Do you remember the time when social media wasn’t a part of your marketing strategy and you didn’t have to worry about what you post on Twitter and Facebook, people’s comments and measuring all that data? No, neither do we. It’s true that social media is a relatively new creation, but the time of social media being an experiment is quickly coming to an end. There is less and less space for trial and error and there is certainly no possibility to escape the scope of social media.
However, businesses still make considerable mistakes in their social media strategies, or the lack of ones. One of the biggest mistakes is simply focusing on the bright shiny things. One such example is Pinterest – the image-centric channel where you post relevant and not so relevant images. Sure, you can focus on Pinterest if you have a cooking blog or you sell clothes, but is it the best channel for a pharmaceutical representative, or a clinic? What we are trying to point out is that the focus on the shiny objects is a kind of syndrome. A new tool is being introduced and just about every business out there decides that it’s their obligation to jump on it. Moreover, they feel the urge to do so, afraid that they might miss out. The resolution: Take a step back. Think who is your audience and who do you ultimately want to impress with your social media activity. It’s not the wisest to invest time and resources into a social media channel that simply cannot do much for your brand.
Once you step back and think more broadly about your business strategy, you can focus on what is called social business and pay attention to the whole infrastructure that is required to support this. You got to have the team, the people who will create a buzz around your brands, the content writers and even the ones supervising all that activity. And what all of these people have in common is the policies of your brand. You don’t want a member of your team embarrassing the business just because you haven’t thought of the details. By building this foundation, you can finally think: goals, tactics, measurement.
Now in terms of measurement you need to get this once and for all: it’s more than just the results. Measuring data is what will ultimately provide insight to fuel your future projects. Try to tie your measurement to your objectives. There are many businesses who think in the following way: I have this amount of money this year, so I want that many Twitter followers/views on my video/Facebook fans. There is nothing bad in having a clear goal, but aiming for numbers is not always the best tactic. Success shouldn’t be based on followers or views. Social media is not even about the sales all the time. Thinking only of the immediate sales of social media is too narrow-minded. Think about long-lead sales: getting customers to sign up and receive a newsletter over time, building loyalty and reputation, customer retention, etc. We can already observe quite a few shifts in social media – new trends appearing, older trends being obliterated completely. We believe the changes that are already happening and the big shifts are the way forward. Here are some of them along with a few social media tips for you to consider:
- No more shiny objects, more social business: Asking “why” (Why do we need 10 000 followers, Why do we have to be on Pinterest, etc.), building the infrastructure that will support the brand and implementing the strategy with baby steps.
- Setting goals (better goals!) for social media: Taking a look at the broader business objectives and setting SMART objectives. Don’t ask “how” and “what” when you are setting the goals.
- Smart measurement: Understand what the numbers really mean and focus on those for the audience. Get the insights and use them for your business goals.
- Better engagement: Building relationships and communicating effectively, embracing both the positive and negative.
There is a lot happening in the world of social media right now and the above-mentioned changes might be just a fraction, but if you think about them and compare them to your social media strategy you can easily see what you are lacking and how to improve it.
Let us know which trends you agree and disagree with; how important is measurement for you; what mistakes have you made? For more social media tips and tricks, check out our blog regularly.