Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Social Media 101: Where to Start

Over the past few years Social Media has become an important component of any marketing strategy. I find it interesting, even in 2011, seeing the different companies that are finally starting to jump on the social media bandwagon. I received a conference call the other day from an upper management team at a local manufacturing company. They wanted to hire a marketing person to manage their social media presence. More and more I see this in our industry, companies who have never had a marketing position in their company before are now starting to create marketing positions to help start or manage their social media present. The interesting part of this conference call, I was asked point blank what a marketing person does on a daily basis and how do we start social media.
The first question I could answer easily, the second one I found to be a little tricky. Although setting up social media is actually quite easy, there is so much to know about social media in order to effectively manage your social media presence. Like “Is your business really ready for Twitter,” “Understanding your website traffic,” “Social Media slowly adapted by businesses.”
1. I would recommend starting of your social media journey by just listening. Companies often start off by just listening to things that people say about their industry and, if any, their brand. This will help companies form their own opinion of social media and how effective it is for one particular industry.
2. Information processing:  Once you fully understand the scope of your industry in relation to social media, whether there is a strong presence or not, the next step would be to write an internet marketing plan. This is important as it helps you create a framework around your social media marketing, what goals you want to obtain and how. I would recommend reviewing this after 1 month to see what is working and what isn’t, than adjust your plan accordingly. I would also recommend reviewing your revised plan after 3 months again to see how effective your internet marketing plan is working for your company and the overall goals of your social media presence.
3. Don’t stop listening: it’s important to create a listening strategy throughout your social media journey as things are continuously changes in the marketing. A perfect example of the ever changing marketing is the rise of social media and how much change has been created in the world of marketing and communication because of it. I would recommend setting up a google reader account, this helps alert you when people are talking about certain things like your brand, product, industry, and competitors.
4. Measure your social media reach: measurement is an important component of any marketing strategy. Understanding where your traffic comes from is also important. This will help you better understand the effectiveness of your social media presence. I personally use an Inbound Marketing program called Hubspot which allows us to analyze our social media traffic, which social media site our traffic came from, what they clicked on, this also ties into our conversion rate, our bounce rate and our unique visit rate.
5.  Lastly I would recommend, through your measurement efforts, review your website traffic/content. See what people are reading, what they read and what they are not interested in. This will help you analyze spikes in your website traffic, and project future campaigns based on content popularity.
Here are a few other blogs that many help you with your social media journey:

No comments:

Post a Comment