Do you have a Social Media Strategy? How did you develop it? Is it aligned with your overall business objectives?
A little while back I was listening to the Social Pros Podcast. If you’re not familiar with it and your job description includes Social Media here are three reasons you need to check it out:
- Jay Baer is one of the smartest, most thought provoking marketing guys out there right now.
- Jay, Jeffand Zena interview top notch Social Media managers from a variety of brands and industries.
- All the conversations that happen on Social Pros are between Social Pros. It’s all real world, first person boots on the ground stuff.
Anyway, I was listening to an episode titled “How to Use Social Strategies to Drive Business Goals.” Brian Solis, a senior analyst at Altimeter Group was the guest. Honestly, when I heard the teaser for the show it didn’t exactly pique my interest but I’m committed to listening to every Social Pros Podcast I can. The conversation that unfolded may turn out to be one of the most influential on my thinking about the topics of Social Media, marketing and business in general.
You can listen to the Social Pros Podcast called “How to Use Social Strategies to Drive Business Goals featuring the Brian Solis interview by clicking on this link but I’d like to share a couple nuggets that really made me think.
“Most businesses … do not align Social Media strategies with business objectives.” from “The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation” March 6, 2013 by The Altimeter Group
According to an infographic produced by eCornell 92% of business executives say that their marketing teams need a better understanding of their target market.
These are pretty discouraging stats. It’s Marketing 101 but these are the types of things that many, many businesses lose sight of. How do you develop a Social Media strategy?
Think about it for a minute. In order to be successful you have to make connections and make contributions; you have to join the conversation.
If you don’t align your strategy with your overarching business objectives what are you going to talk about?
If you don’t know who your audience is where are you going to find them?
You can waste a lot of time and effort on Facebook or your blog or whatever if you don’t consider those two things. If you don’t align you Social Media strategy with your objectives and identify and locate your target market, you’re flail around blindly and eventually become overwhelmed and you’ll ask yourself:
“Is Social Media worth it?” Do you remember Seth Godin’s answer to that question?
Think of it another way. Are you devoting your time spent on Social Media focusing on getting Likes, Comments and Shares or are you concentrating on a designated goal and outcome?
There are lots of ways to get likes and shares. Try posting a popular internet meme or video. It’s not hard to garner lots of comments. Try posting a controversial political or religious opinion. Maybe you’ll try both these stunts and get dozens of likes or even gain hundreds of followers. But what are they worth? If your business depends on converting prospects to clients but it’s not about funny cats, Democrats or Catholicism, they’re not worth anything.
During the interview on Social Pros, Brian Solis said that during Amazon.com founder Tony Hsieh’s constant study of business practices he compared “businesses that focus on the bottom line versus businesses that had a higher purpose or a more aspirational model” and found that “those with a higher purpose always out performed those that focused on the bottom line.” That realization became his driving philosophy.
What are you focusing on? Do you have a Social Media strategy? Is it aligned with your business objectives? Do you need to take a step back and define or re-define your business objectives before you jump into the Social waters?