (of Duct Tape Marketing) take of blogging’s place in the age of social.
15. Determining How to Connect with Your Audience
In order to determine how to best connect with your audience, you’ll need to figure out a couple things first. You must define your overall goal with social media, and how that goal connects with your value proposition. Another thing you must determine is which social media network your customers are using and why. After understanding these two things, you will be able to focus in on one or two social media platforms. Maybe you’re a B2B company that needs to spend a lot of time building contacts on LinkedIn. Perhaps you’re a company who has been hearing a lot of complaints and you want to start addressing them via Twitter for faster customer satisfaction. Whatever it is, you should be able to figure it out.
16. Objectives for Social Media
Sort of tagging along to #15, there are so many possible objectives to your social media strategy, and deciding on those objectives depends on your overall goal. But here are a few popular objectives that companies have for social media:
- Listening and understanding the customer better
- Brand Awareness
- Repairing a damaged reputation
- Product Introductions
- Educating consumers about a new brand or service
- Content development
17. What’s the Deal with the “Likes?”
The bottom line – quite literally here – is that “Likes” don’t pay the bills, and focusing too much time/energy/money into monitoring “Likes” could drain your budget (for more on this, take another look at the interview with Wil Reynolds, CEO of Seer Interactive). That being said, “Likes” are still important. Let’s say I’m a company and have 500 “Likes” on my page. Each time I post content, I will be reaching those 500 individuals. Conversely, if I am the customer and “Liked” a brand, something related to that brand will post on my account and I will be able to interact with the brand – building my loyalty. So although companies don’t want to spend too much time focusing on “Likes,” they also don’t want to ignore them completely.
18. Will Social Media Replace Traditional Advertising?
Not yet, at least. Not completely. Certainly, social media will continually play a stronger and stronger role in advertising efforts, but it won’t replace traditional advertising yet. Our world is filled with people from multiple generations and demographics – only advertising on social would cut out a whole generation of customers. Combining both traditional and non-traditional advertising methods is the best bet for businesses to reach their base. How much you focus on one or the other will depend on your target consumer (it still all comes down to research).
19. The Elements of a Social Media Budget
Your social media budget may include a social media manager, a workforce to continue daily outreach, content creation, CRM suites, software packaging/consulting/licensing, website hosting/building costs, and other possible social media hosting costs. Of course, it depends on your overall budget and the size of your company.
20. Social Media is…
- hard work,
- and ultimately, very important to your business!
- What would you emphasize if you were teaching a class on social media strategy?
- What other social media platforms (besides Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) are you using for your business?
- What needs to be added/taken off the list?