The right direction

Which way do I go?“What should my social media strategy be?” Oy! I get asked that quite often. I know they would really like a 2-minute, secret-to-success answer, but there’s no way I could do that. I also get, “I hear that Joe Blow’s company is doing this and this…so we’re starting to do that too.” I always respond: “Why?” Then I get the proverbial stare with a few blinks.

Every business should have their own creative ideas and goals. Customer service should be your business and your services or products is how to you serve them. With that in mind here are four basic, bottom-line strategies that all companies should keep in mind:

1. C-suite / Upper management must believe…not just be “on board”. If a CEO is saying, “Sure we should use that social media…stuff,” they aren’t getting it. You’re going to spin your wheels running back and forth between implementing strategies and convincing your boss that it’s the right thing to do. Digital media marketing is time exhaustive as it is. Trying to justify what you’re doing to someone who doesn’t believe in it’s effectiveness will kill you.

2. Goals and strategy above tools. I have a friend who is deeply in love with her new iPad. The only problem is she doesn’t understand how to use the iPad for anything other than her apps. After six months, she’s just learned how to lock her screen. Using almost every social media tool out there but not having any idea of your SM goals is just about as silly. Do your research and find the tools that will help you reach your goals efficiently.

3. Build relationships! Please remember that SM marketing is about building customer loyalty. It’s not a big billboard in the sky for you to push your products/services on your audience. Talk to your customers and potential customers online. Build a rapport with peers in your field of expertise. Be a service provider for your audience.

4. Take solid measurements. Ok, so you took the time to build up a strategy and it’s been 6 months. How do you know what’s working and what’s not, if you don’t measure your steps? What are your stats telling you? Maybe you should stop blog posting on Monday and Wednesday and move it to Tuesday and Thursday, because that’s when it’s getting more hits. What kind of tweets are getting retweeted the most? These are the things that will tell you if you’re on target or if you need to change your strategy.

Social media is the constant, ever-changing beast. Make sure you know WHY you shouldn’t feed it after midnight or get it wet! 😉