“What if someone sayssomething bad about us?” If they are going to, then they probably already are. The difference is that now you will be there to respond and participate in the conversation.
“No one has time.”Or, “it’s not a priority right now.” Spend a few hours searching Twitter, Facebook, etc for your brand and your competitors. Any missed leads? Unheard complaints? Positive engagement for competitors? A well-planned social media campaign doesn’t have to require huge time commitments.
Get the lay of the land.What are your peers orcompetitors doing?In search of AWESOME:What can you dream of doing?
Why do you want to participate in social media? X “Because everyone else is.”
Better answer: “to buildrelationships with customers.” Whom do you want to connect with? What kind of relationship do you want to have with them? What do you hope to accomplish through this relationship?
Developing your strategyStep 1. Identify your audience segmentsStep 2. Articulate your objectives: Whatrelationship do you want to have with eachaudience?Step 3. Select platforms, tools and technologiesStep 4. Benchmarks & metrics
Segment your audience into affinity groups.Example: for California Academy of Sciences, we identified Science Enthusiasts,Members, Travel Professionals, Donors, 20-Somethings.Identify your 3-5 top audiences based on businesspriorities and how they use social media.
Are they creators, heavily usingYouTube, WordPress andInstagram to share what theycreate?Do they curate their onlineworld, saving shoes to Wanelo ornews to Digg?Are they simply spectators,reading reviews and viewingvideos, but not activelyparticipating? Source: Forrester Research
Step 2.Articulate your objectives for each audience
Objective: Market Research What is being said about you,your peers, your competitors, and your category? This should be part of any social media strategy.
Objective: Establish expertise Sharing content and answering questions on social media networks and blogs can establish you as expert in your category.
Corporate blog engages and establishes expertise.
Objective: BrandingWhat is shared, where, and how can all support building brand awareness.
Metrics & calculating ROI... Still a hot topic!Track everything you can and share what you learn. Plan on doing regular reporting. Track both follower count and engagement. Don’t forget your web site analytics.
Facebook (below) provides interaction metrics.Be sure to include your webanalytics. (Above: HootSuiteintegrates google analytics with tweets.)
When you start out... Listen. Respond. Share.And remember -- it’s not all about you.