It seems that these days, social media success is determined by the number of fans you have on Facebook, the number of people who follow you on Twitter, and the weekly growth of your new Google + brand page. And there’s some legitimacy to this – those numbers are the first things that people see when they visit your brand’s space in this ever evolving social media world, and it’s not going to go away. So fan and follower acquisition will remain a high priority in all social media campaigns as businesses compete against competitors in their space to have the most prominent social media presence. But, as I discussed a few weeks ago, social media is personal – each individual business has different goals, customers and limitations that require a thoughtful and personalized social media plan.
Because there are so many elements that contribute to social media success, it’s nearly impossible to write a blog post that could cover it all. Combine that with many different avenues to and examples of social media success and this post would never end. So in the interest of time, we will talk about three specific steps that we go through with our clients to help them establish their social media goals – the first step to building a successful social media strategy.
For most businesses who are just beginning their foray into the social media world, it’s important to understand the space that you are entering. Without an existing social media presence, your business has the unique opportunity to build a fan page or other social media presence that appeals to not only your existing customer base, but your potential customer base, as well. So we start by looking at a couple of different factors before we develop your businesess’s custom social media plan. And we always start with research. Analyze your market. What’s working in your space? What are your competitors doing that seems to be working? What are your competitors doing that doesn’t seem to be working?
Once you have a handle on your space, it’s important to analyze your existing customer base and your target customer base. Just because something’s working for a business who you consider to offer similar services and products, doesn’t mean that your audience will respond similarly. Just as each business has unique offerings which differentiate it in its space, a businesses’ loyal customers will vary as well. When we get to this point in the social media plan, we talk about customer demographics, the general tech knowledge and engagement of your potential audience, and the success of your existing marketing efforts to tailor your social media plan to your audience.
Finally, when working to establish your social media goals, look at possible limitations and anticipate potential road blocks with social media. Many companies are limited in what they can publish due to industry regulations and internal social media policies, among other regulations. These are not to be considered road blocks to your ability to succeed in social media, but they will affect the scope of your social media goals. With these limitations clearly addressed, you can build a Facebook fan page presence that adheres to internal and industry guidelines while still providing your customers and potential customers with a compelling reason to engage with your audience.
By considering your competitive space, your unique customer base, and your potential limitations before you embark on a social media strategy, you will identify goals for your social media presence to help you build a successful social media strategy.
Brad Anderson is the Executive Director and Founder of Fruition. Brad’s focus is supporting Fruition’s team to enable sustainable growth and excellent client satisfaction (EBITDA growth). With a strong statistical background, Brad built Fruition’s in-house software that is used to manage client success.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President & Founder, Family Travel Association