Sep 7, 2015

5 Content Marketing Step Checklist

6 Steps to Create A Social Media Marketing Plan

What is a social media marketing plan?

A social media marketing plan is the summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business using social networks. This plan should comprise an audit of where your accounts are today, goals for where you want them to be in the near future, and all the tools you want to use to get there.
In general, the more specific you can get with your plan, the more effective you’ll be in its implementation. Try and keep it concise and don’t make your social media marketing strategy so lofty and broad that it’s unattainable. This plan will guide your actions, but it will also be a measure by which you determine whether you’re succeeding or failing at social media. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure from the outset.

Step 1: Create social media objectives and goals

The first step to any social media marketing strategy is to establish objectives and goals that you hope to achieve. Having these objectives also allows you to quickly react when social media campaigns are not meeting your expectations. Without these goals, you have no means of gauging your success and no means of proving your return on investment.
These goals should be aligned with your broader marketing strategy, so that your social media efforts all drive towards business objectives. If your social media marketing strategy is shown to drive business goals forward, you’re more likely to get executive buy-in and investment. They should also go beyond vanity metrics like retweets or Likes, in favour of more advanced metrics like leads generated, sentiment or website traffic referred. Strive to approach these goals using the SMART approach, meaning they should all be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
A simple way to start your social media marketing plan is by writing down at least three social media goals. Make sure to ask yourself what the goal will look like when completed, and use that to determine how you will track it.
A Social media marketing plan should have S.M.A.R.T. goalsFor example:
For Instagram we will share photos that communicate our company culture. We will do this by posting 3 photos a week that will achieve 30 likes plus 10 comments each.

Step 2: Conduct a social media audit

Prior to creating your social media marketing plan, you need to assess your current social media use and how it is working for you. This requires figuring out who is currently connecting to you via social media, which social media sites your target market uses and how your social media presence compares to your competitors’.
We’ve created a social media audit template that you can follow for each step of the process:
Social Media Audit Template 1
Social Media Audit Template 2
Once you’ve conducted your audit you should have a clear picture of every social account representing your business, who runs or controls them, and what purpose they serve. This ‘living inventory’ should be maintained regularly, especially as you scale your business.
It should also be evident which accounts need to be updated and which need to be deleted altogether. Reporting fraudulent accounts will help ensure that people searching for you online are only connecting with the branded accounts you manage and your approved messaging.
An important part of your social media marketing plan will be to create mission statements for each social network profile. These one-sentence statements will help you focus your attention on a very specific goal you want to accomplish using Facebook, Twitter or any other social network. They will guide your actions and help steer you back on track when these profiles become less effective. They also force you to realize that not every social network is good for the right thing. Instagram might be great for selling a clothing brand, but for construction supplies Facebook might be a better medium. Take the time you need to determine the purpose of every social profile you have. If you can’t figure out its purpose, you should probably delete that profile.
Mission statement example: We will use Instagram to showcase our company culture to recruit new talent.
Step 3: Create or improve your social accounts 
Once you’ve audited your accounts, it’s time to hone your online presence. Choose what networks best meet your social media goals. If you don’t already have social media profiles on each network you focus on, build them from the ground up with your broader goals and audience in mind. If you do have existing accounts, it’s time to refine them and update them for your best possible results.
Every social network has a different audience and should be treated definitely. See how you can optimize your profiles themselves to meet any of your business goals. Optimizing profiles for SEO can help generate more web traffic to your online properties. Cross-promoting social accounts could help you grow the reach of content. In general, social media profiles should be filled out completely, images and text optimized for the social network in question.
For your social media marketing plan make sure your social media profiles like your Facebook bio is complete

