Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Defining your social media strategy: a quick pep talk

Socially Awesome Penguin - social media remix

How do you measure your companies social media goals? DO YOU have any social goals?

Tough questions, aren't they?

It’s not easy. Especially seeing as the only social platforms with effective built in analytics platforms are Facebook and blog sites such as Blogger and Wordpress. Most of the time, we are relying on companies to feed us information about Twitter from their API. It’s not ideal, is it? We’d all like the data to be more accessible, but I’m aware that this can come with a cost.

The truth is with social media strategy and measurement is that there is not a universal answer to how a company can measure their social success against their business goals.

But you should definitely be doing it - because you can be sure that your competitors are.

If you are already doing it, and measuring to boot - who are you measuring yourself against? Your own social media goals, or are you just keeping up with the Joneses, wanting more followers than your closest competitor?

Let me tell you something - if you are trying to compete with a rival organisation in terms of follower/friend numbers, you’re making a big mistake.

Never, ever compare yourself, favourably or otherwise, with your competition on social networks, and use their numbers as a benchmark for your own success. It’s a fools errand.

Why?

Because they are probably doing the same thing to you. Which means that neither of you are trying something different. Neither of you are being creative.

What do you do when you finally overtake your competitors on social networks in terms of engagement (comments/@replies/+1’s/retweets of your content, your own conversations feeding this engagement)? Don’t know? You’re not prepared? Then you are in trouble.

Social Media Cat

The key on social platforms is engagement - so spend the time having conversations with your audience, invest time in growing your platform, and yes, take case studies and best practice tips from competitors and market leaders.

But don’t copy, or make the mistake of competing in an arms race with your competitors on social.

Put your customer first. Invest in them. Set your own benchmarks - and then grow them.

And try to remember why you are there in the first place. Remember that you are the human representative of a business, and conversations are how you spread the word about your business in the real world.

So go forth and be social!

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