If you want the best chance of being successful at social media marketing, you need to first understand and acknowledge that you’re using social media as a tool.
This is work, not play. It will take time and effort. That’s not to say you can’t have fun with it, or enjoy doing it, but just remember the reason you’re doing this is to help your organization succeed.
Like all media campaigns, your social media should inform, engage and call people to action. And before launching a social media campaign, you should decide your primary and secondary goals. — and then determine how you’ll measure whether the campaign has reached its goals.
Some common primary and secondary goals for social media campaigns include: lead generation, direct sales and increased brand or product awareness.
Many organizations settle for brand or product awareness as the only goal. That’s a mistake. At some point, if you’re engaging people, you want to elicit some sort of response.
Response is not just “likes” on Facebook and Twitter. Response is people commenting, entering contests, taking surveys, making donations and ordering product.
Another part of both start-up and ongoing efforts for your campaign should be building an audience. Many organizations begin by having everyone in the company connect with their social media — then asking board members, vendors, suppliers and clients to do the same.
You can follow others on Twitter, and they will almost certainly follow you. You can ask your friends to like your Facebook page or follow your company LinkedIn page, and request that they pass it on to their friends and connections too.
Next you need to determine your “voice.” Are you going to post on your social media as your brand? Or as a person who works at the brand?
It depends on the goal of the campaign and how many are working on it, but posting as the brand is usually best. That said, remember that social media channels are very personal in nature, so you’ll want to convey that personal tone even if you’re speaking as the brand.
Understanding your audience and what you can interest them in is another very important key. In business-to business markets, what’s the most pressing problem the company your audience member works for is facing? How does your product or service solve that?
Also, what typically goes into the decision to purchase products or services like yours? Can you use social media to demonstrate — little by little — some of the reasons to choose your solution over others on the market?
Now focus on the CONTENT of your posts. Make sure your content has VALUE. Skip the weather comments and the photos of you at the beach. Your posts need to have value if you expect your prospect to read them.
Offer something in your posts like More Information, Event invites and updates or Hints and Tips for doing something. You can also share success stories, support a cause or hold contests.
Then, on a regular basis, ask yourself if you made a connection, and made prospects aware of or improved their perception of your brand? Are they signing up for more information? Are they buying anything?
If you can answer “yes” to any of those, you can go on grandma’s Facebook page and brag, “We did it!”