Step 4: Get social media inspiration from industry leaders, competitors, clients

One of the most important reasons for being active on social media is that your consumers already are. That usually means, so are your competitors. That might not be comforting, but it actually means that there’s a wealth of knowledge already available to you which you can integrate into your social media marketing plan. Turn to your competitors for inspiration when it comes to what content types and information get the most social media engagement. Also, use social media listening to see how you could distinguish yourself from competitors and appeal to consumers they might be missing. 
Consumers can also offer social media inspiration, not only through the content that they share but in the way that they phrase their messages. See how your target audience writes Tweets, and strive to mimic that style. Also learn their habits, when they share and why, and use that as a basis for your social media marketing plan. 
A final source of social media inspiration is industry leaders. There are giants who simply do an incredible job of social media marketing, from Red Bull and Taco Bell to KLM Airlines and Tangerine Bank. Companies in every industry imaginable have managed to distinguish themselves through advanced social media strategies. Follow them and learn everything you can. Don’t be afraid to do research and see if they’ve shared any social media advice or insight elsewhere on the web. 
Here are a few suggested sources of inspiration:
  • Content marketing: Unbounce, Virgin
  • Social media customer service: Tangerine, Warby Parker
  • Social media advertising: AirBnB, the American Red Cross
  • Facebook strategy: Coca-Cola, Walmart
  • Google+ strategy: Cadbury, National Geographic
  • Twitter strategy: Charmin, Oreo
  • Instagram strategy: Herschel Supply Co., General Electric

Step 5: Create a content plan and editorial calendar
Great content will be essential to succeeding at social media. Your social media marketing plan should include a content marketing plan, comprised of strategies for content creation and content curation, as well as an editorial calendar.
Your content marketing plan should answer the following questions: 
Content Marketing Plan Questions to help your social media marketing plan
Your editorial calendar lists the dates and times you intend to post blogs, Facebook posts, Twitter messages and other content you may plan to use during your social media campaigns. Create the calendar and then schedule your messaging in advance rather than updating constantly throughout the day. You want to work hard on the language and format of these messages anyways. Be spontaneous with your engagement and customer service rather than your content.

 An example an editorial calendar for a social media marketing plan
An example editorial calendar

Make sure your calendar reflects the mission statement you’ve assigned to each social profile. If the purpose of your LinkedIn account is to generate leads, make sure you are sharing enough lead generation content. Hootsuite’s Senior Director of Social Media Jaime Stein recommends establishing a content matrix that defines what share of your profile is allocated to different types of posts. For example: 
  1. 50% of your content will drive back to the blog
  2. 25% of your content will be curated from other source
  3. 20% of your content will drive enterprise content
  4. 5% of your content will be HR and culture
If you’re unsure of how to allocate your resources, a safe bet is to follow the Social Media Rule of Thirds.
  • ⅓ of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
  • ⅓ of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
  • ⅓ of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brand.

Step 6: Test, evaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan 

To find out what adjustments need to be made to your social media marketing strategy, you should constantly be testing. Build testing capabilities into every action you take on social networks. Track your links using url shorteners and utm codes. Use Hootsuite’s social media analytics to track the success and reach of social campaigns. Track page visits driven by social media with Google analytics. Record and analyze your success and failures, and then adjust your social media marketing plan in response.
Surveys are also a great way you can gauge success. According to Jaime Stein, these work both online and offline. Ask your social media followers, email list and website visitors how you’re doing on social media. This direct approach is often very effective. Then ask your offline customers if social media had a role in their purchasing. This insight might prove invaluable when you look for where to improve. 
The most important thing to understand about your social media plan is that it should be constantly changing. As new networks emerge, you may want to add them to your plan. As you attain goals, you may need to adjust them or find new goals for each network. New challenges might present themselves that you need to address. As you scale your business, you might need to add new roles or grow your social presence for different branches or countries. This is a plan that is meant to change, so be flexible and open to these changes. Rewrite your strategy to reflect your latest insight, and make sure your team is aware of what has been updated. 
Source: Hootsuite

