• The number one answer is accountability • We’ve often heard that various members within businesses and organizations are hesitant to adopt social media, or may not see the benefit. • If you have a strategy, then can constantly follow it, measure it, and report success to management. • This will give you piece of mind because you’ll know what you’re doing right, and it will give management piece of mind because they will see how social media is beneficial to the organization/business. In other words, it will show you your return on investment (ROI). • Here’s fact for you:526 million daily active users on average in March 2012 on Facebook• This proves that plenty of potential customers are using social media • Make sure you have a plan for how you are going to reach your audience/customers
• What do you want to do with social media? How do you want to use it to help you reach your overall marketing goals?• What are your overall marketing goals, and how can social media help you to achieve them?• Build awareness, build customer loyalty, establish trust, manage your reputation, gain customer insight, what is your purpose?• Be sure to think in terms of the greater marketing plan. • While a social media strategy should be developed separately from a marketing plan, they should tie closely together.
• You next want to take your goals, and turn them into action items. • Components of a social media action items • Realistic – make sure you set objectives that you can actually achieve • For example, if you are just starting out, you wouldn’t want to set an objective to reach 1 million likes on Facebook or 500,000 Twitter followers. As we all know, it takes time to build a following and an online community. • Measurable – quantitative • It’s always based on the numbers. • As much as we’d all like to say social media works, it’s the numbers that really speak to people. Here’s a good example… • Let’s say you want to build awareness. One way of building awareness is to increase your pages likes and/or followers. • An example of a measurable action item based on that, would be “To increase the amount of followers from 500 to 650 (and %) by July 2013”
• When you are writing a social media strategy, you want to decide not only what tools you are going to use to get your message out, but also what tools you are going to use to help measure your impact. • Analyze incoming traffic from links (bit.ly) - we will get into the further in a second • Monitor the number of people in social media groups, fan pages, etc. – see how your social media presence and your impact is growing. Hootsuite makes this easier because it presents your Facebook and Twitter account activity in an easy to manage dashboard format • Track yourself on TwitterSearch (http://search.twitter.com) – see who is mentioning your brand on Twitter, this handy search feature will bring up your brand name as it’s mentioned in tweets •Use an analytic tool (Google Analytics) – here’s an example of how you can use Google Analytics
• Google Analytics is just one way to measure social media activity. • The idea behind this is that you would post the Google Analytics code on your website.• You then log into your Google Analytics account, and it will tell you who the referrers are (in other words, what site referred people to your website)• This will show you how many people are accessing your website from links on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts.
• Bit.ly is another great tool• First of all, bit.ly allows you to create customized, short links that are optimized for social media sites with word limits (like Twitter)• Secondly, bit.ly allows you to track the links that you create.• For example, if you post a bit.ly link on Twitter and Facebook, you can then log into your account and it will tell you the referrers (how many people accessed your website from the link that you placed on Facebook, and Twitter) – see pie chart with broken up referrers• The analytics are very detailed and other than the total number of clicks, the bit.ly dashboard tells you how many clicks you got per day, and the location of those who clicked your link (which country they are located in)• These tools are great, they are user friendly, but you definitely want to take time to learn them.
• Market Research - What are others in your industry doing (industry analysis)?• Research your competitors• What are some industry challenges? • Who should you follow? (keyword searches)• Which of your partners can you interact with over social media? Always be thinking of organizations and people that you can mention in your tweets• For example, we recently tweeted thanking event sponsors, and we were able to tag each and every one of them. Social media is a great way to mention and connect with partners and sponsors.
• This one is really essential. As with any marketing plan, you need to define your target audience, and then determine which social media platform will help you to reach them. Your audience should help you to determine which tools to use, and how to use them.•For example, right now Pinterest, demographically, is 83% female ages 18-34, and mainly post about fashion, design, and home décor. So Pinterest is great for B2C and specifically retail businesses with tangible products. But you have to ask yourself, do those demographics match my target audience?• As communication professionals we are expected to keep up with and embrace industry trends. But you still want to make sure you are spending the majority of the time where your audience is• Also, the same report showed that people spend more time on Facebook and Twitter than they do on Google Plus. This proves that you also have you try to spend your time on social media where your audience is spending their time. • With Facebook and Twitter, you have a really broad audience, and reaching those audiences comes back to can target specific groups by advertising to those groups, both on social media, and off social media. • In sum, if you know your target audience and where they’re spending their time, you will be able to better choose the social media tools that are right for your organization. It all comes back to research, and researching new social media before you jump on them.
