We’re often asked what it takes to succeed with social media marketing, so we’ve put together this quick check list to get you started – it’s our beginner’s guide on how to use social marketing.
1. Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Work out who you’re targeting with your campaigns, how to best reach them (what platforms – Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Facebook Advertising), and how you’re going to engage with them. You should be looking to forecast some of the outcomes too (these can be revised later). After all if you don’t have targets – you can’t reach them can you? Which leads us to…
2. Develop a Key Performance Indicator Framework
Key Performance Indicators are specific measurable (in numbers) results that you can identify from your campaigns in order to measure progress. When you’re developing your first social media marketing strategy – you’ll want to measure pretty much everything you can measure, and then over time reduce this to a narrower definition. Why? Because it will take you a while to identify which measurements are directly related to sales conversions.
3. Get the Right Tools to Measure KPI Performance
As with almost every successful business endeavour, this starts with developing the correct processes to capture the data you need and to maintain it. Then you’ll want to examine ways to automate (or at least reduce) the effort needed to capture and analyse your KPIs. Fortunately there are several excellent software platforms you could consider (depending on your budget of course) including – Socdir, UberVu, Brandwatch, Engage Sciences, Agorapulse, Sentiment Metrics, etc. Be sure to check which tools are suitable for your task as many of these platforms are customised for specific networks.
Don’t forget that Excel always comes in handy for manipulating raw data and determining whether your numbers are really improving in a meaningful way.
4. Grow Your Community
It’s not the be all and end all of social media marketing, but the more followers you have – the more likely it is that they will share information about your company and recommend you to others. The larger the group becomes – the more people will talk about your company to each other.
It’s important to concentrate some effort on – and reward, the most significant participants in your community. Enthusiastic brand ambassadors will create a buzz about your products and services. This buzz can become viral when enough people share in it.
5. Monetise the Community
It’s not enough to have followers – this is after all an online marketing exercise. You need to work out how to increase spend or win new business through community interactions. That means providing “added value” in the social channel to win over more revenue.
Monetising your community is about learning to interpret your KPIs effectively – to understand what kinds of activity lead to profits and which represent nothing more than a dead end. That doesn’t mean you can scale back on all activity that doesn’t have an immediate impact on sales – otherwise you risk turning your social channel back into a traditional marketing channel. What it does mean is that you should be able to tweak and control your message over time to enhance the profitability of the channel.