6 Social Media Strategy Tips


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Learn the questions you need to ask when planning your social media strategy. There are a lot of moving parts as you will see in this e-book.

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6 Social Media Strategy Tips

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  2. 2. 2 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership TABLE OF CONTENTS Intro...........................................................................................3 Socialize and Benchmark............................................................4-6 Discover.....................................................................................7-9 Assign Goals and Accountability.................................................10-12 Test............................................................................................13-16 Measure.....................................................................................17-19 Learn..........................................................................................20-21 Conclusion..................................................................................22 www.socialmediahq.com
  3. 3. 3 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Intro For many, coming up with a strategy is a foreign process. But it doesnt have to be. In this e-book, you will learn about the 6 exercises that you will need to accomplish in order to form a full-fledged social media strategy. For small businesses, this task will be somewhat easier, but for enterprise businesses, this process could take some time depending on the complexity of the organizational structure, data, communication, flexibility, among other factors. This e-book is divided into 6 sections:  Socialize - collect different points of view  Discover - establish company goals  Plan - get it on paper  Test - experimentation  Measure - tie data to company goals  Learn - iterate and keep testing After reading, you will be able to manage human resources, budget, return on investment, daily operations, and continuous improvement. Continue reading to become your companys social media leader.... www.socialmediahq.com
  4. 4. 4 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Socialize and Benchmark: "Take the time to understand the needs of stakeholders and your audience" www.socialmediahq.com
  5. 5. 5 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Before you can write a plan, you need to gather the appropriate information from all the parties that will have a stake in your social media program. This is especially true if you are a multi-department business. If this step is skipped, you will set yourself up for failure, so take the time in the beginning to speak with people and gather historical information. In doing this, you will set proper benchmarks that you will measure against when you deploy your social media program Speak with all internal stakeholders  C-Suite These are the big picture thinkers and are most concerned with the bottom line. They are going to be concerned with lifting revenue or decreasing costs. Understand what their concerns are before making any type of recommendation. Note: This could include legal staff or compliance staff as well.  Managers Managers have a different set of concerns. Most likely, they are more concerned about the performance of their individual team or function within the business, which doesnt necessarily equate to bottom line reporting. For example, managers are concerned about the metrics that will make them look good like decreased time to resolution for the customer service department or increased leads from the marketing department.  Front Line Staff Front Line Staff are going to be concerned about optimizing their performance. For example, call center staff will be concerned about relevant information to give to the customer at a quicker rate. Another example is human resources staff will need more efficient ways of weeding through job applicants.  Gather feedback and document it Upon interviewing each stakeholder, make sure to record and report on the current needs of the organization. Outline the top priorities. www.socialmediahq.com
  6. 6. 6 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Look at analytics and data for all marketing activities  Web analytics To create a business case, you will need to bench mark where the firm stands without social media. How much traffic is the site generating? Where is the traffic coming from? Is the site converting visitors into leads?  CRM data Now you will have to dig into your customer relationship management reports. How many people that are website leads turn into prospects? What is the average sales cycle? What is the lifetime value of the customer. Most CRM software can provide an array of marketing reports that are specific to your business goals. Read industry reports  There are countless white papers and reports delivered by companies within your industry. Use this data to create benchmarks and opportunities for capturing market share. Surveying Customers and Preliminary Listening  Email a survey This may seem counterintuitive, since social media is a great channel for low cost-high value market research, but you will need to figure out what your customers desire when engaging with your brand in social media  Conduct Preliminary Listening Through the use of special software, you can figure out where your prospects and customers are hanging out online, what they are talking about, who is hanging out online, how they feel about you, and why are they talking about you. www.socialmediahq.com
  7. 7. 7 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Discover: "Identify Goals" www.socialmediahq.com
  8. 8. 8 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Each department of the business has specific goals, and the advice that we would give is to focus in the beginning on 1 or 2 goals. Then as the program rolls out, expand your goal setting to other areas of the business. In this section, we will explain some of the goals you can focus on. Lower customer service costs  If your proposed strategy revolves around customer service, you can benefit greatly from social medias impact on customer service costs. Comparing the cost of accessibility and quicker response rates through online content and social networking communication, you will come to rely on phone calls less, which are historically higher cost. Increased Leads and Sales at Lower Cost per Lead/Sale  Over time, your content library will accumulate and produce ongoing leads and sales at a fraction of the cost of advertising. In addition, by sharing your content on social networks, you can strengthen the reach of your messages. Lower market research costs  One of the most efficient ways of gathering feedback on what your prospects and customers want is by asking them before building out a product, service, marketing campaign, among other business initiatives. Focus groups and other types of market research can be quite expensive, so you can compliment this research with high value insights from your current audience. The only issue with gathering feedback from social networks is that the samples and feedback could tend to be biased and statistically insignificant. Therefore, complimenting your current market research with social media will garner the best results. Lower recruiting costs  The cost of attending recruiting events in-person can also run up a potentially large tab if you account for travel, accommodations, registration fees, materials, etc. Digital recruiting is more cost efficient, and you will be able to pick out the best applicants through public information that they provide on the internet. www.socialmediahq.com
