Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fly Right with Your Social Media Strategy

For any business, small or large, social media can be a wonderful experience. It provides exciting opportunities for approaching, connecting and engaging with your target customers. It also offers tremendous potential for generating buzz through viral effect.  All this is possible only if the strategy is rock solid, the planning is perfect and execution is flawless.

Let us have a look at some of the aspects to ensure you have success with your social media initiatives:

#1 Define Objectives Clearly
Most of the social media plans fail because the objectives are not clearly defined. It is true that with any kind of marketing, businesses want to see results in terms of increased revenues. But with social media, businesses need to fine tune their expectations because it is different than traditional marketing. It offers great opportunities for you to connect and engage with your audience which otherwise was not possible. So when you start off with your social media efforts, define your social media objectives very clearly. What exactly are you looking for through social media: are you looking for connecting with your customer, are you looking to gather product or services feedback, do you want to offer technical support for your products or do you want to create a engaged community of your product users. You need to clearly define the objectives. Once the objectives are set, it becomes easier to match the results vis-à-vis the expectations.

#2 Pay Special Attention to the Content
Remember that there are different social media platforms with a purpose. You can’t get away by sharing the same kind of content on all the platforms and expect people to appreciate the same. I have seen many companies blindly linking their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. That’s a fail strategy. People do not connect with you on different platforms to see you post same content everywhere. Understand the platform and the intricacies of the same. Then look at the kind of followers you have on each platform and then define the content strategy according to that.  Along with this, each platform also offers different benefits. Exploit those benefits. For example: You can have a visual impact in your post through picture album on Facebook. Or you can quickly share an important update with mass followers on Twitter. Understand the difference in each platform.

#3 Converse and Engage
I have seen that many companies think that social media platforms are like free advertising boards. They go all about promoting their products and services on social media. While occasional self promotion is alright, it’s certainly not advisable all the time. It is called spamming in the world of social media. You have advertising medias for that so stick to those. Utilize social media for its core purpose – conversation and engagement. Social media offers you wonderful opportunities to connect, converse and engage with your audience. Here you have an opportunity to understand their views, share knowledge, provide solutions and also learn in the process. This was otherwise not possible with traditional mediums. So utilize social media to the fullest for these.

#4 Don’t Go After Only Fans and Followers
Provide value and you will get fans and followers - it’s as simple as that. You can’t simply go crazy after fans and followers and forget about the other important aspects like conversation and engagement. Provide value to the audiences in terms of your attention, your knowledge, special tips, offers, value-added services and they will cherish the association. Remember: the key is engagement and not the numbers. You have other matrices to measure the effectiveness of your campaign which go beyond the fans and followers numbers.

#5 Measure the Results
Don’t believe if someone tells you that social media ROI cannot be measured. It’s just that the measurement matrices are different than the traditional media. Here, conversation is more important than conversion. Engagement is more important than numbers. Quality is more important than quantity. But this does not mean that measurement of ROI is not possible. For each platform, you have metrics to measure the effectiveness of the engagement you are having with the audience. For example: ‘Facebook Insights’ gives you various metrics which show how many people are engaged with your business page. On Twitter you can watch “replies”, “Retweets”, Klout score etc.  Do keep a watch on these factors vis-à-vis the goals and objectives you have set. Do the review from time to time so that you have an opportunity to fine tune your strategy.

Once you have the well planned strategy, defined execution plan and a great team to carry it out and Means to track the efforts, you are a winner! Don’t wait any further, start with Social Media NOW!

This article was first published on YourStory.in at http://yourstory.in/2012/01/5-steps-to-fly-right-with-your-social-media-strategy/


  1. Nice article, Radha. If my objective is to promote my technical expertise in order to get business, then what should be my social networking strategy?

  2. @Prahlad: Thanks! Glad to know that you enjoyed reading the article. For promoting your technical expertise, here are some basic social media options for you:
    1) Start writing a blog :)
    2) Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and start participating in discussions there
    3)Be active on relevant forums and communities

  3. Excellent article. The tips given are very apt in today's times for those wanting to effectively use the social media.
    Keep writing such wonderful pieces.

  4. @Vikram: Thank you! :) Glad you enjoyed the read :)