All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.Sun Tzu in The Art of War.
Strategy dictates tactics and just having a list of social media tools with random engagement are poor tactics without a clear strategy. Align your strategy with marketing, sales, customer service and human resources, which will support your overall business strategy. Within this your social media strategy may be to raise awareness and influence customers to buy your products or services. The tactics could involve Facebook advertising, Mobile apps, YouTube demo videos, Twitter for customer service and LinkedIn for business referrals etc.
Why you feel your business will succeed with social media is the start of your journey. Know your customer’s demographics and their decision process to buy your products or services. The social media sites they are active on, market research from listening to their needs / expectations and competitor intelligence will help focus your strategy and dictate your tactics. Visualising what success looks like will also help you set SMART objectives and KPI’s that align with your overall business targets. While a winning strategy takes time to write it’s important to balance it with the size and complexities of your business. I am always reminded of a cartoon that showed two business people spending weeks talking strategy while their competitor served their customers.
Your people are your greatest resource and should be trained to act as brand ambassadors. A simple clear social media policy should be in place to reassure them what is and is not acceptable online. The tactics to be employed on your social media sites can be put into action with an opportunity to move ahead of the competition. Few businesses understand how to exploit their social media sites. Failures to understand the importance of Mobile, to use content calendars to encourage engagement and to optimise social media sites to be easily found are other lost opportunities.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Sir Winston Churchill.
There are many excellent tools on the market to monitor, measure and analyse the success of your strategy and return on investment, from free Google Alerts, to paid social media monitoring tools. It’s important to understand the stats.
Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vitalProfessor Aaron Levenstein.
Regular reviews will support continuous improvement and fine-tuning to ensure your social media strategy is a winner.
Join the conversation in the Northern Ireland Social Media LinkedIn group