  9. 9. 9 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Increase brand awareness  Since many social networks have built in viral capabilities, your content and messages can potentially spread far and wide if you have something valuable to share. You can track brand awareness by issuing special link tracking and calculate the word of mouth multiplier. The formula is: (number of direct clicks + number of clicks from recommendations)/number of direct clicks. Of course there are other tools and formulas to help you gauge brand awareness within social media. Note: the true answer to brand awareness is by conducting survey research to find out if people are "more likely to buy from you after interacting or seeing your content". But social networks make this question a little easier by looking at the data. Increase Loyalty and Lower Churn  When providing exceptional content and social customer service, your customers will form a community of loyalists. If you can reward this community for being active members of your brand, your retention rate for these customers should theoretically be higher than customers who are not part of the community. The only way you would be able to measure this is through connecting social data into your customer relationship management software. www.socialmediahq.com
  10. 10. 10 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Plan: "Assign goals, dates and responsibilities" www.socialmediahq.com
  11. 11. 11 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership In order for any plan to succeed, accountability is vital. In this section, we will present several questions that you will need to ask of one another. People carry out plans, so management will come into play here. Who is going to be held accountable for results?  After you identify the business goals, picking a department head or manager that is responsible for results is important for taking your social media program forward. Without accountability, nothing will happen. This responsibility will most likely rest on one persons shoulders in the beginning and expand to multiple people as the program scales. The program champions will then communicate goals and priorities to their team. Who is going to handle the content production?  Content production will need to be planned, and this responsibility will be given out by department heads, or for smaller companies, the social media manager will also be responsible for content production. Scheduling will be important at this phase. Remember to account for pre-production, creation, and post-production. This concept is the same whether youre writing, filming, recording sound, performing webinars, among other content types. Who is going to handle the community management?  You will want to choose your community managers wisely, as they will be the voice of your company on the front lines. Most likely, you will want to hire someone with the same characteristics and interests as your target audiences.  Determine how much time will be devoted to community management if the employee has other duties within the organization. At what point will they need to be transitioned into full time community management? This is where benchmarking and milestones will be important to establish in the planning phase. www.socialmediahq.com
  12. 12. 12 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Who is going to handle the analytics and reporting duties?  After figuring out what you are going to measure, who is going to be responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reporting these numbers? Do they have the required skill set? Do you need to outsource this duty? How much time should they take out of their day to perform these duties? What technology are you going to use to collect data about customers?  If you dont have the technology to generate accurate reports on how social media is affecting your bottom line, you will need to invest some money. Some of the things you will need to think about are connecting all of these things into one dashboard: customer relationship management, web analytics, social media monitoring, plus social analytics from all the platforms where you are active. Then you need to organize this information into a way that management will be able to equate to positive or negative return on investment. If you are reporting to community managers and social media managers, you will have to present a different set of information, so that they can optimize their efforts. www.socialmediahq.com
  13. 13. 13 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Test: "Don’t promise the stars and deliver the moon" www.socialmediahq.com
  14. 14. 14 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership In this section, we are going to discuss the roll out of a social media program. Some of the items that you will need to pay attention to are channels and tools to use, testing methods, and relationship building. Naturally, it will be more tactical. Create a communication schedule involving all channels that will support your strategy  After you have planned what type of content you will produce, this is where you will produce your editorial calendar. You will need to consider all variables within content production and distribution. For example, if you are shooting video, document when production will start, and when the video will be posted. What social channels will the video be posted on? Social networks, landing pages, e-mail, content development, off-line tactics, public relations such as blogger outreach, search engine marketing  You will need to make sure that social media is integrated into all marketing tactics. Here is a real world example: You have a 1 year goal of increasing qualified sales leads by 100%. At the top of the funnel you will be creating daily blog posts that will be optimized for search engines and shared on your social network profiles. You will also be guest blogging on other blogs. In the former and latter, at the end of every blog post, you will have a call to action for downloading a premium piece of content like an e-book or a video. After the content is downloaded, a sequence of e- mails will be triggered to nurture the lead through the sales funnel.  To support the process, you will be attending conferences and events where the goal is to collect e-mail addresses, so that you can send them premium content and to get them into the sales funnel. Also you will test pay per click advertising on search engines and social networks. Test which social networks drive the most engagement, traffic, leads, and sales to your organization over a 1 year period  You will need some type of web analytics program like Google Analytics or Omniture to help you measure website traffic being driven from social www.socialmediahq.com
