Social Media has rapidly evolved from merely a great method for friends to chat easily into a tool that companies must use to connect with and advance their customer base in purposeful and connected ways that benefit not only the organization, but also the customer as well.
The primary move forward in all effective social media strategies is first to make sure one person is dedicated to the task full-time. Unfortunately to the detriment of their own progress in business, a large number of companies are stuck in the mindset of envisioning social media as a temporary side project that doesn’t require constant attention. Many businesses even try to get the intern or lowest ranking staff member to do this duty as a way of keeping them interested in the job, or because no one else in the company culture thinks it is worth doing in general, and this couldn’t be further from the truth.
To not devote experts to this task as a full time gig, is a guaranteed losing strategy.
Social Media: The more you put in, the more you get out
Effective social media endeavors function in a similar fashion to making random friends at a stranger’s party. If your company only posts now and then, and only comments on things that are high priority customer service related, then you will wind up looking like that guy who comes to the party and doesn’t talk to anyone as he sits in the corner on his phone pretending to be too cool for school. As is most things in life, the more you put in, the more you get out. While it takes considerable, concerted and calibrated effort to gain a following, entertain them, and ultimately retain them, it is well worth it, and in no time at all, this social avenue will become the sales thoroughfare. With close in mind, here are some simple yet highly effective tips to declutter the complications of the social media world and provide a framework to run a fruitful social campaign from.
Choose your goals
To begin with, all successful social media campaigns require the determination of objectives prior to starting to achieve them.
Is your company trying to raise brand awareness with increased likes, shares and commenting? Is your company trying to sell a certain product to a certain audience, or many products to many audiences? Each and every goal will undoubtedly mean varying methods for delineating it, and achieving it. Ultimately not being overwhelmed by the possibilities, avenues, options and techniques is key, but after you get your head in the right direction, everything else will fall into place. No one goes for a job without first lacing up their running shoes, and likewise, no company can expect to build a following and make it worth something, without first taking the steps necessary for planning a successful campaign.
Choose your strategy
In the end, strategy is vastly different from your goals, and the tactics that you will use to achieve those goals. Your social strategy campaign is a lot like telling a great joke. You positively must know your audience before you start because a room full of the elderly probably won’t give your humor the same reception as a gaggle of Millennials. Likewise, the social audience you intend to court will require a knowledge of who they are and what they want before you can socialize effectively with them.
Targeted messages to a specific audience that you have taken the time to get to know will be much more effective than a shotgun approach to social media as a whole. Just the same way that telling a dirty joke to a room full of centurions will not likely go over too well, a miserably worded and ill-thought-out tweet or Facebook message will produce the same effect. They won’t laugh with you, they may laugh at you though, and that shouldn’t be the goal unless your company is a comedy troupe.
Choose your tactics
After you have gone through the process of picking your goals and the strategy that you will use to achieve it, you will then need to determine the best practices tactics that will give you the daily backbone to work from in order to achieve it. If the company goal is to increase brand awareness then maybe your strategy will be to illuminate to your audience how different and positive aspects of your organization, and then your tactics could be advertising, informing, or incentivizing new customers. If the company goals is to push a specific product or service then the advertising tactic might be best. If the goal is to garner more likes, then generally entertaining people might be the best path. At the end of the day, after you’ve picked your goals, strategies, and tactics, you can then move on to the platforms that would be best for exploring these other three points as a whole.
Choose your platforms
Different social platforms are like different sports. You can’t just bring a football to a basketball game and expect to be able to play. It doesn’t work that way, and social channels are the same. You can’t as effectively bring photos into a world of tweeting, as you can in a world of Instagram and Facebook. Similarly, if you have a long form essay, no one will want to read it in 140 character parcels over the course of days. Choosing a platform will take some research into what each one is best for, but after this, they are all easy to use, highly user-friendly and they can do great things for campaigns and companies alike.
Choose a calendar
Everyone successful uses a calendar. It’s the cool kid thing to do, and if you aren’t doing it, you won’t be allowed into the cool kid group. Seriously though, at this point we can probably all agree that there is no way to remember everything we have to do in the business world for a single day, let alone a month or year depending on how long your social strategy is. This then necessitates the use of a calendar, efficiently and regularly. Keeping a calendar of not only what you plan to do, but what happened will help determine the future of your social endeavors, as well as determining how effective what you have done already has been.
Successful social media campaigns can’t be achieved overnight. If a company wants to move forward in the world of social media, then they also need to go at it in a way that will pave the road to success rather than blazing a new trail. It won’t be easy, but if done correctly, any company can make huge strides and achieve great things with targeted and successful social endeavors.
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