Social Media Strategy Presented by: @AliSABKARFounder & President, Social Media Club Bahrain
According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Reportdone via socialmediaexaminer.com, 70% of marketersplan to increase their use of social media channelsincluding blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.As more companies integrate social media into theirmarketing and communications plans, emphasis needsto be on creating a social media strategy. Without astrategy, you’ll undoubtedly be sucked into asocialmedia time sink.So how exactly do you develop this strategy?
Do you work for a large company?Before you develop your strategy, make sure your upper-management team believes in social media and that thefirst goal is not to sell, sell, sell. In other words, if yourbusiness is jumping into social media because “everyoneelse is doing it” or because you want to sell product ratherthan to build relationships, please step away from socialmedia.Social media is a long-term commitment and not amarketing gimmick.If you’re having a tough time convincing your team thatsocial media needs to be integrated into your marketingplan, then counter any concerns with these responses tocommon social media objections.
It’s important for the organization to understand thattesting and experimentation are keys to success.This comes naturally to an organization whose cultureembraces being proactive and open.The reason why all businesses need to have a socialmedia strategy is because it prevents anymisunderstandings and emphasizes why social media isrelevant to your business’ overall goals.
Social Media Does Not Work For Business…Without The Practical Knowledge, Technology, Tools And Know-How. “David Bullock, Co-Author - Barack2.0”
#1: Determine Your Goals and ObjectivesDetermine who owns social media. Whether it’smarketing, PR, or communications is irrelevant. In aperfect social media world for businesses, social mediainstills a collaborative approach and breaks down silos.What’s important is to understand your social mediagoals and objectives and how they tie into your overallcompany goals.Keep it Specific, Measurable, Attainable,Realistic/Relevant, and Timely (aka be SMART!).
#2: Research, Research, and Research Some MoreStep two of creating an effective social media strategy isresearch. Develop a list of social media sites where youcan potentially engage with people. The list will mostlikely start off with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a fewselect blogs and forums.Check out each of the social media sites on your list anddo additional research to determine relevancy bysearching for your brand name, your competitors, andyour target keywords. Listen to what’s out there, identify,and understand your target audience.
#3: Create a Digital Rolodex of Contacts and ContentWhen social media is done correctly, relationships willbuild naturally.Begin making connections by following the conversation.You can do this by subscribing to blogs in your industryand by making a list of influencers who are relevant toyour business.This becomes handy when it’s time to provide content onyour social networks.
#4: Join the Conversation to Develop RelationshipsNow it’s time to start making use of all the researchyou’ve done. You can start joining the conversation byposting comments on blogs and forums, answeringquestions on Yahoo! and LinkedIn, joining groups relatedto your industry and joining Twitter chats.Begin developing relationships by following and friendinginfluencers and those in your industry. Don’t just lookfor people with thousands of followers; you’ll besurprised by the value that someone with only a coupleof hundred followers provides.
#5: Strengthen RelationshipsIt’s easy to hide behind your avatar or profile picture,but face-to-face is incredibly powerful.I think more people are now realizing how underratedthe in-person interaction really is because of how farsocial media has come, allowing so many people to“hide”.Attend offline events related to your industry—not onlyto strengthen your knowledge base but also to networkand strengthen relationships with those you might haveconversed with via social media but never met inperson. A popular offline event is known as a tweetup.
#6: Measure ResultsYou have goals and objectives, right? This means youshould be able to measure your success. Remember, whatyou measure will tie into the goals and objectives of yoursocial media strategy.Improve brand presence across social channels — Themeasurement goal here is an increase in the number offollowers on Twitter, number of fans on Facebook, numberof comments, number of times your brand is mentioned inblogs and forums and so on.Develop relationships for future partnership opportunities— This goal is to keep track of those with whom you’veconnected.
Increase positive sentiment about your brand — Thegoal here is to convert the number of positive mentionswhile taking note of negative mentions. Has the ratio ofpositive to negative comments improved? With the goodcomes the bad in social media. Get used to it!Increase traffic to your website — Keep track of visitorsto your website who come from each of your socialmedia sites. If you’re promoting an event using socialmedia, consider using a unique code to track thecampaign.Measuring social media is a never-ending debate. Whatmetrics do you use to measure social media? Whatobjective are you measuring those metrics for?
#7: Analyze, Adapt, and ImproveYour social media strategy doesn’t end withmeasurement; it goes beyond that. You need to analyzeyour social media campaigns, adapt any new findings intoyour current processes, and improve your efforts.Testing and experimentation will perfect your socialmedia efforts. As you dive deeper into the never-endingpool of social media, you’ll quickly understand whatworks and what doesn’t.More specifically, you’ll develop favorite tools to use,realize that there are certain days and times where itdoesn’t pay to be active in social media, and come to theconclusion that you still have lots to learn.
Your BrandEngagement Brand LoyaltyBrand Personality Product InsightsCustomer Service Service Feedback Your Target Social Media Strategy EARNS ONLINE and OFFLINE Coverage
Social Media for Business When making purchase decisions, would you trust a friend, or an advert.?socialmediaclub.org
What should I pay attention to?Fans: The size, reach, and growth of fans on yourpageEngagement: Fans interacting, engaging with yourcontent, sharing, people talking aboutCommunity: Managing community, response rate,key influencers, who your core fans areCompetition: See all of this in context towhat others are doing
What to do ? Have a mix of content and includeDiverse Content photos, videos along with your status updates and links Pay attention to your mostEngaging Content engaging content and replicate Call to Action Don’t be afraid to ask your fans to like or to take action Simple, Clear Less is more, keep messages Messages simple, concise and clear More and more people ignore One-way-communication
Social Media Marketing must be approached verydifferent than traditional marketing.You are not selling your business; you are creatingrelationships through communities. If people feelyou are part of their community, they will supportyou and recommend you to their friends.It is truly word-of-mouth marketing at its best.
Social Media MarketingWith first-rate internet marketing and clever social mediayour brand can become a global phenomenon. Understandthe tools, use them effectively and be smart. Be a leader andget the success you deserve.socialmediaclub.org
The Social Media PrinciplesBe Human: Don’t Just Be Human, Be YourselfBe Aware: Don’t Just Be Aware, Be SmartBe Honest: Don’t Just Be Honest, Have IntegrityBe Respectful: Don’t Just Be Respectful, Live by the GoldenRuleBe a Participant: Don’t Just Be a Participant, ContributeValueBe Open: Don’t Just Be Open, Be an Agent of ChangeBe Courageous: Don’t Just Be Courageous, Be Willing to Fail
Social media strategies will vary for each business andfor each industry. However, one thing is clear: socialmedia needs to have “all hands on deck” in order to besuccessfully integrated into your company’s goals andobjectives.In general, I view social media as a strategy, not a tactic.Considering the social media platforms like blogs, Twitter,Facebook, etc., as tactics that tie into the social mediastrategy. In other words, outline your social mediastrategy and support your strategy with tactics. Withouta carefully thought-out plan, you’ll eventually beoverwhelmed with social media and even worse, getburnt out by it
Social MediaSocial Media is tearing down the walls that keepus apart and changing the rules that have kept usfrom being human inside our companies.Success in this next era, the network age, the socialage, the knowledge age requires you to changeyour everything: Attitude, Perspective, Philosophy,Understanding, & Skillset.Chris Heuer,Chairman & Co-Founder – Social Media Club