Many content marketers are busy creating social media strategies and scrambling to produce content to keep up with their editorial calendars. But presenters at the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York City (March 19-23) agree that now is the time to step back and evaluate if what you are doing in the world of social media is actually providing you the results you are looking for.
Of course, this topic is particularly appropriate with the launch of Google Analytics’ new Social Media Measuring tools that provides marketers with a way to analyze referring social media and identify “upper funnel” influencers. Along with interpreting traffic reports and referral charts, the success of a good social marketing strategy is strongly influenced by proper planning and execution.
Most presenting panelists stressed the importance of first figuring out what the message of your social media campaign should be. Lee Odden, CEO of Top Rank Online Marketing, notes that the first step in any social media campaign is to study your consumer. Know how your customer discovers content—which devices, which channels and what media type preferences they have (i.e. video vs. images). Discover what type of content grabs them, in what format and on what channel. Nail those aspects down before you start creating content and you’ll be ahead of the game.
When thinking about content for your social platforms, focus on engaging with users, not on getting them to perform a certain task. If you focus on sharing and engagement, the “doing” will naturally follow. You want to move your users along a continuum from awareness to advocacy. Being an advocate of a company or product is more than just a one-time purchase; it’s a person who has made a one-time purchase and then takes their virtual megaphone and proclaims that purchase to everyone he/she knows.
Once you’ve done research into your consumer preferences and behavior, draft a reliable Editorial Calendar that everyone in the organization can follow. Having a schedule of topics and a pre-determined rollout keeps team members on task and guides the process. Of course, you must be willing to adjust and change the calendar based on feedback from your analytics data.
Next, put an engaged, dedicated team member in charge of the social media execution to keep the program alive and fresh. If it doesn’t belong to anyone, chances are your campaign will dissolve before it’s really underway.
Producing dynamic social media content isn’t hard as long as you’ve done your homework and are willing to consistently engage, respond and share with the users that make your company or product successful.
VP Business Marketing