At first glance, social media may seem outside of conventional sales & marketing. But at its heart social media marketing is all about building deep and profitable relationships with customers and prospects. Through a series of well thought out activities, you can further build your reputation, grow and strengthen connections, all while driving customer actions.
A Case for Strategic Social Media
Social media is so prevalent that companies feel obliged to ramp up a presence to keep up with competition and meet customer expectations. While it’s true most companies and brands should be active, many fail to answer the most basic question: why are you doing it? To maximize your return, it’s essential to articulate your objectives up front. Without these goals, how will you know when you’ve arrived at success?
Examples of social media marketing goals are building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, increasing leads and sales, providing additional avenues of customer support, engagement and more.
Here are a few questions to help develop your objectives …
- What are you key business priorities?
- What is the current status of your social media effort?
- Given this status, what’s the most reasonable and impactful social media goal?
- How will this advance your overall business goals?
Now that you’ve considered your desired outcomes, you’ll need to work backwards to ensure your goals are met. This will give you a roadmap that leads to more sales, as well as support other key business priorities.
Keep in mind: social media requires a sustained effort to realize the remarkable returns that top players do. Here are a few steps to get you moving toward your social media marketing goals …
Step #1: Grow Your Community
To begin with, focus on growing your community numbers on various social media platforms. Of course you still have to deliver value to your network, but your key concern is whether the needle is moving on fans, followers, etc. Make use of your existing communication channels and lists to drive sign-ups. You can also use a social media channel’s ad network to drive signups.
Step #2: Increase Engagement and Deepen Relationships
Once you have critical mass on community, keep building, but your focus should change to increasing engagement (commenting, sharing, etc.) with your existing community and beyond. Find ways to drive involvement, be it with compelling content, interesting conversations, good timing or valuable invitations to connect.
Step #3: Focus on Customer Development
As with any marketing effort, customer acquisition and retention are the highest priority. There can be multiple objectives surrounding customer activity where the rewards become progressively higher.
Customer commitment mapping:
- First purchase
- Loyalty and retention
- Advocacy and referrals
Using social media for customer engagement includes engaging people in a direct dialogue on your social networks, measuring their response, engagement and activity in regards to your posts and more.
Now that you know your social media marketing goals, what strategic steps will you take to achieve them?