Marketing on social media platforms can sometimes seem incredibly complicated. There are so many platforms, strategies and points of view in this still maturing space, that making a design to move forward can seem impossible at times. It doesn’t have to be like that.

Knowing what to ask and how to resource is increadibly important when developing a social strategy, so here are six simple steps to get you kicked off:

Define your voice: It is important to approach social media with a defined voice that is aligned to your brand. Online communication works best when you are not pushing a product but are communicating in a more subtle way. The best way to develop a social media ‘voice’ is to start by asking yourself, “What does my market really want to know?”.

Segment you audience: Use the information you have to target the right audience. Don’t blindly charge into social media. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and explore what they discuss about your brand, your competition or your category online. Taking this in, you will know where your target audience is active and you can start from there. You save lot of time and effort in doing this, making it easier to connect with them.

Know what success looks like: Your social media marketing strategy needs to be aligned to your business objectives. Collecting ‘likes’ on Facebook and measuring hits to your website might be a good start but there must be a longer term plan in place – a plan that ensures that this activity is being converted into sales or leads.

Give to recieve: Social media works best when you think about it as a platform to build lasting relationships. If your brand is perceived to be proactive and responsive you will gain trust in the market place. Setting up a social media customer service channel will show that you are there to help as well as listen. As apposed to being a risk, it actually allows you to deal with issues quickly before they get out of hand. Helping people with their issues and questions will also help them make a buying decision.

Collect data: Social media is awash with demographic and psychometric data. Get a plan in place to collect and utilise it. Mass messaging does not work online. Personalised and targeted messaging does. It will also help you plan how to use platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook advertising, increasing their effectivity and saving you money.

Plan your content: Building relationships can take time. Planning your content so it flows and tells a coherent story at every touchpoint can reduce the time needed to move your audience through the sales pipeline.

So a social strategy is not about hiring a bunch of teenagers who ‘get social media’. It needs to be about delivering results and driving your business objectives. Get it right and it will deliver benefits throughout your organisation.

 

Mark Cameron
BY Mark Cameron ON 18 April 2012
Mark Cameron is CEO of customer experience innovation agency Working Three and a world renowned digital strategy commentator with well over 400 published articles.

Specialties: Digital innovation, Digital customer experience strategy, Social media strategy, Digital strategy, Online Marketing strategy.
He blogs at markrcameron.com and tweets from @MarkRCameron.