Without a Plan, Social Media Will Make You Crazy
Social media gurus, ninja's or whatever they are called these days will say you need to be engaging your audience via social media; and they are completely correct. If you are not a part of the conversation, you should be because the conversation is going on without you. Social media is powerful, it has toppled governments, influenced political elections and fueled social movements. But no doubt, it is exhausting and companies need to have a plan.
Do you tweet? How many followers do you have? How successful was your last FaceBook campaign? How big is your LinkedIn Group? Are you using Google+? Do you have a mobile app? Without a plan, social media is chaotic and exhausting. The options for social media nowadays are only limited by your wallet and manpower. Let's back up a little, remove the focus from the latest shiny new social media channel and think about strategy.
First, your social networking strategy needs a goal, such as to become a thought leader, or increase brand visibility or further existing relationships. Whatever the goal, it needs to be clear and stated. Social networking can be very effective for companies, but without a goal it can be a huge drain on resources, frustrating beyond belief and ultimately fail.
Two traps organizations need to avoided
1. The organization treats the social networking as if it is a program, product, or service unto itself and markets, supports, and uses it as such.
2. The organization does not have the capacity to create demand through influence, marketing-based techniques.
Remember to Listen, Learn, Leverage and Engage
Caveat: Don’t engage if you don’t have anything to add
• From a messaging standpoint, what’s your pitch, what topics further your business?
• What’s the point? (awareness, sales, loyalty).
• Continuum of building a relationship with the audience: Nothing » Awareness, No Action » Single Action » Repeat Actions » Advocates
• How does the audience use social media? (creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators)
• How will you be human?
• What metrics are you using to measure success/ROI?