Sep 5, 2015

7 Steps To Create An Effective Facebook Marketing Plan

1. Create Your Lead Magnet
To build trust and affinity with your Facebook fans, create a free irresistible giveaway that solves a problem or offers immense value. To ensure that your giveaway attracts your perfect ideal audience on Facebook, create something that is SO GOOD your audience would pay for it.
2. Set Up Your Lead Capture Page
The next step is to create a webpage that will collect name and emails in exchange for your giveaway.  A well designed lead capture page is critical because it must convert. Instead of paying for a programmer and designer to create this page for you, look into using LeadPages. With this tool you could have a lead capture page up and running in 10 minutes!
3. Create a “Gotta Have It” Facebook Post and Turn It Into an Ad
At this point you want to create a Facebook post that entices your fans to sign up for your irresistible giveaway. This post will become your Facebook ad.  To get maximum exposure and results, create an Unpublished Page Post (also known as a “Dark Post) in the Power Editor ads dashboard. Only run this ad in the News Feed.
When you go into the Power Editor, you will see the option to create an “Unpublished Page Post” and when you click on that link, this box will pop up.  This is where you want to include all of your copy and the image.  Note the image size in the example below:
 4. Only Show Your Ad To Your “Perfect Customer” Target List
To ensure that your ad is only seen by Facebook users who will be genuinely interested in your free giveaway, use Lookalike Audiences on Facebook as your targeting strategy. Not only will this help you target your perfect customer profile, it will also allow you to reach a larger, targeted audience.
5. Only Pay For Leads That Have A True Interest In Your Offer
It’s important that you understand how much you want to pay for your leads.  When you get clear on what you want to eventually sell to your new lead, it’s easier to decide how much you will pay for your ads to convert a fan into a new customer.
6. Always Know In Real-Time If Your Lead Magnet Is Working
Use the Conversion Tracking Tool to ensure that your lead magnet is converting fans into leads.  Track these metrics daily so you can be confident that your strategy is actually working!
7. Create The “5 MUST EMAILS” To Perfectly Position Your Offer
One you have attracted your new lead from your Facebook efforts, it’s time to take things outside of Facebook. Create an email auto responder series to provide even more value to your new lead and when the time is right for you, begin to introduce them to your offer.  Email marketing will move your new lead to become a customer.


May 28, 2015

75 Facebook Terms You Must Know

If you or your admins are new to Facebook, it’s good to get acquainted with these terms as soon as possible.

1. Account Settings: Your settings are used to manage basic account preferences. Here you can edit your name or email, change your notification preferences, turn on extra security features, and more.
2. App: Facebook Apps are created by third parties and add more features and functionality to your Facebook experience.
3. Badge: A Badge is a personalized box you create to share your Facebook profile, photos, or Page on other websites.
4. Chat: Chat is a feature that lets you send instant messages to your friends.
5. Event: Use the Event feature to organize events, gather RSVPs, respond to invites, and keep up with what your friends are doing.
6. Follow: Follow is a way to hear from people you’re interested in, even if you’re not friends. The Follow button is always a way to fine-tune your News Feed to get the types of updates you want to see.
7. Friend: Friends are people you connect and share with on Facebook. You can send as well as receive Friend requests from other Facebook members.
8. Groups: Facebook Groups make it easy to connect with specific sets of people, such as coworkers. They’re dedicated spaces where you can share updates, photos, and documents as well as message other Group members.
9. Like: Clicking Like is a way to give positive feedback and connect with things you care about. When you Like something, the action appears as an update on your Timeline. Liking a post means you were interested in what a friend was talking about (even if you didn’t leave a comment). Liking a Page means you’re connecting to that Page, so you’ll start to see its stories in your News Feed. The Page will also appear on your Profile, and you’ll appear on the Page as a person who Likes that Page.
10. Messages: Messages are similar to private email messages. They appear in your Facebook Inbox and can include text messages, chats, emails, and mobile messages from your Facebook Friends.
11. News Feed: Your News Feed is a constantly updating list of stories in the middle of your homepage. It includes status updates, photos, videos, links, App activities, and Likes from the people, Pages, and Groups you’re associated with.
12. Notes: The Notes feature lets you publish messages in rich-text format, giving you greater flexibility than simple updates allow. In addition to formatting your text, you can add photos and tag other people in your note.
13. Notifications: Notifications are updates about activity on Facebook. For example, you can be notified when an update is made to a Group you belong to or when someone accepts your Friend request. While you can’t turn off notifications entirely, you can adjust what you’re notified about and how.
14. Poke: People use the Poke feature when they want to get someone’s attention or say hello. When you Poke someone, they’ll receive a notification letting them know that they’ve been poked and by whom.
15. Profile: Your Profile is your collection of photos, stories, and experiences that tell your story. It includes your Timeline, profile picture, biography, and personal information. It can be public or private, but is only for non-commercial use.
16. Search: Search is a tool to find people, posts, photos, places, Pages, Groups, apps, and events on Facebook.
17. Social Plugins: Social Plugins are tools that other websites can use to provide people with personalized and social experiences. When you interact with social plugins, you share your experiences off Facebook with your friends on Facebook.
18. Tagging: A tag links a person, Page, or place to something you post, like a status update or photo. For example, you can tag a photo to say who’s in it or post a status update and say who you’re with or where you are.
19. Ticker: The Ticker is positioned on the right side of your homepage and is updated with your friends’ activities in real-time. You can use it to keep up with the latest news as it happens, listen to music with your friends, or hover over a story to join in the conversation.
20. Timeline: Your Timeline is where you can see your posts or posts you’ve been tagged in displayed by date. It’s also part of your Profile.
21. Timeline Review: This is a tool that lets you approve or reject posts that you’ve been tagged in before they go on your Timeline. When people you’re not friends with tag you in a post, they automatically go to Timeline review.
22. Top Story: Top Stories include the stories published since you last checked News Feed that Facebook’s algorithm thinks you’ll find interesting. These items might be different depending on how long it’s been since you last visited your News Feed.
23. Trending: Trending shows you a list of topics and hashtags that have recently spiked in popularity on Facebook. This is a personalized list based on your location, Pages you’ve liked, and what’s trending across Facebook.

