Socializing Your Business: 9 Questions to Consider
1. What are your goals?
This is the first step for any marketing campaign. Each campaign needs to be associated with a set of objectives. Depending on your organization’s goals, the objective for each social campaign needs to be chalked out. Never keep your objectives brief. If your bottom line is to increase your customer base, then break this objective into smaller, targeted and measurable goals, which are all the possible steps that happens before a sign-up, such as increase website traffic, social engagement, buzz etc.
2. What is your key audience? Who are they?
In most cases, you will have a fair idea about your target audience because you have a fair idea about your business, what pain points it addresses and the product-market fit. There will be instances though when you would have missed out on a segment of audience that could potentially be of interest. Social media has evolved at an exponential pace since its inception. More than a billion conversations take place online everyday and it’s not humanly possible to have your ears tuned to specific topics online all the time. The best way to overcome this problem is to use tools that automate this process and make it easier for you to pick up signals in the noise.
3. Where are your customers really? Where do they engage with each other? Who are their "influencers"?
The next step would to get into the granularity of understanding your customers. By listening on their conversations online, you will be able to highlight topics that are most talked about by your target audience and the influencers. This will serve you better in understanding the product-market gaps and will better equip you with information for positioning and laying the future roadmap for product development.
4. Where do you want to participate?
You can't do everything under the sun, so focus on the most important forums/platforms/discussions. Listening will help you prioritize your channel selection. Based on the buzz and the relevancy of topics discussed online, you will be able to identify channels on which you need to make your presence felt right away.
5. What is your current state of brand presence?
If you can’t measure, you can’t improve and that’s why this step is particularly important. Many small businesses tend to skip this step because they are in a hurry to score on social media. For any testing, businesses require a control and in this case, it’s the current state of your brand online. Every time you indulge in any social media marketing activity, remember to measure the change with the control.
6. What is your story (voice)?
How are you going to connect with your audience? You cannot make a direct sales pitch because it will be considered very intrusive. Social media channels are a two-way dialogue, one that is mainly controlled by the customers. Keeping this in mind, address the pain-point of your customers. Develop thought leadership on topics that matter the most to your audience.
7. Is your social media strategy cohesive?
Integrate with your other online presence (website, social networks, blogs, etc). You want to keep your audience engaged with your brand for longer duration. Hence, for any social channels that you have adopted, remember to integrate them with each other to become more discoverable. You can also think of becoming a part of the open graph. It’s one way to increase your reach as a brand.
8. How will you measure success on your social media marketing?
Measurement metrics and objectives are complimentary to each other, for example, if your objective was to increase your website traffic then your metrics to measure the performance would be unique visitors, duration, bounces, channels etc. Make sure the metrics for measuring campaign performance is complimentary to the objectives stated. Having a high website traffic but high bounce rate negates the effect. If your objective was to increase the top line growth from social media, then your metrics would be sales.
9. How will you measure impact of marketing on your brand?
It’s important to remember that social media is a self-fuelling engine. The impact you have on your audience through marketing will ripple across the social domain, good or bad. This will fuel everything that happens before a sale, brand equity, perception and most importantly word of mouth. Make sure your ears are tuned into the online world to monitor the after-effects from any marketing campaign. You will be able to gauge in on the overall effects the tactical approaches have had on your brand.
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