Social Media Strategy: How to Guide

December is always a good time to take a look around and consider what changes you might make in your marketing strategy. This year, I sense some form of a social media strategy is at the top of everyone’s wish list.

So if you are thinking about social media, and you need to do it for your company, you may want to start with a few strategic tenets.

Begin by asking yourself these questions:

1. What target audience are we trying to reach?
2. Which media does this audience like to take part in?
3. What are we trying to accomplish with them:

  • Positioning as a thought leader?
  • Sales?
  • Spread good ideas and information?

Then, determine the best course of action for reaching them.

We are rapidly heading toward an always-on economy, where customers control how, when and where they will be open and willing to accept a marketing message. Your job is to figure out when and where to launch an online service that gets you there. Remember, finding the right medium in a sea of choices is fast becoming more important than the message itself!

6 comments to Social Media Strategy: How to Guide

  • AlanM

    I agree that marketers on the whole need to understand social media. In fact, its easy to see where companies have rushed headlong into the medium without understand it, or their customers.

    It’s the latter point that is rooted in history of marketing gaffe and I think gets overlooked all too often. In the rush to embrace new vehicles (or mediums) for marketing, we need to keep a zealous passion to understand the demographics of our customers.

    The example I often use is the difference between the refrigerant reclamation market (yes, it’s a market!) which loves NASCAR and capital markets traders which are more interested in Formula-1 Racing. It’s not enough to say both are interested in “racing” as the two worlds could not be farther apart.

    As marketers look to leverage social media, there’s value in gaining input from your customers to determine how they interact and through which mediums.

  • Paul Dunay

    Alan

    Great points!

    I think the tendency is for marketers to experiment with things like new media forgetting the strategy initially then never really taking that step back to analyze.

    For me this is always a great time of year to take that step back on new tactics and decide how they fit into the integrated marketing puzzle.

  • francois

    Hi Paul,

    Good points, although I would probably have them in reverse – what do you want to achieve first? Sales, product feedback, thought leadership, etc…I

    t is amazing how many so called social media experts forget this fundamental point. That probably explains why they have trouble measuring success as well.

  • Paul Dunay

    Francois

    Absolutely correct – Sales should always be first and foremost!

    I hadn’t considered putting them in a priority order, great point.

  • Rick

    Paul

    Good points. I have been talking more to my clients about the technology possibilities than about the marketing. You are right – look at goals of the company first and target audience and see if there MIGHT be a match. It is interesting to see the wave of money that flows as soon as there is a new discovery of a possible new way to get the message out.

    Reminds me of the Rotary group trying to decide which dictionary to give out to all the 3rd graders. While a noble cause they looked at me when I suggested that instead of a vote by this organization that they should go into the schools and actually ask a few 3rd graders or at least the 3rd grade teachers. – what a novel idea – you mean actually talk to our audience.

  • Betta

    I am G2B and advise on B2B and we’re seriously evaluating how to take advantage of these channels. I’d be interested in hearing about successful best practices of B2B companies in using these tools. Even sources where I might find best practices.

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