How To Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy That Works

May 30, 2011 by Douglas Idugboe

Having a marketing strategy is good, but having a marketing strategy that works is great!Last year, I wrote several posts to uncover why businesses must formulate and practice a social media marketing strategy that works. Whether it’smeasuring the ROI on your social media efforts or saving a dying business with social media, building a social media marketing strategy is one of the basic building blocks to leveraging social media for your business.

Many businesses believe setting up Facebook and Twitter profiles will do a world of good to them and that’s their definition of joining the social media bandwagon. However, the truth is that using social media requires a careful thought process, strategic planning and flawless execution.

In this post, I present 5 proven tips which will help you build a social media marketing strategy “that works”!

Observe Others and Analyze Your Marketing Strategy

Very often, businesses jump on to Facebook and Twitter without even analyzing what they need out of these social networks. They claim that since their competitors are using social media so they have no other choice but to adopt social media. Sooner than later, such businesses are caught off-guard and their social media ambitions reach a tame end.

I reckon it’s important for businesses to analyze how social media can help them. They need to observe how people use social media and how their competitors are leveraging it. Analyze your business needs and how various social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others can fulfill these needs.

What’s Your Social Marketing Strategy Action Plan?

Once you’ve determined what you want out of social media, the next important question is how you get it. Businesses need to come up with an action plan with realistic targets and feasible time/ cost estimates. If your action plan takes forever to achieve or if it requires you to invest a fortune, there’s a strong case to revisit your action plan. In such cases, it’s best to start with concrete short-term goals such as I want to have 2,000 Facebook Friends in the first 3 months or I want to close 5 deals with my Twitter followers this month etc.

Execute Your Marketing Strategy

A marketing strategy is only as good as those who see it through. Once youhave a social media marketing strategy in place, it’s important to focus on getting the execution right. Very often, businesses need to take a call on whether they can execute their social media strategy themselves or do they need to hire specialist social media experts? When in doubt, seek help from an expert.

Evaluate Your Marketing Strategy

Most business follow a simple rule when it comes to adopting new technologies or paradigms – If it boosts my business’ ROI, it’s worth the investment. Social Media is no exception to this rule. Unless, businesses see value addition from social media, they are not going to take the plunge. Therefore, it’s important for businesses to evaluate the impact of their social media efforts.

Evaluating social media ROI is easier said than done. There’s no single criteria based on which you can determine the success/ failure of your social media strategy. For an in-depth analysis of how you can measure your social media ROI, read this post.

Refine Your Marketing Strategy

The real beauty of social media lies in its dynamism. Social media is changing all the time. For example, if you logged in to your business’ Facebook profile, after a long gap, you would have realized that it’s now a Fan Page. Therefore, it’s important to continuously refine your social media strategy and adopt a flexible approach with the changing social media scenario.

Does your business have a social media strategy that works? If so, what are the most important criteria for developing such a marketing strategy? How does your business measure its social media ROI? Do you think it is difficult to track the business value of social media? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.



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