In just one week I will be hosting Social Media Strategies Summit in Denver, Colorado. At this summit I’ll be facilitating a workshop: Social Media 101 Back to the Basics. One of the most sections of this workshop is the Goals to Set portion. Because this step is so important I’ve decided to bring back this post from over a year ago. The importance of all these goals is till 100% relevant! Check our my Top Ten Social Media Goals every business should set and ask yourself, have we set each of these?
Playing in the “Social Media Sandbox” can be exhilarating, fun and often rewarding. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and blogs have created endless opportunities to share brand messages, engage and grow. But, ones presence in the social media world has to be more than simply shooting from the hip. Careful planning, strategic implementation and setting of goals are key to social media success. Even if your organization has already started using social media, even aggressively, going back to square one and setting goals is still key. Here are my Top Ten Goals every enterprise should set:
1- Define Your Goals:
Before the actual setting of goals it is essential to understand why you are crafting them and prepare to define those goals clearly. By clearly defining goals you will be able to measure success and failure. So many times I get asked the question, how do I report back our return on investment (ROI). There can be no measuring of success or reporting ROI if your goals have not been clearly defined. This should be step one and your team must be ready to put significant time and thought into each goal as it pertains to your organization.
2- Create a Way to Measure ROI
ROI is a word that gets thrown around a lot. In fact, its one of the most popular “buzz” words used in conjunction with social media. But, what exactly does ROI mean and better yet, what does it mean for your organization. When it comes to measuring return on investment in the social media world things can get a bit murky. Investment can mean several things, dollars, hours etc…. Before you can measure what the return on investment is there must be a discussion that helps define what the organizations social media investment is. The next question to answered – what is the “return” your organization is looking for. Is it a particular number of “Likes” on Facebook or Twitter followers. Or, is it about engagement, clicks, check-ins, purchases or a combination of all or some of these things. Social media encompasses many different platforms, interactions and results so it is imperative your organization has a clear understanding of what results/return, they are expecting.
3- Craft a Top-Notch Social Media Policy
Recently Global Strategic Management Institute hosted the Social Media Legal Risks and Strategies Summit in Boston. During the event the common thread was the importance of crafting a detailed and organization specific social media policy. Simply locating a policy from an organization that is similar to yours and re-purposing that document is not enough. Your organizations social media policy is an essential document that will both protect and help build your brand. For a starting point check out Kyle-Beth Hilfer’s post on Social Axcess: A Guide for Managing Employees on Social Media
4- Social Media Education
While most people have heard of Facebook, Twitter and blogging, and maybe even have accounts on some or all of these social platforms, that doesn’t mean they understand how to use them for your organization. Prior to giving any employee access to these accounts there must be some type of education and instruction. Even for those who don’t have direct access to accounts, they should be, at a minimum, briefed on how the organization is using social platforms.
5- Define Roles
Who will be running each social platform? Will it be a team, one person, or will you hire an outside agency? Why is that person, group of people or agency going to be assigned to that role? These are just some of the many questions that need to be answered before you begin your social media strategy. Defining roles should take careful consideration and time. The goal of defining roles must be defined clearly and met before launching any social strategy.
6- Find Your Brands “Voice”
Having the right social media voice for your enterprise is key. This can be difficult when multiple people are crafting messages and even more difficult when an outside agency, not as familiar with the day-to-day workings of your organization, becomes the voice. There are many considerations that will go into finding your voice including, your audience, what products/services are being sold, what the over-all social media goals are etc…. Reaching goal five, Defining Roles, before finding your brands voice is important as those individuals should be a part of finding the right voice behind the brand.
7- Select the Right Social Media Monitoring System (SMMS)
When you first start engaging on social platforms you won’t have too difficult of a time monitoring interactions. However, as your presence grows it will become more and more overwhelming and that’s why it’s important to find the right social media monitoring system. Recently GSMI has research some of the leading SMMS and have been releasing their findings. Feel free to use these reports to help you find the right social media monitoring system for your organization.
8- Create a Social Media Presence Across Platforms
Many people think the first goal/step should be to create a presence on social media platforms. However, setting and reaching goals one through seven, should come before creating a presence on any social media platform. Many reading this post have most likely already created accounts on Facebook, Twitter and many even a blog, this is okay. Just take a step back and re-evaluate your presence on those platforms you’re using. In addition, look at some of the less “popular” social platforms and consider if you might want to establish a presence on those as well. Make sure you understand what the brands goals for each platform are and how you expect to reach them. Just “being” there isn’t enough.
9- Listen and Understand
Listening is key. There are countless businesses of all shapes and sizes using social platforms. Start by looking at what these organizations are doing and figuring out if their efforts are working or, as the Twitter world puts it, are they a #Fail. Listen to your consumers, what are they talking about, what do they respond to on social sites and where exactly are they. The world of traditional marketing allowed brands the opportunity to shout out messages with little to no room for consumer feedback. In the world of social media consumer feed back rules and you must be prepared to listen if you want to be successful in the social media sphere.
The last goal should be to begin social media engagement. By establishing and meeting goals one through nine first, engagement should come naturally and result in higher success rates. Be ready to constantly revisit goals one through nine and make sure you continue to reach those goals as they change and shift. Social media is not static and your strategy should be adaptable.
Check out GSMI’s Social Media Strategies Summit to learn more ways to improve your social media marketing strategies.