Your Checklist for Social Media Marketing Success
With the new year fast approaching, now may be a good time for you to consider updating your social media marketing approach, so as to incorporate new trends and emerging patterns in social media usage. LinkedIn has recently published a simple checklist which it considers to be essential for achieving success in social media marketing. The points listed on this checklist were garnered from insights which were learned from LinkedIn’s Live with Marketers podcast series, and which it now presents to the public.
The Live with Marketers series is a format which had LinkedIn representatives interviewing a wide range of experts from the social media marketing world. The topics they discussed included everything from brand storytelling to metrics and effective measurement for ROI. Based on information gathered from these sources, LinkedIn has developed the checklist below which you should feel free to consult for your own marketing purposes.
Iterate and optimize
Identify the key performance indicators which are most meaningful to your company, and which are most closely associated with the goals you’re trying to achieve. These should be in sync with your social media efforts, and they should be measurable areas which can be regularly engaged to note any increase or decrease.
Key performance indicators are one of the best ways of measuring the success of your marketing efforts, and they will tell you when certain aspects of your marketing need to be tweaked. In some cases, poor KPI’s will be an indication that you should abandon a certain marketing strategy altogether, whereas consistently strong KPI’s should tell you that you should emphasize successfully performing marketing efforts. Whatever it is that you’re measuring for, make it something that’s repeatable, and something which can be optimized for success.
Much has been written about how often a company should post on social media, and there are pros and cons to practically any approach you can think of. For instance, if you post too often it could very well lead to disinterest on the part of your followers, and it will tend to minimize the impact of individual posts. On the other hand, if you post too infrequently, it could cause your followers to lose interest because they may think that you have gone inactive, and that may trigger them to abandon your blog or any other posts you make.
In order to find a happy medium, you may have to tinker with your schedule for posting, so that you can achieve just the right balance between keeping readers interested, and not losing them. Generally speaking, you should lean toward the side of posting more often, so that you can maintain your readership and be assured that your followers will remain engaged.
Define a purpose for your brand
It will be much easier for a number of followers to relate to your brand if they are aware of its purpose, and what your company stands for. This should be clearly stated in your mission statement or your company vision, and those are principles which should not be overlooked whenever you’re promoting your brand. Everything you do in marketing and advertising should serve to support that vision and your stated mission, because it’s this kind of repetition which will become fixed in the minds of your followers.
When you stray from this and introduce other principles, it will lead to confusion in the mind of your followers and the purpose of your brand will lose its clarity. By remaining true to the company mission and the stated vision which you originally laid out, you’ll make it much easier for your followers to identify and to relate with your company, because they will have memorized exactly what it is you stand for.
Make sure your posts add value
Whenever you submit a new post to social media, you should make sure that it somehow adds value to your brand and that it in some way serves to promote your brand among your followers. Issuing posts merely for the sake of maintaining an online presence, or to provide content for your readers doesn’t have nearly as much value as posting something of real use to your followers.
Most of your readers follow you in the first place because you have been providing them with useful content that in some way helps them in their daily lives, or provides them with legitimate information they need. When you begin issuing posts that fall short of that objective, and are merely providing content for daily reading, that is much less useful to your readership, and they may begin to look elsewhere for engaging content. Do post frequently to maintain engagement with your followers, but make sure that all your posts have legitimate value to those reading them.
Develop your own voice and tone
For each of the platforms you are active on, you should develop a tone, a voice, and an appropriate point of view which accurately represents your company, and which makes you distinctive among your competitors. This can get to be a fine line to walk however, because you don’t want to stray from your brand’s overarching message. It is essential that the message itself remains consistent across all platforms, so that there’s no confusion in the minds of your followers.
However, it is definitely appropriate to adopt a different tone or voice on Facebook then you would have on Twitter for instance, simply because the audiences are somewhat different. The point of view which you should be using on any given platform is the one which will be most effective at reaching your target audience, and the same goes for the tone and the voice which you adopt in delivering your posts. It is essential that you remember to retain consistency of message, while you differentiate tone and voice on each platform.
Obviously, there is much more to developing an overall social media marketing approach than simple adherence to the checklist points above. However, if you remain faithful in carrying out the five principles noted on this checklist, you should at the very least have the foundation for a solid marketing strategy in the coming year. When you’re discussing points of strategy with your marketing personnel, it’s very likely that you will add other points which are important to your brand, but this is a very good starting point for your discussions.