As we enter a hopeful new year, I thought it would be helpful to deliver my top five items in a corporate social media strategy checklist for 2013. And, as we also enter a new year of Google changes to the ever-important search algorithm, I will include, as any smart marketer will do, a review of SEO from a social standpoint. OK, so let’s go…
Checklist Item 1: Internal Team on Board
Before you enter the brave new world of mobile and tablets leading the way of content consumption, quality checks all over Google, and global adoption of lightning-fast broadband with any social media strategy, you will want to make sure all key stakeholders are on board with your goals. As a key performance engine for client/customer engagement, social media activity takes into account all organizational activities that affect those relationships. And so, your sales teams, marketing teams, social teams, creative teams, brand ambassadors, and C-suite all need to be on board with the direction of your social strategy. The smartest way to move on this is to appoint one ringmaster within your organization to lead the way and be accountable to both your social media marketing goals and communicating any movements to the internal teams. If you represent an enterprise-level organization, having directors of important teams connect and agree on the direction and goals is a must.
Checklist Item 2: Collection of All Internal Assets
A good social strategy will require an analysis of all internal marketing and sales assets. In this way, you want to gather up all customer/client-facing online content, including: white papers, published reports, presentations, messaging, online videos, mobile apps, and one-sheets. From here, you will be able to understand what you have been promoting about your brand and if you want that to change or stay the same.
Checklist Item 3: Review Your 2012 Social Activity
The only way to assess and ignite a movement in social for your organization is to see what your current activity (2012) has done to drive customer engagement (and conversion if applicable). You will want to list all relevant pages, including: your blog(s) and any on-site communities, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and any other social networks or forums in which you are active as a company. From here, you should assess how you have been communicating, what you have communicated (content types, length, and messaging per target), how often you have communicated, a level of engagement, and a sentiment of interest (positive/negative/neutral). If you have been using a social management and monitoring system such as HootSuite, Radian6, or other, you should certainly run analytics to assess how your social program has delivered in 2012.
Checklist Item 4: Review Your SEO Program
What business-driving keywords have delivered qualified leads in 2012 for your organization? How have you taken a lead in online visibility through social with your knowledge of your SEO program results? Are you tracking social mentions and follows at the same time as SEO effectiveness in Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics? As social sites like Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ directly impact search results (you can read a previous ClickZ post I did on social and SEO), you need to be aware of your SEO programs and their effectiveness as they relate to social marketing activity and vice-versa.
Checklist Item 5: Define Your Social Goals for 2013
Are you selling a service to executives? Publishing curated content for ad revenue dollars? An e-commerce site with multiple categories of branded products? Whatever the case, your social media marketing goals need to resonate with authentic customer/client engagement.
To define your social media goals is to start with your business goals and a true understanding of your target market. Social media marketing is the ultimate communications tool for reaching and engaging a target audience in the following ways:
- Excellent customer/client service
- Updates on brand, products, and services
- Product/service promotions
- Education of the customer around your value
- Making your brand go viral on the web
- Informing your target of changes in your industry, products, and services
- Acting as a thought-leader by taking the lead in online education
If you are selling a service or solution, your goal may be customer engagement and qualified lead generation. To that end, you need to educate, inform, and solve a problem. If you are selling a product online, your goal may be to use social to acquire first-time customers via giveaways. Too often I hear corporate marketers talk in terms of increase of followers and fans and not what they should be discussing – engagement, conversion, viral factoring, and so on. Once real goals are determined, only then can you make a social plan that benefits your end client.
With the holiday season fast-approaching, taking stock of what you have done in social media marketing in 2012 and what business results those activities have driven will fast-track you on your way to launch a successful social media marketing strategy for 2013. Remember to gather your marketing communications assets, align your key team members to your 2013 goals, and review your SEO effectiveness and social play therein, and you will be well on your way to a social strategy that will work for you in the new year.
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