Social media has had such a strong impact on B2B and B2C marketing that the role of the SM Strategist is one of the most sought-after positions around. A great Social Media Strategist can take a brand and expand it by building and maintaining an audience around a brand’s social media channels.
A great social media strategy includes more than just the likes of Facebook and Twitter and connects with both your customers and competitors through blogs, industry-specific sites and niche forums as well. But what separates the mediocre strategists from the great ones? Here are 3 social media secrets every Social Media Strategist should know.
1. Create a Comprehensive Social Media Strategy
Social Media Strategists’ main concern is developing a brand by pushing it across as many relevant platforms as possible. Oftentimes, inexperienced social media marketers will concentrate on building and maintaining the obvious social media channels (i.e.; Facebook and Twitter), but ignoring a brand’s potential audience all around the rest of the Web, such as news aggregation sites like Digg and career sites like Linkedin. Social media strategies must encompass all potential avenues.
If your brand is looking to increase its B2B exposure, engaging with users on industry blogs and forums are essential to a robust and successful social media strategy. This is where the brand has a chance to gain some professional exposure by contributing something valuable to the conversation. This also connects your brand to its audience by sharing your brand’s authority on a particular subject and builds your brand’s influence.
For B2C exposure, your brand will want to connect with its audience through story and a more personal, human interaction. This means letting your audience into your brand’s world. While your Facebook and Twitter audiences are important, they are only a slice of the proverbial pie. Your social media strategy should absolutely know who the audience is and where to find them, and also needs to address the types of content that will be shared with the respective audiences.
When devising a social media strategy, a strategist needs to think big in terms of scale and scope for a campaign. A successful social media strategy not only needs to be comprehensive but also flexible, as there are niche audiences that will reveal themselves over time and focus will need to be shifted as the audience changes and grows.
2. Use Social Media for Marketing, PR and Customer Service
Another secret that Social Media Strategists must consider is how a brand uses its social media to best suit the brand’s values and goals. For instance, a brand’s audience will fade if it’s accustomed to only posting content that is brand-centric or incessantly hawking product links and such. Audiences are savvier than ever and while social media is used for marketing and promoting brands, they don’t want to be pandered to.
Authenticity is key because the content being shared needs to reflect the interests of the audience.
Social media is now the number-one way for customers to communicate with brands directly. Customer service should be the prime directive of community management. Engaging directly with customers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Google+ builds trust between a brand and its audience. Community managers answer questions, resolve issues, and listen to customers’ feedback. Brands can even collect leads as a result of that trust. The more trust that resides in the community, the easier it is to market a brand’s products or services and maintain strong public relations. Brands have to embrace social media in this way or suffer the consequences. Social media is a two-way street, and the audience is an integral part of the conversation.
3. All About Those Metrics
A successful social media strategy must be measurable. Social media strategists must first assess what a brand’s goals are for their social media campaign. They only way to provide a quantitative view of how well the campaign is performing is with the myriad of analytics that are available. From Google Analytics to Klout scores, there is a myriad of metrics that can be used to monitor and track the effectiveness of the social media strategy. At the end of the day, companies must be able to understand if and how social media contributed to their goals.
So there are 3 secrets to crafting a successful social media strategy: create a comprehensive strategy, use social media to market and promote the brand, and use social media analytics to measure against a brand’s goals. Remember, a great Social Media Strategist is ambitious and calculating in their planning―they have to understand the brand and its audience in order to optimize the campaign by making regular daily posts and in conversation with the audience on multiple platforms.
No campaign is flawless, but a strong social media strategy can minimize risk, plan for contingencies, and provide a tangible, measurable ROI.
What’s your secret to a successful social media strategy?