Social media is such an important part of any marketing strategy. It is here you are looking for likes, shares, follows and general user engagement. But, it can be too easy to get caught up in social media’s analytics without actually applying them to your business strategy. How does social media actually fit with your business strategy? While gaining followers on your social media feed is a win for your social media strategy, is it what you truly want/need when it comes to your business goals? By prioritizing your actual business strategy and then bringing social media into play and finding out how it fits within your business goals, you’ll be better able to focus on achieving what your business actually needs.
What are your business objectives?
Every business has goals and they vary from brand to brand. Whether your goal is world recognition, higher profits or better customer service, your first priority should be to recognize your business objectives and then figure out a plan to achieve them. Once you’ve got a set of clearly-defined goals, it is only then that you can figure out how social media will help you achieve them. Rather than let social media define what the business will achieve, your business objectives will tailor the social media experience for your users. For example, if your goal is to gain brand recognition, there are a number of ways to go about achieving this. Providing value to your customers is one way to do this and you could do this with a blog. Instead of posting willy-nilly on various social media platforms, you could put your focus into creating valuable content on your blog and sharing it on other networks, thus working towards your goal of increasing brand recognition.
Getting the right tools to achieve your objectives
You’ve heard the buzz – you should be on Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, etc. – but how do you know these are the best platforms for your brand? By knowing what your business goals are and then researching what each platform has to offer you in terms of achieving these goals, you can put your time, money and focus into the platform that is best going to help you realize your business objectives.
Social media as just one of the many tools
While social media definitely has its benefits for most brands, it is not the end all, be all. It is just one wrench in a fairly large toolbox of marketing tools. Being a competent marketer means that you can take your message across all of your channels, but while tailoring your content to each individual channel for one cohesive marketing plan. Investing all of your time into growing your social networks may cause your other channels to suffer and actually hurt your brand.
This doesn’t mean that social shouldn’t be your main channel for engagement. It only means that you shouldn’t forgo your other channels while prioritizing social media. Even if 75% of your customers are engaged with your brand on social media, that is 25% of which are not. That huge chunk of your customer base also wants what you are giving on social media, through their chosen platforms. By prioritizing your business strategy and sending out the messages over all platforms, you’ll be able to do this successfully.
Business goals first
When deciding on an approach to social media, you should also be prioritizing your business goals. Generally, your business strategy should revolve at the top around your distinct business goals. From there, you can take this further to strategies for achieving each individual goal and then tailoring your marketing strategies from there. It is only then that you can figure out your marketing objectives and then the various program/platform strategies, all the way down to your execution plan.
Putting social media on a pedestal is one of the biggest mistakes a brand can make in terms of marketing. Paying homage to your business strategy is the best avenue to success from which you can then develop your social media strategies.