By Gerri Baum
Whether you’re a business, organization, or an independent school, a well-thought-out social media strategy can make the difference between success and failure of a campaign. Though every brand is unique, there are some basic steps to consider.
Goals & Objectives:
First, define your goals and objectives. Why are you on social media? Do you want to create awareness, build an engaged community of followers, solicit donations, drive sales or steer people to your website? Whatever you decide, make certain your objectives are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Next find your audience. Just because “everyone is on Facebook” doesn’t mean your brand has to be there too. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck if you profile your brand on platforms where your target audience spends most of their time and interests.
You’ll also want to research your competitors. Discover where they are in social and how they’re using the platforms. You can glean some great ideas from other brands and learn from their mistakes.
Implement an editorial calendar that includes articles relevant to your brand, open-ended and engaging questions for followers, success stories, and event updates. As you chart your content, leave space for real-time news from other sources. Remember to include dynamic images and videos to promote engagement. Regardless of what social platforms you dive into, keep your content diverse and engaging.
Your strategy can also contain tactics such as monthly give-a-ways and contests, games, an ambassador campaign, live Facebook chats or Tweetups, YouTube webinars or gatherings on Google Hangouts. Whatever you choose to put into your tactical toolbox, be creative and make it audience-driven.
Measure for ROI:
The final part of your strategy should focus on a plan to measure success. A variety of data resources such as Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Hootsuite Analytics, TwitterCounter, Tailwind for Pinterest and many others will help you gather valuable metrics to analyze the results of your social platforms so that you can evaluate, tweak and plan for future campaigns.
If the focus of your strategy is for an on-going social media presence, measure your platform’s performance monthly to get a well-rounded view of how your campaign is working. Use the results to refine and strengthen your platform’s engagement and visibility.
We now realize that social media marketing offers a quantum leap in boosting fundraising efforts, sales, networking and branding. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get your strategy in place.
Gerri Baum is a social media consultant who helps businesses, organizations and brands leverage the power of social media in order to meet there marketing goals and objectives. In addition to managing her own private clientele, Gerri directs social media for Kalix Communications.