To achieve social media success, a myriad of factors must be present - all of which work in tandem to deliver a positive end result. However, I find there are a few pieces continually overlooked. To ensure social media success, check that you’ve included these five elements.
A clearly defined audience. I’m amazed how many people tell me their ideal customers include ‘everyone.’ While anyone can be a potential customer, ‘everyone’ is not going to help you get there faster. Start with the current customers – who are they? What sparked their interest in your business? What lead them to buy? We need to be as specific as possible with this step, identifying the similarities that will help us parameters for our target audience.
Specific marketing goals. In order to actualize results, we must identify marketing goals that will help us on the path to achieving this outcome. Typically, I recommend two to three specific marketing goals, for an absolute period of time, such as three months. Some goals might include increased business awareness, driving attendance at an event and strengthening the relationships with current customers.
Super fans. Who already loves your product or service? Who tells others about you? These are your super fans – or as Mark Schaefer calls your Alpha Audience. These are the people who are actively engaged with your brand and will share your content. They are crucial to your mission because they will help you spread the word!
Integration among people and initiatives. When used optimally, social media should overlap with every viable company initiative and every willing individual to:
Eliminate silos. Social media is not simply something we delegate to one person or department and forget about. It’s important to incorporate your entire company into the social media efforts, always connecting it to the strategy and the overall mission of the business.
Incorporate live interaction. Take every opportunity to snap photos of the staff, the crowd at your event, or everyday happenings - and share them online! That's the connection that people want on social media, yet so many companies are still slow to catch on.
Make worthy associations. A simple example would be tagging a page on Facebook or mentioning a Twitter handle when you’re involved in a community-event. Perhaps the same tactic could be used when you post a blog or news announcement and tag people mentioned in the post.
Dedicated resources. There are a lot of pieces to this social media puzzle – and some companies underestimate the effort and dedication required to execute all of it efficiently. Whether it’s paid staff or outsourced consultants or managers, there must be people who are responsible for delivery. I also recommend including a budget for online advertising, such Facebook advertising to complement your efforts.
If we were to eliminate one of these factors, it would be like putting a puzzle together with a piece missing– we won’t have the full picture.
What else do find critical to social media success?