Many marketers are confused when it comes to making a social media marketing strategy, because they do not know the right way to go about it or they are nowhere to be found after the campaigns are started. Me and my team were working on the business model i.e. a model based on virtual marketing ecosystem (will soon reveal it to you) and while making decision on social media marketing strategy we discovered this model called POSTING / MONTH. We analyzed the market and studied various companies that failed in social media marketing strategy and the reasons were:
1. Long achievement models (yearly) made them lost in-between.
2. No proper objectives. Objectives were too long and mere assumptions. They were social media tool centric and not people centric.
3. Strategy was generalized there was no segmentation and targeting.
4. Market situation was not rightly analyzed.
5. There was no relationship between the target audience and kind of tool used.
6. Lack of guidance and no control over interactive measures.
7. Lack of creative approach and excessive dumping of boring contents.
8. Lack of follow up: campaigns are made but are not well promoted.
Keeping all the above negative points into consideration we created this model called Posting/Month.It is a model that concentrates on social media marketing strategy monthly:
P–People–Since SMM is a people centric approach it is crucial to identify or define your target audience first. For example: if you are targeting audience of China then you might want to use social networking sites like Renen, Q51 etc. If you are a travel company you might want to target people in review sites such as travel buddy and not sites like LinkedIn.
O–Objective–Necessary to define your monthly objective. Such as: to obtain subscriptions, to engage people, produce WOM marketing, to obtain user generated contents, to collaborate people etc. If possible describe in numbers (subscription, people, engagement, etc) for better performance.
S–Strategy–Targeting and segmenting the audience on basis of age, usage pattern, offers, time of action, positions, geography, language, culture / social behavior etc. This basically works in a cyclic trend where in you first do the Situation Analysis and soon after benchmarking what competitors are doing through a Competitors Analysis. Later steps would involve the Action Plan where you would have to decide on role and responsibilities, leading to a Control of roles and responsibilities of the individual in a 3 way means from a client, agent, and customer perspective.
T-Tools–Use the appropriate tools such as LinkedIn, twitter, facebook, Xing, Viadeo, MySpace, etc. But as mentioned earlier about the geographic means, it is necessary to understand the mind set of people while using these tools. As mentioned earlier about the geographical targets, decision also needs to be taken on the following:
Right kind of Tool:To choose an accurate tool while targeting different countries ex: Xing for targeting professional people of Russian market. Similarly, Orkut for targeting India and Brazil youth etc.
Right Kind of Audience:Tools need to be decided on the basis of kind of audience, if the targets are entrepreneur then there are many communities where entrepreneurs interact such as: indianstartups, entrepreneur connect, Young entrepreneur etc. If you are in to the hotel industry you may need to concentrate on reviews sites such as: Burrp.
Adding to it even technology fits in; creating a new platform or portal.
I–Interactive measures/ ways-Social Media Marketing is incomplete without engagement strategies. Here you can decide on the kind of messaging, games, quizzes, videos, slides, podcasts, webinars, blogs, contents, widgets etc.
N–Network–People who meets your objective (engaging, subscribing, asking queries, replying, sharing etc) becomes a part of your network. These people in the network are the people interested in you or your services they can be your future employees, or customers or just your brand evangelists.
G–Guidance/Gear-up– To keep the process running you need to gear up for the next month’s activity. While re-defining the whole process for the next month, may be the target audience is same but the objective may differ on the basis of what you have achieved out of the target set. You may also need guidance of social media marketing experts for the next step. Any negative comments needs to be moderated and requires guidance from the higher officials and experts on how to tackle it politely.
Posting/Month benefits of using this model are:
1.Helps you meet your tangible objectives.
2.Keeps the process short and helps your measure the ROI quickly
3.Network of your brand evangelists will not just appreciate you when you are right but there are chances they may guide you when you are wrong.
4.Helps you make decision on right target audience, In short, helps you narrow down on your niche target.
5.Helps in Customization through the right channels of research, makes you hit the right nail.