Pages Definitions

Facebook Page terms
Although your Facebook Page is just one of many aspects of the social network, it has a lot of its own terminology and features. This section focuses on the most important terms that you and your team need to know.
24. About Section: This section contains basic information that’ll help visitors quickly learn about your Facebook Page. Different types of basic information will appear in your Page’s About section depending on your Page’s category.
25. Activity Log: The Activity Log helps you manage your Page’s Timeline. It shows you a complete list of posts and comments by your Page, including posts you’ve hidden. Only people who help manage your Page can see the Activity Log.
26. Boost Post: Boosted posts appear higher in News Feed so there’s a better chance that your audience will see them. You can boost any post you create on your Page, including status updates, photos, videos, and offers. The cost to boost a post depends on how many people you want to reach.
27. Check-ins: This action announces a person’s location to their Facebook friends. If your Page includes an address, it will appear in a list of possible locations to check into when people are nearby. Once someone has checked in, a story (definition below) will be created in their friends’ News Feeds.
28. Cover Photo: This is the large picture at the top of your Page. All cover photos are public, which means that anyone visiting your Page will be able to see it. Best practices include using a unique image that represents your brand.
29. Liked by Page: This section features all of the other Pages that you, as the Page, Like.
30. Milestone: Milestones are a special type of Page post that lets you highlight key moments on your Page’s Timeline. You can use milestones to share important events that tell the story of your Page is about.
31. Offer: Certain businesses, brands, and organizations can share discounts with their customers by posting an offer on their Facebook Page. When someone claims an offer, they’ll receive an email that they can show at the Page’s physical location to get the discount.
32. Page: Facebook Pages help businesses, organizations, and brands share their stories and connect with people. Like profiles, you can customize Pages by posting stories, hosting events, adding apps, and more. People who like your Page can get updates in their News Feeds.
33. Page Admin: When you create a Page, you automatically become the Page’s admin, which means only you can change how the Page looks and post as the Page. You can then assign roles to other people to help you manage your Page.
34. Page Roles: There are five different roles for people who help manage Facebook Pages. These roles include admin, editor, moderator, advertiser, and analyst. Any person assigned to these roles will log into their own personal accounts and work on the Page from there.
35. Pin to Top: Any post that you pin will move to the top of your Page’s Timeline and a “pinned” icon will appear in the top-right corner of the post. Your pinned post will stay at the top of your Page’s Timeline for seven days. After that, it’ll return to the date it was posted on your Page’s Timeline. Only posts created by your Page can be pinned; posts that other people add to your Page aren’t supported by the feature.
36. Post Attribution: Your posts, Likes, and comments on your Page’s timeline will be attributed to the Page itself — even if you’re logged into Facebook as yourself and not the Page. Whether you’re creating a post or scrolling through News Feed, you can choose to act as a Page or as yourself from a convenient drop-down box.
Under Page Settings > Post Attribution, you can change the default to post as the individual rather than the Page. With this enabled, when anyone who manages your Page creates a post or comments, it’ll be attributed to that individual rather than the Page.
37. Posts to Page: Posts to Page are any posts made to your Page by someone other than an admin. This way, your Timeline will showcase messages and content from your brand only. Any questions or feedback from customers will be found in the Posts to Page section on the left-hand side of your Page.
38. Suggested Edits: People viewing Pages with locations that they can check into may see the option to suggest edits. This lets people suggest information that might be missing, such as a category, phone number, or address. If multiple people make the same suggestion, this information can be added to your Page to help other people find it. Page admins can confirm or remove information that’s been suggested.
39. Tabs: These are sections that come with your Page when you create it. They keep your Page organized and help people see specific content types, like photos and events.
40. Verified Page: Some Pages and profiles are verified by Facebook to let people know that they’re authentic. These can include celebrities and public figures, global brands and businesses, and media. Once verified, you’ll see a blue badge next to your Page’s name.

