Why a Strategy is Essential for Social Media Success
Everyone says they know marketing is important, but when you start talking about return on investment (ROI) most people give you a blank look. This is a fundamental failure in understanding. At its most basic, your business exists to make money and everything you do in and for the business has to achieve that goal, including your marketing. For every pound you spend on marketing, what do you expect back in return? for your marketing strategy to be successful it needs to bring in more than just a pound, all that does is break even, so set your self some goals, design a strategy and start monitoring your ROI so you know what works and what does not.
Whatever marketing you do, be it offline or online, it has to follow some basic rules and the first of these is: have a coherent strategy that includes the expected ROI and some key performance indicators (KPIs) that will allow you to measure the ROI. Marketing on Social Media actually makes this simpler since there are so many tools online to help you track your marketing success.
A social media strategy allows you to define some goals that you can then monitor against expected performance. These can be things like deciding on the number of Likes on Facebook, or re-tweets on Twitter and Connections on LinkedIn for a given period. Knowing how to act on these KPIs and what to send to these potential clients is what will determine your ROI.
Goals that you set in your strategy need to be what is termed as SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. It’s no good saying that you would like your LinkedIn ad seen by a large number of people. You need to know how many people, from what demographic, in which location and over what period. Then you need to look at, and measure, the conversion rate from Like to sale.
Your strategy also has to be flexible enough to change and adapt as required. It may turn out that your particular product or service generates a lot of Facebook likes but that these are not converted into cold, hard cash. In which case you need to revisit your marketing plan for Facebook; maybe even dropping it altogether in favour of another social site that does attract the sort of people you want to do business with. Re-evaluate your social media strategy at least monthly in light of the data you have collected in the previous month.
If you find a social media site that is working, having a clear strategy will allow you to quickly focus more resources onto this site and increase the potential client base. Remember, people will not buy your product just because you think it is fabulous. they have to be convinced it is fabulous, that’s marketing, but you need to know where and who they are in the first place, that’s a strategy.