Control Freaks and Social PR Alert: You have officially lost control of your brand message.
But have you also lost control of how customers perceive your brand? The good news is “no” but not without a high level strategy to guide your social efforts.
A new report by The Wildfire by Google Team — The Road to ROI – Building a Strategy for Social Marketing Success outlines five initiatives smart organizations small and large can use to build a strategy that will can rein in some of the madness that is the social web and make you a social star!
Integrating Social Marketing and Social PR into the Overall Marketing Mix
Organizing for Social
Aligning Social Objectives with Business Objectives
Building a Multi-Network Presence
Split Personality Social PR Stats says:
70% report that their social media efforts are meeting business goals
Yet only 43% report that they have developed a strategy dictating how their efforts will meet these goals
Hmmm, are you sensing a disconnect? Seems like for that 27% operating without a strategy, achievement might be difficult to measure, no? Don’t be one of the 27%! Building a smart strategy is not easy but the rewards are enormous! Here are the directions:
Start by integrating social into your entire marketing mix. That’s right, no more silos. Traditional advertising, Public Relations, HR, sales, customer service, IT all need to learn to play together. It takes a village to raise the social child. Wildfire warns that brands should avoid completely outsourcing social but should definitely call on expert social consultants to outline a high level, comprehensive social strategy in collaboration with the leaders in various internal departments.
Next, prepare internally. This means creating a social media policy for employees that not only outlines rules but encourages participation. A structural organization to coordinate and manage all social activity must also be determined in this step. Google recommends a “hub and spoke” model for organization in which the “hub” comprised of a team of social and content experts supports the “spokes” who are department leads within every segment of the brand including c-level management, product development, sales, IT, customer service and PR. The hub lives in the marketing department is responsible for maintaining cross channel consistency in messaging and voice. 63% of advanced companies use this model.
Next, align social and business objectives. Your social strategy must be tied to measurable goals. That’s where that 27% mentioned above is missing the boat. What are your social goals? Brand awareness, lead generation, CRM, driving sales, amplifying the reach of other marketing efforts, e.g. TV, print, PR, all or of a combination of these things?
Whatever they are list them and be specific. Football is a great analogy for goals and objectives, think of your objectives as the yards and downs along the way and goals as your touchdowns. Make sure to set KPI’s so you can keep score!
Then, focus on engagement. This is the holy grail of social. Research shows that customers who engage with a brand over social spend 40% more than customers who do not. This is where your expert creative content team comes in. Stop the sales speak and start creating sharable, likeable, pin-able, compelling content and offers that are valuable, useful and entertaining versus trying to use social as “free” advertising. Do your homework and find out which days and hours are best for engagement for your industry and for the platform you are using. Then, serve up all that great stuff you’ve created when your customers are ready to gobble it up and pass it along!
Finally, build a multi-network presence. Your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Vine, Instagram, forums, your Social PR blog and on and on and on! Are you there for them? If not, get there but do it right! Be mindful that most of your customers will be on an array of networks and will expect your messaging to be distinct and appropriate for the given platform. Cross-promotion is fine but don’t serve up the same content across all of your networks. Repurposed content can frustrate, even insult your customer and shows your brand’s lack of knowledge about what is right for where; it’s worse than not being on a platform at all.
Plug in an plot out roadmap created by the Google Social road warriors you are well on your way to a smart strategy, happy coordinated teams and real ROI. Enjoy the ROI drive and don’t forget the analytics!
Want to learn more Social PR Secrets? Lisa Buyer is dishing out the goods in her upcoming book titled Social PR Secrets and be the first to know.