Top 5 High Level Social Media Marketing Questions That Digital Marketers Want Answered – Part One
I was recently talking with a well known author who has several books on Social Media marketing. He is getting ready to put on a conference this October and was gathering the top FAQ’s that small and large business owners want answered. Although there is no shortage of “experts” on Social Media out in the marketplace, I have always liked the audience that my friend has. They are men and women who are either practicing digital marketing in their own business or they work at a high level with a large corporation on their social pages. In short, these are doers, not people who are dabbling.
While compiling the FAQ list, there seemed to be several key platforms or frameworks that kept coming up over and over again. These buckets center around a half dozen or so themes and I am going to cover each one in a series of blog posts. Today’s post will be about:
STRATEGIES: How do I create AND implement a social strategy?
First and foremost, a social media strategy must be in alignment with a business’ overall marketing strategy or annual marketing plan. This is the only way to ensure brand consistency , brand positioning, as well as messaging.
Once this high level direction has been designed and agreed upon, here is a short list of other questions that must be answered:
1. What are the short-term goals for social media outreach versus long-term goals? Likes, Fans, Shares, Followers, Views or??
2. What social platforms best fit the outreach efforts? You do know where your customers flock to most don’t you? Is it Facebook or Twitter?
3. What will success look like, and how will the social media efforts be measured? Again, is it views? Is it fans? Or is it something else?
4. What will the official voice of the business be? Is it playful, serious or some combination of the two?
5. Who will post and respond on behalf of the business? More importantly, have they been trained AND do they have the tools and support in place to be able to respond quickly?
6. What will the acceptable response time be? And who has to approve those responses? What is the plan?
7. What is the crisis communication plan if something negative is posted online about the business? Again, who has to approve and what is the plan in place and has it been well communicated to the rest of the organization.
Based on your specific industry or brand’s voice, there are many more questions to answer. This is a good start.
There is no question that social media can be an effective marketing tool because it provides a forum for two-way conversations in real time. It creates awareness and generates exposure. It develops relationships with existing customers and attracts potential customers. And it drives traffic to a company’s main website.
In the words of Matt Dickman (a digital strategy expert – on Twitter @MattDickman), “Social media isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it offers marketers unparalleled opportunities to participate in relevant ways. It also provides a launch pad for other marketing tactics. Social media is not an island – it’s a high-power engine on a larger marketing ship.”
I welcome your thoughts…