Published: March 23, 2016
Most companies today have jumped headfirst into social media, quickly ensuring their brand has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and for the leaders, even Snapchat. Sounds positive. The problem? Even today with social as a mainstay marketing opportunity, business are taking a tools-based approach when it comes to social media strategy – and in reality, that’s not a strategy at all.
That approach is likened to showing up at a construction site with a few 2 x 4s, a handful of nails, and a hammer expecting to get the job done. Every good foreman knows nothing valuable is accomplished when you’re missing your blueprints.
When it comes to social media, the biggest mistake for companies is not having a concrete plan in place. And when your plan is MIA, the snowball of social media mistakes only gets bigger as it continues to roll.
Without a strategy, your social media efforts are likely to:
- Mirror a PR Approach – Public relations is a critical component to business strategy, but following its approach in social media is all-wrong. Think about it. PR is about disseminating your message to as many people a possible to paint your brand in a positive light. Social is different. Sharing your message on social media is about talking with people not talking at them. Social media is about creating conversations, posing questions, asking for honest feedback; not spraying your promotions and praying it hits the right potential customer. Take a different approach and work to build relationships.
- Reach the Wrong People – When you push your message without a thought out, strategic approach – the likelihood of reaching the right people (your target audience) goes way down. Social media has the potential to afford you access to a highly targeted and niche group of people based on demographics, psychographics, buying behavior, experiences and more. Yet, without outlining personas and strategically building the right fan base, many companies end up with quantity of fans or followers over quality – the ones who will actually add value to your business.
- Tell a Lousy Story – When you reach out to the wrong people and pepper them with information about your business or products (as opposed to information that brings them value), chances are you’ll end up telling a lousy story – if you tell a story at all. The most successful social media campaigns have a well thought out story behind them, with characters, a plot line, beginnings and endings guiding every single post. People don’t have 30 seconds to be interrupted, but they do have 3 minutes to hear a great story. It would be nice if that story were yours.
A social media campaign is like any other business campaign; it needs a well-laid-out plan before execution. Do you have a documented social media strategy in place?