So you've decided that it's time to start a social media campaign for your business - what now? You see your competitors and friends posting on many different sites, and you want to be in on the action - so let's just jump in, right?
Wrong! While it may seem very elementary, the first thing that you must do is create your game plan. If you are new to social media marketing, you soon realize that there are thousands of resources available, and you should choose the ones that fit your marketing strategy. If you need help creating that strategy, there are resources available that can help, such as "Developing a Social Strategy," a presentation led by Jeremiah Owyang and Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group. Why is strategy so important? Mr. Owyang provides an answer here:
Beyond the technologies and applications, you need to ask yourself, "What is is that I am trying to do with my business's social media strategy?" Steven Grech, Head of Strategy at Lightmaker UK, offers this suggestion to help get started: "Before you start working on your social media strategy, you need support from all areas of your business (sales, marketing, finance, legal, HR, customer services) including your CxOs. The aim is to understand the internal sentiment of your business with regards to social media and to present the steps needed to create your social media plan before you launch. Use this opportunity to understand what each department’s objectives are. Investigate their objectives from a social media point of view and also from a general point of view, i.e. whether it is to increase sales by x% over 6 months by increasing our digital marketing spend and/or reduce call centre costs by y% by launching more customer service information online."
Now that you have an internal view of your business in regards to social media, it's time to set your objectives and measurement plan. What are the key metrics that you will be tracking? Are you looking to increase traffic to your website by 20% within six months? Or are you looking to increase sales by 10% over three months? Jamie Turner's blog on "How to Calculate the ROI of Your Social Media Campaign," is a great resource.
Now you are well on your way to creating your business's game plan! By using the resources mentioned above, coupled with your own resources (don't forget about those millenials who work for you that are social media savvy - get their input, too!), you can begin your journey towards social marketing.
Next week, we'll look at moving forward once your initial game plan is in place - where do you go from here?
Kelli Hatton is an active fitness professional, consultant and speaker with expertise in employee development, business development, marketing and management. As a business development professional and consultant, she provides management, sales, marketing and customer service training to organizations looking to increase their productivity. She also leads the Business Development team for Fitmarc, the South Central US Distributor for Les Mills Group Fitness systems. To learn more, contact Kelli today.