Insights Definitions

Facebook Insights Audience Terms
While Facebook Insights is similar to traditional web analytics data offerings, some of the terminology is unique to the platform. To make sure you’re not confused by any of the information you find in your Insights data, the following definitions should help make things more clear.

Analyzing Your Audience

From demographic characteristics to where they were before they came to your Page, Facebook Insights offers you a wide variety of metrics to help you analyze your Page’s audience. The following terms will help you understand what the data provided through Insights means so you can use it more effectively.
41. Cities/Countries: This is the number of people who saw any content about your Page grouped by country or city, based on IP address.
42. Daily Active Users: This metric is the number of people who have viewed or interacted with your Facebook Page on a specific day. It’s categorized by the type of action they perform.
43. Engaged Users: This is the number of engaged individuals who have clicked anywhere on one of your Facebook Page posts. For example, someone could have Liked one of your posts, commented on it, or shared it.
44. External Referrers: External referrers are the number of views your Facebook Page received from website URLs that aren’t part of
45. Fans: In Page Insights, and other places on Facebook, “fans” is another way to refer to the people who Like your Page.
46. Friends of Fans: This shares the number of unique individuals who are friends with people who Like your Facebook Page. These people represent the total potential reach of content you publish to your Page.
47. Gender and Age: These demographic metrics detail the percentage of people who saw any content about your Page for each age and gender bracket, based on the information people enter in their personal profiles.
48. Language: This is the number of people who saw any content about your Page grouped by language, based on default language settings.
49. Like Sources: This is the number of times your Facebook Page was Liked, categorized by where the Like occurred during a specific date range. This lets you see whether the Likes come from your Page itself, from your website, or from other sources.
50. Monthly Active Users: This is the number of people who have viewed your Facebook Page or interacted with it during the previous 30 days. By tracking this metric, you can determine the degree to which your Facebook influence fluctuates monthly or seasonally.
51. Net Likes: This is the difference between the number of people who have Liked your Page and the number who unliked it over a specific period.
52. New Likes: This total is the number of unique individuals who Liked your Facebook Page during a specific date range that you set yourself.
53. Organic Reach: Organic reach is the number of unique individuals who saw a specific post from your Page on their News Feeds, tickers, or directly on their Pages.
54. Other Clicks: This is a measurement of clicks not on the content of your Facebook Page post, but rather of clicks on the Page title or to “see more.”
55. Paid Reach: This is the number of unique individuals who saw a specific post from your Page through a paid source like a Facebook Ad or Promoted Post.
56. Post Reach: This is the number of people who have seen your post. You post counts as reaching someone when it’s shown in their News Feed. Figures displayed in Insights are for the first 28 days after a post was created and include people viewing your post on desktop and mobile.
57. Reach: Reach is the number of people who received impressions (definition below) of a Page post. Reach might be less than impressions since one person can make multiple impressions.
58. Story: This term is used to reference the ways people can interact with your Page, including:
  • Liking your Facebook Page
  • Liking, commenting on, or sharing a post from your Page
  • Answering a question you asked on your Page
  • Responding to an event you posted on your Page
  • Mentioning your Page within their own posts
  • Tagging your Page in an uploaded picture
  • Checking in to or recommending your Page
59. Total Likes: This is the number of unique individuals who have clicked the button to Like your Facebook Page.
60. Total Reach: Total reach is the number of unique individuals who have actually seen any content related to your Facebook Page. This includes content published on your Page as well as Facebook Ads and Promoted Posts that lead people to your Page.
The sum of Post Reach won’t equal Total Reach because Pages can reach people through content other than posts. For instance, if someone visits a Page after searching for it, they’ll be counted in Total Reach but not Post Reach. Also, if someone sees more than one Page post, they’ll be counted in Post Reach for each post they see, but they’ll only be counted once in Total Reach.
61. Unlikes: This is the number of unique individuals who have unliked your Facebook Page during a specific date range.
62. When Your Fans Are Online: This shows you when the people who Like your Page are on Facebook content.
63. Where Your Page Likes Happened: This is the number of times your Facebook Page was Liked, broken down by where it happened. People can Like your Page using the Like button on your Page or from Page suggestions, ads, and stories about others who have Liked your Page.
64. Viral Reach: Viral reach is the number of unique individuals who saw a specific post from your Page through a story published by one of their Facebook friends.

