It still amazes me that businesses create a Social Media profile (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc) and don’t really have a plan on how to use it to add to the bottom line (generate income). Most businesses would never consider starting a business without a Business Plan, yet it seems as far as Social Media is concerned they are of the belief of, “If you build it, they will come.” My wife will spend more hours planning our family spring break, than most businesses spend on their Social Media plan.
The first thing to keep in mind on a Social Media plan, is that success does NOT happen overnight. A Social Media plan is cumulative. What you do the first week and the first month, increase the benefit and the value of what you do the next month and the next year. Studies have shown that Social Media is more of a new communication tool than it is just a “campaign.” Companies that need/want to improve communication/sales with customers or seek to improve overall perceptions of a company or product need to realize this takes time. Six months at the minimum – with the realization that your Social Media interactions should be ongoing, eventually becoming part of everyday business. The successful businesses of the future will allocate resources to sustain a long-term Social Media strategy. And without a strategy, ROI becomes questionable at best.
So, where do you start? Besides hiring a consultant, like me, you begin with a Social Media audit. A Social Media audit allows you to review your current “virtual” footprint and your Social Media situation, against your overall company goals. The Social Media audit includes, but is not limited to, the following areas.
- Current Social Media practices
- Competitor comparison review
- Review website analytics & metrics
- Identify keywords
- Search engine review rankings of keywords
- Assess current performance and resources
- Identify areas for improvement
- Industry benchmarking
The results of the audit drive the next steps. Besides identifying what you want to measure, you need to tie the Social Media to your company goals. And then monitor and adjust.
It is so much more than this. Which is what keeps it fun for me.
A few questions. Do you have a Social Media plan for your business? Do you monitor what the World Wide Web is saying about your company or products? Do you consider E-mail Social Media?
Looking forward to reading your comments.
Yours in Service,
Social Media Marketing Specialist
Connect: Discover Service Through Rotary