The First Three Questions for a Social Media Strategy

We Tweet, We Blog, We LinkIn – but does 1+1=3?

Like many corporate marketers, particularly in B2B, I’m not lucky enough to have dedicated resources to manage our social media and digital marketing activities. Fortunately, I do have a dedicated band of marketers who each contribute to our social media outlets as part of their regular tasks.

We Blog. We Tweet. We update our LinkedIn site. We have some GREAT video clips. But a question that always bothers me is “How well does this all link together?” While all of these activities bring value, and we know instinctively that they are tied in to each other, do we really capitalize on the power of their combination, and how they match with our off-line efforts.

So, we need a Social Media Strategy (which should dovetail with your overall Digital strategy, which should be in line with your overall Marketing strategy….)

Start by asking yourself a few questions

  • Do you know where your customers are spending time on-line?
  • Do you know – specifically – why you have a presence on each of your social media platforms?
  • Do you tailor your messaging to each individual channel?

I’m not telling you that there’s a right answer to each of these. But your answers may guide you in a different direction with your day-to-day activities.

As with all marketing, the first question is critical. Good data on this will avoid you wasting time on the wrong platforms just because “everybody else is”. Thanks to the good folks at Globalspec, I know that my target market – electrical engineers – spend very little business time on Facebook, and minimal time tweeting; but they are very active on LinkedIn, and love watching videos. You may not be lucky enough to have access to industry-specific data. If so, send out a simple SurveyMonkey to a few of your customers and sales people, and find out where they are going on-line.

Armed with this data, we decided that the blog would become our “Content Center” for our product lines, where all the new information is posted; we use YouTube for some “How-to” videos on our products; LinkedIn is a place to start or join industry-specific discussions and also publicize our blog postings ; and Twitter, although relatively lightly used in our market, is a simple way to highlight new content on the blog, discuss industry events and to retweet useful industry content. As of now, we have chosen not to spend time on a Facebook presence.

This way, every time we make a decision on our social media platforms, we are guided by our basic reason for being there. And we can focus our limited resources in the right areas.

There is obviously much more to a successful Social Media Strategy, and I will talk more about it over the next few weeks. But starting with these simple questions will get you on the right track.

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