“I don’t know why our social strategy isn’t working. I setup Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and YouTube!”
More often than not, whenever I talk to clients during the discovery process and the conversation gets to Social, I get the aforementioned as a response to what’s not working for them. I think , well Duh, you’re a Mid-Size Pool Supplies company that sells to service providers, Snapchat might not be as relevant of a channel to your audience as you may have thought.
Social is a powerful channel—which, when used appropriately, can increase metrics not directly correlated to sales. After all (as we sometimes have to remind ourselves) social is relationship building first and foremost.
Below are 5 tips that will put you in better position to have a successful Social Strategy.
- Start off Small
- Know your Audience
- Manage your Expectations
- Get Organized
- Timing, Timing, Timing
1. Start Small
Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’re going to come. I know its counter to what we learned from Ray Liotta in Field of Dreams, but it’s true. Think of how much time you actually have in your day and then multiply it by having to manage 10 social channels on top of your normal work load. That’s a lot of work! You can see why maintaining a social channel falls low in the priority list after weeks of having to manage it. You’re likely going to wake up a year later and realize that you haven’t posted anything in a year because you were so overwhelmed. The tip here is starting off small and working your way up from there. If you can’t maintain it, don’t even bother.
2. Know Your Audience
Research. When you have sound research about your customers decision-making process, you can back into a social strategy a lot easier than without research. Research will tell you which channels your customers are most active in and why. Ask yourself, “How does that insight align with your company’s current marketing strategy” and “How can we enhance support.” Think of your own behavior on Facebook versus Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. This will give you perspective on what your consumer’s day to day looks like and how you should engage and where.
3. Manage your Expectations
Quality is better than quantity. I will gladly trade 100 followers that don’t engage over 1 active user. Likes and followers can be easily manufactured using bots, but that’s not the point. Just because you don’t have 50,000 likes on your company page doesn’t mean that your channel doesn’t have reach or isn’t otherwise successful. Word of mouth continues beyond the digital space. I’ve seen studies that say that only 7% of word of mouth happens online, so don’t be disappointed when you get 5 or 6 likes on a post. Each good user has the power to advocate on behalf of your brand at the workplace, at with family and their friends—wherever they happen to be offline, so know that your efforts don’t end with the like or the retweet.
4. Get Organized
Analytics and Reporting—they’re important! It’s how you measure success. Identify what key performance indicators are important to your strategy and make sure you have your analytics set up so that you can measure on those KPI’s. Beyond analytics and reporting, create an editorial calendar. This is one of the most important tools to ensure you stay up to date with all of your channels. Sit down, look at those media buys and yearly events your company is going to participate in and map out a calendar that supports them. It doesn’t have to be as detailed as having every day of the year planned, but make sure you are always at least 2 weeks ahead. You’ll be grateful you did it in those times you get really busy.
5. Timing, Timing, Timing
When you start actively participating with your community online you start opening up your world to the beauty that is Serendipity. What I mean is just by actively participating you’ll recognize an opportunity that presents itself as a result of current affairs. It’s magic when your get the timing right, think of Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark tweet. But exercise caution because you don’t want it to backfire, ala GoGo in-flight timely twitter chatter in response to an off-color tweet from a PR agent getting ready to board a flight to Africa.