Social media has become influential not only in our personal lives, but also for many businesses today. Using social media to connect with your clients in their preferred digital channel is an opportunity that any company would be foolish not to take. Although there is not a best practice guideline or special formula that every company has found in regards to social media, many companies have realized several benefits from the use of these channels. Companies have seen advantages in areas such as awareness, customer service, current client engagement, social selling, networking, and partnerships with other organizations. The possibilities of what you can do with social media are close to endless and are certain to increase over time.
But while social media may have put endless possibilities in front of you, the value you can gain from them is dependent upon your engagement. Think of it as similar to attending a networking event; your value at an event such as this depends on who you run into and how open you are to collaborative ideas. Just showing up to the event is not enough; the true value lies in putting effort into speaking with other attendees and connecting with those you already know. What’s the point in just showing up and not communicating with anyone there? At best this will simply provide a basic awareness of your presence, if you’re lucky enough to even get noticed. (Did you wear a gold sparkly shirt?)
Just showing up is not enough
Showing up to social media channels is similar; you might get noticed, but the benefits are very unlikely to be seen without creating a deeper connection with other social media members. So how do you create a social media strategy that will enhance your relationship with other users? I wish I could tell you it was easy, that I have the magic formula that I am going to share with you . . . but unfortunately, that is not the case. Your social media strategy must be customized to your clients and your goals. Each audience and social media goal requires a different strategy.
Creating a social media strategy when you first start off can be very difficult because you have no past data to look at in order to define what works with your audience. This beginning strategy must be built upon what your company goals are. You have to define what you want to change through social media before you go about trying to change it. This can include awareness of your company brand, engagement with your audience, or the amount of people your message is reaching.
Social media strategies
This beginning stage is full of testing and making changes according to the evidence you find, but you don’t want this to be your strategy forever. If you start tracking the data (known as “metrics”) about how people are engaging with your social media content from the beginning, within a short period of time you will have all this invaluable data in order to guide you. Is it still somewhat of a guessing game? Absolutely, but this is a lot less challenging with the insight from your previous tests. I encourage you to continually test and readjust your social media strategy. These channels change algorithms and user experience constantly; this means you must be flexible and willing to adjust constantly as well. The best way to make the most educated social media strategy decision is to make sure you are tracking your metrics for several different categories in social media.
“Without measurement, how can you track success?”
The measurement of your social media success and occasional failures creates a foundation for your future strategy. Without measurement, how can you track success? The ultimate goal is to continuously provide successful social media campaigns. In order to do so you must track your metrics to build this foundation and to know when your campaigns are succeeding. Stay tuned for the next blog on this topic, where I will cover the top metrics you must be tracking. In the meantime, please let us know in the comments below if you have any other social media questions you would like to discuss.