Strategy – the preeminent component of your social media marketing efforts. Without it, the question, “what’s the ROI from my social media marketing efforts” cannot even be answered or addressed accurately. When I hear people say “I’m not getting results from social media,” my first question to them is “where is your social media strategy?” and “What are you measuring your results with?” Their response is typically the deer-in-headlights look.
So, over the next several months, I’ll be covering my Mistress of Social Media™ Strategy Model, a step-by-step roadmap for building your measurable, rock-solid strategy.
The first component in this formula is setting goals and objectives. This is where you set the targets for your online efforts; how can you know where you’re going or if you’ve arrived there if you don’t know what you’re measuring, or measuring against?
Your social media goals and objectives should directly relate to the goals of your company. I will use a fictitious business as an example throughout these blog posts to illustrate how this all gets put into play. A close friend of mine in Denver and I tend to get bored always saying the same thing when we meet other business owners and get the standard question “what do you do?” So she made up a response – she’s a “Jellymaster” for the nation’s aquariums. She travels around the country as a consultant to the aquariums, mating the jellyfish and ensuring their quality and longevity of life. And, she has mastered the art of delivering this information with a straight face. Yes, you can chuckle 🙂 She usually throws in fun facts like “Did you know that jellyfish are the #3 attraction at most aquariums?” She then follows up with the comment, “It’s my mission to make it the #2 attraction by 2015!”
Typical goals and objectives for companies who are using social media to market their brands:
• Increase brand awareness, strengthen brand
• Acquire contacts
• Generate prospects
• Generate sales
• Increase customer retention
• Improve customer service/contact
• Increase SEO & website traffic
• Grow business partnerships
Here are the steps, simplified: Determine an overall business goal or objective, then lay out the social media goal(s) that can help you achieve that overall business goal, and lastly, nail down the action steps you and your team will take to reach these social media goals.
Using the Jellymaster as an example, one of her overall business objectives is to increase her jellygigs by 20% this calendar year (from 20-24.) My friend, we’ll call her Sandra, knows that this objective requires that she get introduced to and have webcast demo meetings with 10 new VPs of Sea Life Quality at aquariums each year. This year she needs 4 new VPs to hire her. Knowing this, Sandra can set her social media goals in order to meet her business objectives.
One of her major social media goals will be to increase brand awareness through her online efforts. She can break this down into tactical action steps to get her to her goal. First, she will want to identify her tribe (more about this in Part 2 of this blog series), then make sure that her online image is consistent across platforms and represents her brand culture, core competencies, design look &feel, and overall marketing message.
Next, she could reach out to four new aquarium CEOs or VPs of Sea Life Quality via social media each quarter in order to secure enough webcast meetings. Sandra also sets the goal to blog & vlog weekly using keyword optimized content to keep and boost Search Engine Optimization & to be seen as the Subject Matter Expert in her industry.
Sandra also attends the annual Aquarium Enthusiasts Expo, which attracts her potential clients and presents her with an opportunity to get connected with them in person. She uses LinkedIn to conduct research on the people she knows will attend the conference and arranges mutual connections to introduce them in person while she’s at the expo.
We’ll get into the tactical, day-to-day implementation ideas for Sandra’s social media strategy later in this series of articles. We will also show the importance of measurements and metrics in determining your level of success in achieving your objectives in further articles. Gather your team and set those goals!