We talk a lot about Enterprise brands. These are companies with big names, and ones that often have large groups of people working with social analytics to optimize their branding strategy.
There’s good reason for all the chatter. These guys are doing awesome things on social, and they deserve to be recognized for it. However, I wanted to do a special shout out to the marketers I speak with every day – the ones who are often tasked with running the social media efforts for their entire company in a team of two or three, or quite often, by themselves.
These marketers don’t have billions in revenue or a specific budget allocated for social tools. They’re working to increase engagement and grow their social presence for a specific audience, or trying to make a name for themselves in a sea of competition where they don’t have a solid stronghold.
Social Planning Fundamentals
I speak to dozens of marketers every week from a large variety of industries and the same themes always emerge. So, I’ve compiled them here in the hopes that they’ll be informative. At the end of the day, whether you’re doing social for an Interbrand 100 company or not, social analytics are still important, and when you boil it down, social media is still critical to your business. You just have to identify how to make the most of it.
1. Set Clear Goals
This is one of the first questions I like to ask prospective clients. What are your major goals on social? It might sound like an easy question, but once you dig a little deeper, it can actually get pretty complicated.
Goals exist on many different levels: are we talking long or short term, high-level or granular? How are they connected to the objectives of the executives (or decision-makers)? That’s going to be something that trickles down to everyone, no matter what your position is. Often, those business objectives revolve around GOP (Gross Operating Profit), ROI (Return on Investment) or the bottom line, because that’s the way businesses run.
But what is your social goal? Is it to increase conversions from social channels to the website? Is it to identify your influencers and make sure you’re utilizing those relationships? Is it to identify trends and patterns that are going to enable you to do a better job at future campaigns?
All of these are important, and often you can’t find the answer to one without the others being somehow intertwined. Either way, you want to tailor the discovery to what you need from your programs. To learn more about setting social goals, download our free white paper, Social Planning: The Three Fundamentals of Setting a Successful Strategy.
2. Understand Growth vs. Engagement
Audience growth on your channels is good, but what do you do with that new audience once it’s there?
It used to be all about increasing the numbers of Likes and fans on your Page. Now, because marketers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of analytics to measure their performance and audience interaction, it’s become more about the quality of the people who are following you.
Are they people you actually want to interact with? Are they helping to promote the message of your brand? Are they talking about you to other people and interacting with your content on a regular basis? If it applies, are they being drawn to your website or storefront and becoming customers?
If your company is at all concerned with customer service, it’s important to focus on identifying the people who are using your product and what they’re thinking and doing about it on social.
3. Analyze the Competition
No matter who you are, what industry you’re in, or the size of your business, you’re going to have competition. Not all competition is equal, though. It’s important to distinguish between your direct competition and that which is aspirational.
The Complete Social Media Competitive Guide
All too often I see brands trying to compare themselves to companies fifty times the size of them, with five different social teams and a social media audience size that is completely unrealistic.
It’s important to focus on the competitors who look like you and are similar to you in terms of scale, business goals, and of a similar social presence. Then you’re really going to be able to size up whether or not the content you’re putting out and the way you’re engaging is working.
4. Prioritize Your Time
You’re strapped for time. You’re trying to craft engaging content, push it out, and then track and analyze the data you’re seeing result from it. You’re looking to increase brand awareness. You’re running campaigns. You’ve got reports to run to show higher ups why you’ve been running these campaigns and staring at Facebook and Twitter all day. How are you supposed to do it all yourself, and at the same time, figure out where your energy and resources should be prioritized?
When you don’t have a big team to distribute tasks to, it’s important to prioritize based on what drives the most value. Pick the most important tasks, and put everything else on the back burner.
5. Find Value In Your Data
A well thought-out social strategy can be incredibly valuable to any business, but depending on the company, social might not be the highest priority.
Sometimes it’s hard to prove the value of social media and the vast amount of data it produces to the rest of the company. The age-old advertising standards of print and radio/TV have been ingrained into the landscape for so long that to some who have been doing it forever, it’s considered safer to stick with the status quo.
In order for all the pieces to come together, first you have to get others to recognize the inherent value that social analytics has in the business. Usually, that connects back to ROI. The end goal of any business is to generate revenue, and that’s an irrefutable fact. Social media can play an integral part in accomplishing that, if you take advantage of the story that your data can tell.