Measuring Content and Engagement

It’s also helpful to learn which content you publish on your Page is most popular and creates the most engagement from your audience. The following Facebook terms explain some of the most popular Insights metrics that you can use to measure content performance and engagement levels.
65. Audience Retention: This metric details views of your video at each moment as a percentage of all views, including videos shorter than three seconds.
66. Daily Page Activity: This breaks down the different ways people engaged with your Facebook Page on a specific day other than by commenting on or Liking your posts. You’ll be able to see when fans post to your Page, upload photos or videos to your Page (if enabled), write reviews, or mention your Page in updates of their own or to friends.
67. Daily Story Feedback: This breaks down how people responded to your stories by engaging with them (through Likes or comments) or unsubscribing from them (which means your Page stories won’t appear in their News Feeds in the future), on a specific day.
68. Impressions: Impressions are the number of times a post from your Page is displayed, whether the post is clicked or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, someone might see a Page update in News Feed once, and then a second time if their friend shares it.
69. Media Consumption: This is the number of times a piece of media content that you published on your Page – including a video, photo, or audio clip – is clicked and viewed on a specific day.
70. Page Content or Post Feedback: This is the number of Likes and comments on stories published in your Page’s News Feed during the time period you select.
71. Page Views: Page views are the total number of times your Facebook Page was viewed during the time period you select.
72. Pages to Watch: This helps you compare the performance of your Page and posts with similar Pages on Facebook.
73. Post Views: Post views are the number of times a story published on your Facebook Page News Feed was viewed during the time period you select.
74. Tab Views: This is the total number of times each tab in your Facebook Page was viewed when people were logged in to Facebook during the time period you select.
75. Video Views: This is the total number of times a video posted by your Page was viewed for three seconds or more.
Source: Sproutsocial 

May 26, 2015

11 Types of Facebook Ads

Ad Types for Each Objective
Before we create our first campaign, it’s crucial to better understand the different Facebook ad types.
Throughout the years, Facebook has carefully adjusted its advertising offering to better suit the needs of its users. Whatever your campaign’s objective is, there’s a type of ad for it!

Traffic and Leads for Your Website
One of the most common purposes of Facebook Advertising is driving traffic to your website. This can be either to increase your site’s overall reach or to send users to a dedicated landing page and have them buy your product, sign up for a newsletter, or participate in some other kind of lead generation. Here’s a breakdown of which Facebook ad types best suit your specific needs.

Likes & Engagement for Your Page
All Facebook ad types are great for Facebook Marketing. You can use them to increase the number of Likes on your page and to increase the reach of the content you post there. 

Due to recent updates, the usual post on your page will only organically reach an average of 2-6% of your fan base. Promoting your posts is a great way to be sure that all your fans see your message.

Installs for Mobile or Desktop Apps
Since the launch of its mobile application, Facebook has become one of the biggest players in the mobile advertising space. Mobile App Install ads present a unique opportunity to bring in new mobile app users on both Android and iOS.

