How To Achieve A Sustainable Social Media Strategy? Just STOP!
Social media is one of the most talked about buzz words of the 21st Century – and rightly so! It has transformed the way we (customers) think and you (businesses) act! It’s no longer as simple as going to the local store for the product we want/need. We now research the social media options available to us, ask our peers what they think of it and then we see where we can purchase it to get the best value.
Social media has altered the relationship between brands and consumers – in a good way for us (the consumers) and in a daunting way for you (the business) because it means you have to build a relationship with us!
To achieve a sustainable social media strategy – just use STOP
If a business decides to have a social media presence then it must be well planned, realistic objectives and most importantly it must be sustainable. No point having a social media plan for 2 months, sticking to it and seeing the return (or not!) then just “logging on to post a status update or tweet whenever you get a chance” – it doesn’t work like that!
# 1. Strategy
Every business needs a business plan, as well as a short term strategy. This is also true for social media. Your social media strategy should not be a standalone plan, it should be a part of your overall marketing approach. Back up your online efforts with offline campaigns, and vice versa. Create a realistic plan in order to reap the return on investment of your time, resources and in some cases money invested into this social media effort.
# 2. Track
The key to any social media (or any digital marketing in fact) is to measure the success/failure of your objectives and goals. While social media is for the most part free, you are investing your time – which in itself is valuable. And so, if an element of your plan isn’t working, or isn’t working as best as it could – then by tracking your social media you will be able to see this and tweak it before time is wasted and damage is done to your brand.
# 3. Objectives
What defines a successful social media campaign? 5,000 twitter followers? 1,000 Facebook fans? Or maybe just 1 sale via your website? No one can tell you what success is…that is up to you. In order to be able to tell if your social media efforts are fruitful, you must set clear realistic goals (also known as Key Performance Indicators – KPIs) and so, if you are not achieving then stop wasting valuable time on that particular element of your plan and tweak it to until it works.
Of course, if you are not reaching any of your goals then perhaps you are being unrealistic and aiming too high? Or maybe social media just isn’t for you and your brand? Consider other digital marketing techniques such as email marketing.
# 4. Pick
There are hundreds of social media sites – it is unrealistic to say have a well run profile on ALL (or even on the top 5: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+) so pick 2 and do them well, only large organisations with marketing departments can afford to allocate human resources and large budgets to growing established brands on all five social networks.
So, social media has become one of the most daunting tasks facing businesses in recent years. Why? Because it takes time, effort, dedication as well as thinking outside the box. However, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages – if social media is done well!