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Investing in Social Media for Business

Posted on Categories Strategy, Web + Online MarketingTags

Part 1 – Setting Up for Succes

Social media is not just a tool for maintaining personal connections, it’s a strategic asset for business when used effectively. It offers a unique platform to engage directly with your target audience, understand their preferences, respond to their needs, and drive business.

An active social media presence can build brand awareness and credibility which are crucial in attracting new customers and employees and retaining existing ones. Businesses can harness the potential of social media to boost visibility, differentiate from competition, foster customer loyalty, recruit talent, and drive sales.

But is social media for business worth the money, headcount, time, and effort that goes into setting up profiles, developing campaigns, and managing channels? This is a very common question among our CEO clients.

Our answer: Absolutely! But to be effective, and let’s be honest – prove return, it is imperative to set clear goals, target your audience, and measure performance. In this first part of our three-part series, we look at setting your social media strategy up for success.

Social Media Strategy for Business: Goals & Baseline

Consider what you are trying to achieve with an active social media presence and make sure any marketing goal is directly aligned to your business goals:

  • Are you trying to grow brand awareness? 
  • Do you want to build an engaged following? 
  • Are you hoping to generate qualified business leads? 
  • Are you trying to recruit great talent?
  • Do you want to be seen as a thought leader or subject authority? 
  • Are you trying to shift your brand’s reputation?

Once you understand what you are trying to achieve, take the time to gather baseline measurements:

  • How many people follow you on each social media channel you have?
  • How many likes do you receive?
  • Do people share or repost your content?
  • What type of content is the most popular?
  • Can you connect any recent sales to social media or other marketing efforts?

Then look at your website analytics and understand where traffic is coming from. Is there a clear path from social channels to your website? Creating a baseline is an important step in understanding if your investment is worth its while downstream.

Answers to these questions along with an understanding of how social media connects with other marketing and sales channels will guide your social media strategy.

Social Media ROI: Key Considerations

While you want to build an active and engaged following on social media, never rely solely on the social media apps for sales. Why?

  1.  All roads lead to your website: Your website is your domain – it is the beginning of your ability to lead a prospect into a logical marketing process that you control and analytics that tell you far more than what you can see in your social activity. Growing brand awareness and driving qualified business leads through strong calls to action and web forms should be woven into every strategy. Website analytics combined with marketing automation tools allow you to measure ongoing interest and ultimately financial return. 
  2.  Don’t chase algorithms: They change (all the time), accounts get banned or hacked, cookie laws change – in an instant you’ve lost your following and the connection to all of your prospects. If you can capture customer information through your website, you are building an ownable prospect list. And, if anything happens to your social accounts, you can still communicate with your audience via email or other marketing channels.
  3.  Your sales team is KEY: The single biggest reason our clients struggle to measure ROI from marketing is the lack of integration and partnership with the sales team. Marketing’s job is to bring qualified leads. Sales’ job is to close the deal. This partnership requires three things from the sales team. 1. Commitment to lead follow ups, 2. Willingness to ask and document inbound calls with a simple question, “how did you hear about us?”, and 3. Provide feedback to marketing about lead quality and prospect questions. In a non-e-commerce business, the sales team is critical to marketing’s ability to prove results in the form of revenue – without sales conversion, leads go into a black hole of perceived sunk marketing costs.

Creating a cohesive strategy that aligns your goals and takes the prospect on a logical path through your campaign all the way to the sales team will help you measure results across the marketing chain, pivot quickly when things aren’t working, and recognize key indicators that can be leveraged in future campaign strategies.

Up Next

Now that you’ve set your goals, grabbed your baseline metrics, and considered all the caveats, it’s time to take a look at audience and platform selection. Stay tuned for Part 2 in our series!

Alyce EysterAs Director of Content Strategy at Savage, Alyce is focused on message creation and the planning, development and management of content based first – on program requirements, and second – on the client’s business objectives and needs. She has created these messaging platforms for digital, marketing and general applications for clients in industry, healthcare, tech, fashion and publishing. Specifically, she has had the good fortune of working with clients like Champion Fiberglass, BoyarMiller, Elaine Turner and Xenex.