Social media is nothing new. It’s been around for almost two decades. However, new practitioners are constantly entering field, and with every new marketing professional comes the risk of repeating the mistakes of the past. The old aphorism, “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” is just as true in marketing as it is in life.
In this series, we’ll examine modern enterprise social media strategy, what marketers need to know to make social media work for the midsize or enterprise organization.
Part 2: Clarify
In the last post, we examined overall strategy, which is the formula:
Goals x Methods, limited by time and resources.
The first part of enterprise social media strategy is to determine what those goals are.
Fundamentally, business stakeholders really only care about 4 things:
- Will this strategy/tactic/idea make me money?
- Will this strategy/tactic/idea save me money?
- Will this strategy/tactic/idea save me time?
- Will this strategy/tactic/idea keep me from being fired?
These are the core needs the vast majority of stakeholders care about. When we set social media strategy, our goals must map to at least one of these four core needs.
Consider the many different results promised by social media marketing, especially by novice marketers and agencies:
- Brand loyalty
How many of these results map back to the four core needs? Brand loyalty is about the only one, and that’s an indirect result. Loyalty may beget increased revenue, but it may not.
Now consider some other goals that social media marketing could potentially assist or create:
- Brand awareness
- Intent to purchase
- Marketing qualified leads
- Newsletter subscribers
- New shopping cart sessions started
- Feet in the door at a retail location
These goals are much closer to the four core needs than the earlier results. These results are likely to be much more impactful to the business.
How do we put the core four needs front and center in our enterprise social media marketing strategy? We work back from the end.
- Which of the four core needs matters most? Let’s say it’s make money.
- How does the business make money? Let’s say it’s retail sales.
- How do retail sales happen? Shoppers buy items they want in our retail locations.
- How do shoppers arrive at our retail locations? New shoppers find us through a variety of online and offline methods. Returning shoppers have been here before.
- How do we use social media to help shoppers find our retail locations? Through brand and product awareness.
We continue asking questions, working back from the outcome we want, until we fully document the chain of evidence between result and the beginning of the social media process. The goals are at the beginning, and then we create diagnostic metrics, waypoints, indicators which lead to those goals.
Now that we have our chain of evidence, we ask how social media might help achieve each of the waypoints leading to the goal. For example:
- If shoppers buy the items they want in our retail locations, how do we use social media to incite demand for those items?
- If shoppers arrive at our retail locations through online and offline methods, how might we use social media to be present in as many different kinds of online interactions as possible?
- If shoppers search for us based on brand and product awareness, how will social media grow brand and product awareness?
This is how we clarify our enterprise social media strategy and goals. Without delving deeply into how our business works and how our customers interact with us, we risk setting meaningless goals which will not address the four core needs.
In the next post in this series, we will examine creation of social media content.
The 8C Enterprise Social Media Strategy Framework
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 1 of 9: Introduction
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 2 of 9: Clarify
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 3 of 9: Create
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 4 of 9: Choose
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 5 of 9: Connect
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 6 of 9: Coordinate
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 7 of 9: Collaborate
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 8 of 9: Communicate
- Enterprise Social Media Strategy, Part 9 of 9: Conclude
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