Recently, Facebook also introduced a new Ad Type to drive usage to your Facebook App inside Facebook. If you’re trying to promote your mobile app, these ad units are designed for that specific purpose.

Visitors for Your Store or Event
Let’s close our roundup of Facebook ad types with two units well suited to drive visitors to your physical event or store. It’s always more complex to measure results for offline promotions, but if used correctly and targeted well, these ads can perform really well.


May 22, 2015

[INFOGRAPHIC] 7 Success Factors of Social Business Strategy

Here are the 7 key factors that impact the success of your social business strategy.

1) Define business goals

Figure out your business objectives. It is imperative that your strategy be built around your business goals. Starting off on the right foot means defining goals up front and ensuring that stakeholders at different levels and across departments are aligned towards those goals.

The second step is to define key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that go beyond engagement data sets. For example, take likes, comments, re-tweets, reach, views and the alike, and map these to tangible business outcomes such as revenue generation, brand reputation and cost savings.

Bonus points for teams that can start correlating sentiment and share of voice in social media against business impact on revenue, support and retention.

2) Establish a long-term vision

There is tremendous advantage in knowing where we are going. It's not just enough to have goals in place; you also need to have a long term vision that communicates to everyone within the organization on why this journey is taking place and the value it brings.

It is imperative to define this vision for future employees, customers, and partner relationships and social experiences that will come about as a result of this holistic strategy. It provides a direction and a purpose to every stakeholder. In order to establish a vision, social executives must understand their role in a social business.

3) Ensure executive alignment and support

Executive support is imperative to the establishment and on-going execution of a social business strategy. Social often exists in its own marketing silo. But at some point, business collaboration must extend beyond marketing or social customer care and pervasively reach throughout the entire ecosystem. When every voice is heard in the seams of the organizational fabric, you have achieved a holistic adoption of social. Executive sponsorship is necessary to do this, and to also align collaboration with tangible business objectives.

Additionally, speaking the language that matters to executives is the only way to ensuring program support, therefore allowing sustainable budget and resources to scale social within the organization. I recently wrote about the importance of social executive support.

4) Define the strategy roadmap and associated initiatives

Once you have your vision and you are in alignment on your business goals, you need a detailed plan that outlines each step required to build your social business. Ideally, it should outline the next 3 years with focus on initiatives that one can execute in a proficient manner immediately, along with prioritization based on business value.

5) Establish governance and guidelines

Develop one coherent social governance model that outlines and defines stakeholders that are responsible for the strategy, management and development of an infrastructure to support your social business strategy.

Ideally, a corporate hub is established by the social media strategist with representation from each business unit to initiate enterprise priorities, guidelines and processes along with specific roles and responsibilities. One should also invest in formation of a Social Media Center of Excellence (CoE) which ensures a systematic strategy and allows sustainable scalability across the organization.

6) Secure staff, resources and funding

The most important aspect of a successful social business strategy is talent. It is important to get the right people with the right mindset onto the core team to make this work. Determine where resources are best applied in the present and the future. Ideally, your corporate strategist and their teams should have proficient background in dealing with emergent technologies and approaches.

Think deep about your strategic relationships across your agency, vendor and partner networks. It is recommended and perfectly fine to rely on capable external partners in the initial phases when marketing efforts are being amplified and internal skills are limited.

As a CMO, I am more interested in my talent's ability to adapt and forecast the future working models than their ability to sell me their traditional past successes. Invest in the ability to train your staff on vision, purpose and business value creation along with an appropriate metrics/reporting structure to ensure a uniform approach across the business.

7) Invest in technology platforms that evolve

Avoid the shiny object syndrome that is often seen in marketing departments all across the industry. Avoid new technologies and investment in the latest tactics prior to having a coherent and a holistic social business strategy, roadmap and alignment in place. Often times, technology choices of yesteryear don't scale well into the future state of a social business. Smart executives and strategists always pick technology last.

One way of tackling this issue is to align with technology vendors who share their product roadmaps with you so that one can easily evaluate if they will meet your organization's future state.

Enterprise social is often misunderstood by the masses as an easy, simple, in the moment kind of an activity. 

Source: Huffingtonpost