As social media matures, brands are looking to make the most of these channels. We’re seeing companies strive to measure brand influence and integrate social media with their marketing activities. As they do so, they’re finding a dearth of best practices in social media.
- According to a Harvard Business Review study, only 12 percent of companies surveyed said they were effective users of social media, and just 7 percent said they were able to integrate social media into their marketing activities.
- A recent comScore report found that many businesses create Facebook pages, but have no long-term content strategy and fail to realize any results.
- Capgemini found that “there is still uncertainty amongst executives in how best to leverage the increasing influence of social media to benefit their company.”
Here are three straightforward steps you can take to make the most of your social media investment:
- Set the stage with a content strategist. As with any marketing initiative, it’s critical to have a high-level plan that guides content development. The content strategist can help determine the most effective media for communicating different types of content, how your audience is segmented on various social media channels, and how best to engage each of these unique audiences.
- Align social media with your overall marketing plan. Once you have a content strategy, bring together your marketing manager, social media content strategist, and web analytics team to incorporate social media into your comprehensive marketing strategy. The first step might involve building a social media content calendar, just as you have for other marketing campaigns. Although there will always be last-minute additions or changes to the social media content calendar in response to real-time market changes or business news, starting with a calendar will help ensure that you’re consistently producing content that’s appropriate for each audience.
- Set a baseline for measuring results.There are countless tools available for tracking social media success, with new ones arriving everyday. For example, Nielsen and comScore are in the process of creating analytics tools that help brands measure Facebook exposure. Regardless of which tools you use, it’s best to start with a baseline measurement of your brand influence, and then use that to move the bar forward. You could be measuring the number of retweets your content gets, how often people are “liking” your content, how many people are returning to your blog, etc. As new analytics tools emerge, you’ll likely adjust what metrics are most important to you, but at least this will provide a place to start.
Looking to take your social media to the next level? Connect with an agent today.