• Who will be using social media – who will be the leaders and gatekeepers•One obstacle that we’ve come across with one of our clients is that the upper management wanted say over what went out on social media. Keep in mind that in social media you are dealing with timely information. If you have to get management approval on all posts, it may no longer be relevant be time you post.•Make sure your social media strategy fits within the guidelines of your organization• What are your organization’s social media guidelines? • Are there any? Should there be some?• For example, Towson University has social media guidelines for its users (I will get further into that in a second)• How much time can be spent on social media • This is crucial• If time that can be spent on social media is limited, then you definitely want to consider creating an agenda. Even if you social media is your sole responsibility an agenda can still be helpful. • For example, you can make a list of what types of posts you’d like to post on what day • For example, maybe on Mondays you want to post stories related to industry news, and Tuesdays you want to share/re-tweet a post • The thing to remember about an agenda is that you don’t have to stick to it, but it can definitely act as a guide. An agenda can help you to get ideas for different types of posts, and maintain some sort of consistency for your audiences within your social media channels. As with all media, timeliness is key, so be sure to get out the most important information first. • Tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule tweets too, which can be helpful in social media time management. •Know your overall business marketing strategy•Social media marketing should be consistent with your print and web marking and design – always consider the big picture
These are two examples from Towson University’s social media guidelines for its users• Transparency – clarify which comments are your own opinions versus the ones that are official university statements• Accuracy – make sure you have all the facts before you post or write.
• This slide is an example of knowing your overall branding and making it consistent. On all of our social media outlets, we use the cogs, similar language, and the Towson black and gold colors. • Facebook timeline is making branding even easier, because you can use the cover photo and profile picture to make your branding on Facebook large and in charge • Twitter is also helping because it allows you to use your branding as your background on your page, and your avatar can also incorporate brand elements • Our blog, which is a big part of our social strategy, is also consistent with the brand. A custom header and color scheme can help you to incorporate your brand and theme into your blog.
• Be realistic - set achievable and measureable goals• Be organized – do you research and go into it with a plan! The rush to use tools should not outweigh the need to formulate a strategy.• Keep it fresh – timeliness is key, make sure you stay on top of industry trends.• Be human - be relatable and engage in conversations with customers – use it as a soft sell• Be integrated - include social media icons on your website and your print pieces – encourage people from every angle to get involved in your conversations
Jenn Lake - Integrated Marketing Team @ Towson University - Baltimore PR Council Event - "Developing Social Media Strategy that Works for Your Organization"
Why Should You Have a Social Media Strategy? Accountability Return on Investment FYI: 526 million daily active users on average in March 2012 on Facebook (Facebook, 2012)
What Are Your Goals?Ask yourself these questions: What do you want to do with social media? What are your overall marketing goals? Ex: Build awareness, build customer loyalty, manage your reputation, gain customer insight
How to Determine Your Action Items Be realistic Make them measurable Goal: Increase brand awareness Action Item: To increase the amount of followers from 500 to 650 by July 2013
How to Measure Social Media Activity Analyze traffic from social media links Monitor number of followers and likes Track your brand on Search.Twitter.com See how social media is driving traffic to your site
Where to Begin Building a Strategy Market Research Research competitors Know industry challenges Determine who to follow
Where to Begin Building a Strategy Know your target audience Ex: Pinterest 83% females 18-34 (Hubspot) Interest-based Great for B2C Google Plus People spend less time here than Facebook + Twitter
Consider This… Who will be managing your social media outlets? Does your organization currently have social media guidelines? How much time can be spent on social media? Know your overall branding & make it consistent
Organizational Social Media Guidelines Examples: Transparency: Clarify which comments are your own opinions versus the ones that are official university statements Accuracy: Make sure you have all the facts before you post or write