It’s that time of the year again. The holiday season brings lots of joy to many…but for the marketing professionals out there, this marks the time when the plans for the upcoming business year need to be presented. What is the monthly plan? What is the annual budget? What changes will be made? What are the goals? Where is improvement needed?
While, depending on the year, this can be a fun or excruciatingly painful exercise for marketers, we now have an additional marketing channel that we need to work into our overall strategy: social media.
Believe it or not, for many companies, social media is still looked at as an insignificant marketing channel. While this is fast becoming the “exception” and not the “rule”, no matter how you view social media and its importance to your company – the odds are that you are not doing the following:
*Tracking Your Progress
*Reporting Your Goals
*Incorporating Late-Breaking Elements
Why? Because you don’t have this setup yet – simple as that.
But I want you to see how social media can be successful for your business. I want you to learn what you can gain when you invest your time and money. I want you to see what returns that you are getting, and see if the ROI is there for your company.
What I am proposing here is to setup your social media management structure for 2016. Let’s go and set this up:
Step 1: Organize Your Data
Write down the social media channels that you plan to utilize during the year. ONLY the ones that you plan to use, not every profile that you have ever created. Remember, being more focused will reap more success.
Step 2: Your Goals
Now its time to be honest with yourself. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE? More traffic? More leads? More referrals? More visibility? More credibility? Write down your top 3-5 results that you want!
Step 3: Measuring Tools
Now that you have set your sites and goals, how are you going to measure your success? For example, if you are looking for more traffic to your website – do you have a way of finding this out on your website? If you are looking for more referrals, how are you going to measure it?
Step 4: Use Real Numbers
How are you going to know if things are going the right way if you don’t use real numbers to track. Move away from “I want more” and start saying “I want 5% more this month.” This is a real number. I always find it odd that when companies begin to track their social media, they don’t use real numbers to track growth….but when they are tracking growth in every other aspect of their company they use defined numbers. Think about it.
Step 5: Action Plan
Now, you need an action plan on when you are going to be taking your numbers and when you are going to be reporting them. I would suggest that you do this on a weekly to monthly basis to start. Then if you want to change the frequency, you can once you are comfortable with the system that you have created for yourself.
One thing that you may have noticed above is that this has NOTHING to do with the actual marketing on social media (your posts, outreach, network growth, etc). The reason is that I want you to have a defined tracking and reporting system so that when you roll out your consistent content and outreach strategy, you will see what is bringing you closer to your goals…and what is taking you further away.
Having this 5 step process in place will ensure that you kick off 2016 in the social media drivers seat – and what a wonderful and insightful journey you will be embarking on! Happy travels!