You have noticed that your competitors, your partners or business customers have a Facebook page, are active on LinkedIn, and upload their customer videos on YouTube. You feel that your company, too, ought to be visible to the social network community. You personally have used Facebook and Twitter for years, you know which networks your company should be in, but setting up a company presence and a strategy for social media is quite a different matter. I have created a checklist of steps for a B2B company to follow in order to get “social media ready”.
5 steps to making your company “social media ready”:
- You have defined clear business and/or marketing objectives
When you communicate with your customers, no matter what the channel, don’t forget that it is revenue you are after. By giving your social media strategy a hard business objective you will also raise its profile in the eyes and ears of your senior management and your sales teams. Without their buy-in, the project has little chance of success. Other objectives, sometimes called “soft” targets, are positive sentiments that will enhance your brand. You should have at least one of these objectives to start thinking about a social media strategy.
- You have allocated resources for each market
Social media is local media. Therefore you should localise your strategy as well as your social media team and your budget. In some countries, Facebook competes with local popular social network sites such as StudiVZ in Germany, Hyves in The Netherlands. In Germany, Xing is more popular than LinkedIn as the leading social network for professionals.
- Responsibilities and sign-off process are in place to allow a quick turn-around
Have you heard the one about the social media manager who wanted to send out a tweet on Friday and, after the 140 characters had gone through legal, brand management, MD’s office…, eventually got it approved for Tuesday morning? The tweet read “Have a great weekend all of you!”
- You have defined a set of social media metrics
How do you measure your social media success? You want to measure responses to a call for action by applying the same metrics you have used for lead generation through your website or email marketing. Revenue from links, leads from links, number of members in a Facebook or LinkedIn group that can potentially be converted into leads are all useful business metrics.
Then there are brand metrics: number of page views, the number of your Twitter followers, YouTube hits, sentiment indicators (likes/dislikes) are brand metric examples.
- You have integrated your social media strategy into your other marketing activities
Don’t lose sight of your overall marketing plan. Make the most of existing campaigns by integrating social media into other planned activities. Integrate your corporate website and your social media pages into one consistent online look-and-feel. Use those well-known icons of Facebook, Twitter et al on your corporate website. Make sure you don’t neglect inbound traffic to your corporate website, capture the details of any visitor. The software is available now to do that.
Are you ready for social media?
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