When I had my first real opportunity to use social media for business, I sat down and came up with ideas for witty tweets and interesting articles relating to the company I was working for. Then I began to post… and post… and post again. And believe it or not – I had nothing to show for my so called “creativity.” It quickly dawned on me that we had not even discussed what our goal was in utilizing social media for our business!
A social media strategy is crucial for a marketing campaign utilizing Facebook, twitter, and the blogosphere. I say crucial because otherwise you’ll do what I did: spend hours on coming up with content that was not irrelevant, but was not geared towards a specific accomplishment. Goals, in life or business, are extremely important because the give us something to work towards and accomplish. So what do we try and accomplish through social media? Well the the answer to that is in developing a social media strategy.
After a week or so of my “catchy” tweets and posts, I called my bosses and co-workers together and asked them “what do you want to get out of having our social media presence?” Well the answer came quickly: Sales. They weren’t looking for customer engagement or service – they had that on the site already. They wanted sales, sales, and more sales. If that meant constantly giving out discounts to people, then I was given free reign to distribute as such. They just wanted to pick up the cash flow.
With a clear objective in mind, you start to work differently. I worked on a plan to get people to our site and actually buy something. My goal was to get products moving off our shelves, and I was determined to do so. And I succeeded. Had the goal been to been to interact with our customers, I would have taken up a totally different frame of mind to accomplish my goal. I would’ve had to find our customers, get them talking with content and other means, and I’m sure I would have succeeded at that as well.
I may be a noob to social media, but one thing I am dead set on. Developing a strategy can be the most important part of this whole social experience. If you have a clear cut strategy in your head, you will reach your end goal… depending on how hard you work. As a matter of fact, my strategy with this blog is simply to get used to blogging about a subject, and that is being a total social nooby. And I believe I am following through in my strategy and that I will reach my goal of exiting noob-ville and becoming a social media pro through the help of all of you.