Does your social strategy begin and end with page likes?
Like most business owners, you likely have a Facebook Page and you post updates fairly regularly with a goal to collect new page “Likes” every day – and that’s it, your social media strategy in a nutshell.
But if that’s all you think about when it comes to social media strategy, you’re making a big mistake.
But don’t worry. Many startups and small businesses make this mistake.
It starts like this: They choose the most popular social channel, create some content for it, and then sit and count the number of people who follow them. The unfortunate reality is that followers are a dime a dozen on large social networks (do the math to gauge the proportion of digital spend vs. reach).
The truth is that those who follow you on social media platforms might not be the ones actually buying from you. Worse, they might be bots. So it’s high time companies started looking beyond metrics of likes and follows – these are just table stakes – and use social media to support bigger goals such as brand building, revenue and social good.
Where can you start?
1. Stop treating social media as an isolated activity.
The very fabric of the digital age is connectivity. So it makes sense that your presence on social media cannot be separate from what you do offline. Weave a connected story where all elements of your marketing and sales come together. Social is a piece of this story, not a unique entity – so stop treating it as such.
2. Tell stories that matter .
Let’s face it – people like stories. The type of stories people find compelling largely depend on who they are; distinct qualities, values and behaviors that make them unique. So first, find out who you are going to talk to (Hint – your ideal customers).
Figure out what kind of stories they find compelling. What are they passionate about? Lifestyle, saving the planet, animals, eliminating world hunger, their local community, sustainability, etc.? Now tie those passion points in with your brand story. Don’t be boring. No one likes boring. No one remembers boring.
3. Track metrics tied to your objective .
Once you have a room of people who are listening, move on to more important metrics. If you want to increase brand awareness, then track reach, page likes, and post engagement. If you want to drive sales, then measure clicks to website, offer claims, lead generation, and website conversions.
Knowing what you want to achieve is a pre-requisite. Also, stop running behind viral content. If it happens, great! If not, it’s not the end of the world. What matters is this: have you reached the right people with the right message?
4. Reward engagement.
When people engage with your brand on social media they are investing their time in you. Show them you appreciate their time. It could be a simple personalized thank you response, redeemable reward points or a giveaway contest for a trip to Hawaii (with the goal of gathering 50 quality leads).
TOMS does this well. Each year, the brand calls for their followers to spend one day #withoutshoes to raise awareness for children’s health and education. Their mission is that some day, all kids will have shoes. They reward those who show support and help them reach their goal through features on their website and across social media.
Also, Coca-Cola does this brilliantly. Their campaigns carry the same voice across all social media channels. If they do an offline activation – for instance, installing a custom vending machine at a specific location – they create great videos of people using it and spread the experience across social channels. And they reward people for participating – everyone gets a coke!
Ultimately, social media has great power if it’s used wisely and in parallel with everything else that your brand does. So, ask yourself today, “Are you doing it right? ”
This article has been edited and condensed.
Supriya Jain is the Director and Chief Storyteller at Zensciences. Prior to this she was the Global Head of Thought Leadership and Content Marketing at Wipro Ltd. She is also the settlor and trustee for GSMT. With the temperament of a Swiss army knife – Supriya has an itch to do many things. She is passionate about ideas, communication, and giving back to the society. Connect with @jainsupriya on Twitter.