How to Succeed in Social Media

Stuck In The Mud social mediaIn a recent client meeting, one of their summer interns was asked to join the meeting.
“Sierra has some great, fresh ideas about our marketing. She thinks we need to be on Facebook and Twitter. And, I think we need to be on social media.”

Social Media isn’t a Strategy
Now, this is a company I was trying to bring into the world of blogging. Not only were they in a highly competitive market where customer loyalty was low across the board, their website content was pretty static, un-engaging and un-supportive of a dynamic SEO strategy. A blog seemed the perfect answer.
“Our customers aren’t interested enough in our services to read about them all the time. We tried a Facebook page and it didn’t work out.”
I saw their old Facebook page. There was no engagement. In fact, there was no attempt at engagement. It was a page of that infamous social media guilty pleasure of self-promotion. Nonetheless, I saw an opportunity to leverage Sierra’s nudge to open the social media door. So, I asked Sierra what her goals would be for social media. It was tough for her to mask her disdain when she answered. “Goals? What do you mean? Don’t you realize how many people are on Facebook?”

We Just Wanna Tweet. We Don’t Need a Plan.
As it turned out, no one really had a plan for social media. They just wanted to throw a few tweets and posts at the wall to see what might stick. Whoa!!! They really didn’t care if anything stuck, they just wanted to toss a few things out there. Social marketing without a plan is pretty close to crossing the Grand Canyon on a tightrope…without a net. If you’re an undisputed pro (like Nik Wallenda), you may be OK. If not, you’re screwed.

Social media is tough. It’s a lot tougher, much more unproductive and a time sink without a plan. A recent post by Heidi Cohen in Social Media Examiner outlines “How to Setup a Social Media Strategy”.

Set goals

  • Know your audience
  • Define core topics
  • Choose your media platforms
  • Encourage engagement everywhere
  • Create processes
  • Measure results

I learned 2 lessons.

  1. Don’t cross the Grand Canyon without a net.
  2. Don’t attempt social media without a plan.

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