The other day, I listened to some great tips on LinkedIn, answering the following interesting question: “Social Media Marketing – In-house or Outsource?”. I have read all answers and grouped them into five categories that could support your Social Media Marketing Success: Time and Money, Clear Goals, Skills, Engagement, Part of Total Business
Dedicate Time and Money
Do you have a budget in place and a staff who will dedicate their time to use Social Media for your business? While using Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Youtube or Twitter may be free, it takes a budget to run campaigns and hours of work to create a viable platform with a growing community of fans. Your commitment to your business should be translated into allocating sufficient resources to Social Media Marketing.
Define clear Goals
A good Social Media Marketing Strategy should be aligned with your business goals.
Do you have a clear strategic goal and viable targets? Consider exactly what you want to achieve form a social campaign. Is the goal of your campaign to build your brand or do you want to engage with your audience? Partner with a firm or consultant to plan the overall social media strategy.
Develop the right skills
How do you best stay on top of how to use social media platforms and know the best tactics to get maximum bang and exposure for your buck?. If you do not have the skills in-house, hire expertise from outside firms to support your strategy. Find a reliable firm that is committed to your business to support and train your in-house staff.
If you are hiring someone for your social media strategy, look for people who want to work for empathy. Make sure they are entrepreneurial, enthusiastic, creative and well versed in your culture.
Keep Engagement In-house
Keep engagement in the conversation in-house. You know your business better than anyone else. This is the best opportunity to learn first hand from your audience how they perceive you.
Remember that social media marketing is building a personal relationship with your audience. Give your organization a face and a name that people can connect with. Engagement requires sustained listening, responding, invitations to interact and interest in the community in an ever-evolving and ongoing cycle.
Make it part of total business
Be aware that social media marketing is an integral part of your total business. Social Media Marketing is related to operations, sales, marketing, customer service and purchasing. The “social” represents your total voice – it defines who you are.
To take this point even further, it is my firm believe that any type of marketing for your business should have a central place in your organization. Be it social or not. Marketing is the vehicle to make the connection between your business and your target audience.
If you want to build a sustainable business, you better define a social media marketing strategy that is implemented throughout your entire organization.
If you are willing to dedicate time and money, develop the right skills, set clear goals, start to engage and make Social Media Marketing part of your total business strategy, you will have everything in place for a social media marketing success in 2011.
What would you add? Do you have additional advice to increase social media marketing success? Leave your comments and ideas below.