It takes a lot for a social business to succeed, and these four ingredients are definitely requirements.
In any social business plan, there are going to be a lot of bits and pieces that make up the final product. Some elements will be grand and all-encompassing, some will be important, but might seem like afterthoughts. One thing that we can say for certain, however, is that there are some elements that are absolute must-haves if you want your social business to succeed.
Like certain ingredients of a cake (old-fashioned cakes, with sugar, flour and eggs; not one of those gluten-free, paleo cakes) these four ingredients are going to be a part of any well-crafted social business strategy.
Social Client Persona Identification
I’ve written pretty extensively about the social client persona both on my personal blog and on the t2 blog. In fact, I’ve even made some videos that answer the questions about what exactly the social client persona is. Here’s one of them:
If you plan on seeing any sort of success with your social business strategy, then you’re going to need to clearly identify exactly who it is you plan to target with your message. Trying to attract these broadly defined archetypes is a recipe for disaster. It’s important that you define your target audience on the most granular of levels. After all, name another medium on which it is possible to get as personal and hypertargeted as with social. You can’t.
Plan Your Content
This goes both for a content strategy and content calendar. What exactly is the different between content strategy and content marketing, you ask? I explain that in the video below:
You know exactly what types of users make up your target audience (on each network) so you can tailor your content to exactly those tastes and preferences. Create messaging that you know will be well-received by those you are trying to target, then create an editorial calendar to go along with it.
Knowing when and where you plan on sharing content will help tremendously when it comes to scheduling campaigns and running ads so as not to bombard your fans and followers with an abundance of repetitive content. Even if your fans love you, everybody needs some space from brands from time to time.
Create Your Social Voice
Are you going to be authoritative and informative, or casual and whimsical? Will your brand have an edge, or will it always opt for the safest response? Essentially, your social voice is the equivalent of traditional brand guidelines – but on social media.
It should be made very clear to everyone that represents your brand exactly how you would like to be perceived. This will also be dictated by the audience you are trying to target (the Social Client Persona). It all works together!
When you know whom you are trying to reach, create the social personality that will be most approachable for them. In some cases, you will simply want to be a resource for questions and information. In others, you’ll want to be a friendly brand with which your audience members can have an actual conversation. Knowing the intricacies of both the networks and your audience will be key in building out that voice.
Establish Measurement Criteria
Though marketers and the C-suite are, collectively, moving away from traditional ROI models when it comes to social media, you still need to know what you plan to measure for in order to determine whether or not your program is a success.
If you haven’t set preliminary benchmarks (even if arbitrary) and key performance indicators, how will ever know if the most recent period for which you are measuring has been a success? Measurement criteria are going to be essential to any successful social business strategy, and they need to exist from day one.
This is not to say that your KPIs and benchmarks won’t change. In fact, they almost certainly have to. Adaptation is a major component of any strategy, but you need to start somewhere so that the optimization process is made easier as the program begins to unfold.
A lot is going to be incorporated into your social business strategy. And the more sincerely you approach the process of transitioning into a social enterprise, the more comprehensive your strategy will be. (Essentially, it is going to be a business plan.) These four ingredients provide a foundation, but they alone do not make the strategy complete.
If you plan on becoming a social business, take the process seriously and devote the necessary time to doing it right. If you’d like to know more about the components that should be included in a social business strategy, download my award-winning eBook here.
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