  15. 15. 15 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership media sites. You can then make monetary and time budget decisions based off of this data. Conduct a/b and multivariate tests on your website and e-mails.  If you want to continue to increase marketing success, the best way to achieve this is by conducting a/b and multivariate testing on your landing pages. The essence of these tests is creating variations of the web page and using testing services to see if the changes result in a lift in leads or other types of performance criteria. A great testing platform is Google Website Optimizer or Visual Website Optimizer.  Testing can also be performed with your e-mail program. Make sure to test subject lines, body copy, time windows, and calls to action. Test different types of content and timing  While you create your editorial calendar, make sure to account for testing different types of content formats when sharing to social networks. You will never know if one piece of content works better than the other if youre not testing.  Timing is an important step in reach your audience for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that every companys audience has different social networking habits. Second, most people do not use social networks during regular hours, so you will have to test different posting times, collect the data, and determine the appropriate time windows for future content distribution. Test which types of offline marketing activities are best supported by social media (i.e. speaking engagements, workshops, networking events, print advertising, radio, and TV)  Most likely, many offline marketing tactics are easily complimented by social media tactics. For example, events can be live tweeted and blog posts can be written during the event. Lately, you have probably seen social networks being promoted in print, radio, and TV. This is an www.socialmediahq.com
  16. 16. 16 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership excellent tactic for building an audience and providing a place to create a deeper relationship with your target market. Create relationships with a number of bloggers in your industry and narrow down the list over a 1 year period for blogs that drive the most qualified traffic to your website.  Blogger outreach is one of the best ways to establish credibility and drive business growth. The point of this tactic is to access the audience of these influential figures. Their audiences are highly influenced by their endorsements, so it could prove to be the most crucial thing you do in social media. After all, the essence of blogger outreach is being "social" and creating "real relationships". Just be careful not to be too pushy or go for the quick sale with influential bloggers. They are bombarded with e- mails, link requests, and pitches every day. The best way to look at blogger outreach is the slow and steady route. Youll win in the end. www.socialmediahq.com
  17. 17. 17 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Measure: "It’s not one size fits all" www.socialmediahq.com
  18. 18. 18 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership In this section, we will help guide you through the often misunderstood world of social media measurement. Its not cut and dry, and it takes work to collect the appropriate information. After reading the section, you will have a better idea of what you need to do. Identify areas where data is readily available (i.e. Google Analytics or customer relationship management reports)  When you are first starting out in social media, you will need to demonstrate some type of movement, whether that is increased conversions, or correlation of engagement metrics to lower costs, revenue, or market insights. That is the best you will be able to do in the beginning. Find the data that is easily captured and present it to management. You will need to show management that numbers are trending in a positive light. You can use social analytics tools like Hootsuite combined with Google Analytics to show the initial performance. From here, you can ask for budget to expand your measurement capabilities by integrating data sources into one dashboard, or a social crm. Align data collection with your business goals  If you dont specify what your business goals are then you will be buried in a pile of useless data. For example, if increased sales leads is the goal, then retweets or likes might not be the best data source to present to management. A better data source would be referral traffic from social sites that convert into downloads or event registrations. At the operational level, retweets and likes might be a signal of driving more referral traffic, but this is something that should be reported on the functional/operational level. Create control groups for measuring lift in sales or cost reduction attributed to social media.  To see where social media impacts bottom line metrics, you will need to compare the results of actions that are taken in social media to actions without social media. Nichole Kelly of Full Frontal ROI explains this in- depth on Social Media Examiner. www.socialmediahq.com
  19. 19. 19 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership For example, if you want to see if people convert to sales better when originating from social media compared to people that originate from offline events like tradeshows, you will compare the two channels side by side in your CRM software. www.socialmediahq.com
  20. 20. 20 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Learn: "Move quickly, fail fast, and iterate" www.socialmediahq.com
  21. 21. 21 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership The last stage of your social media rollout plan should be focused on taking calculated risks. If certain tactics dont work, thats ok. Theres room to iterate. Finally give your program some time to materialize. It is advisable to give programs at least 1 year to mold into a business asset. Test and iterate tactics, and present the results of the winning tactics over a 1 year period.  Since social media is a long term aspect of any business, you will need test and gather data for at least 1 year. After collecting the relevant data, you will be able to spot patterns, with the winning and losing tactics within a social media program. After the 1 year period of testing, budget by quarter for strategies supported by the winning tactics from the prior year  Now you can take what works and continue to test and further optimize your social media presence. Taking this approach, you will continue to build upon your success, thus creating assets that compound themselves. www.socialmediahq.com
  22. 22. 22 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Conclusion Coming up with a social media strategy is no easy task, especially if you have to gather information from and work with multiple stakeholders within your organization. By following the advice of this e-book, you should have the correct framework for creating an asset for your organization. We hope you enjoyed reading, and best of luck to you in your social media adventures! www.socialmediahq.com
  23. 23. 23 6 Social Media Strategy Tips for Market Leadership Questions? Need more in-depth discussions of what we covered in this e-book, or Need help with your social media strategy? Feel free to reach out to us at info@socialmediahq.com. Enjoyed Reading? Please Share by Clicking on the Buttons Below! www.socialmediahq.com