It seems like just yesterday I created my first social media account on Myspace. Since then, social media has surged and become an important part of our daily lives.
Today social media not only offers a place where we can interact with friends and relatives, but also a platform where we can connect with our favorite brands.
The influence social media marketing has on consumerism has become so important that brands have been left with no choice other than to embrace it. 93% of marketers use social media for business, however, not all have been equally successful in running effective social media campaigns.
Developing and executing an effective social media marketing strategy takes time, research and analysis. It's not just about creating a profile page and posting updates. Post and they will come? Not exactly.
So the question for those of you thinking about social media marketing is, do you have a well thought out strategy?
If the answer is no or I'm not sure, here is a social media checklist to ensure that your strategy is headed in the right direction.
- Set your business' social media goals - you need to make sure to set goals for your social media efforts so you can measure whether or not those efforts are successful. Do you want to increase brand awareness, sales, credibility, etc?
- Research your competitors - what are your competitors doing on social media? What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong? It is important to gather this information so you're able to learn and even capitalize on missed opportunities and successful campaigns by your competitors.
- Determine which sites are most beneficial for you to post on - there are tons of social media sites and contrary to what some may think you do not need to be on all of them. Do research and decide which social media networks are best for your business. This is especially important if you have limited resources. It's better to focus your efforts on executing a good content strategy on a few networks than stretch your resources too thin.
- Put together a content strategy - once you've set up your social media profiles what kind of information will you be posting, how will you get your target audience to pay attention? Will you be posting blogs about your products, running ads, promoting special discounts or deals?
- Assign a community manager - once you're ready to put out content you need to have someone assigned to monitor your community and implement your strategy.
- Identify the right metrics to use to measure your progress towards social media goals - there are many great tools to measure your social media efforts like Google Analytics, HootSuite, SimplyMeasured and SproutSocial. Figure out which tools are best for your buisness.
In the end, social media has proven to offer an amazing return on investment when done correctly, so if you're serious about social media marketing know that it is not something that just happens. It takes a lot of time and energy, but definitely worth it.