For many business leaders, social media outreach can be summed up in one word: Frustrating. It’s something they know they should be doing, but coming up with the right strategy and measuring results can be difficult. Plus, it seems there will always be an algorithm change lurking just ahead to disrupt their efforts.
The most important step to counteract this is simple: Set a single goal for your social media campaigns.
Selecting the right objective should be tied to your most pressing current need. In most cases, this will be more leads and sales (which we’ll use in examples when discussing strategies below) but recruiting or building brand image may be greater needs.
As we mentioned, many companies are active on social media because they feel they have to be, or they will miss opportunities and be left behind by competitors. When you plan around one specific goal, it changes your mindset from “that thing we have to do” to “that investment we’re making to increase sales.”
Perhaps most importantly, the investment mindset provides a strong motivation to keep social media updated. We’ve all seen company social media feeds with a strong series of initial posts that trailed off years ago. This often results from social media tasks falling to the bottom of the to-do list in favor of tasks with a more clear or more immediate ROI. If there is a strong connection between social media strategy and a clear company goal, it will become a priority.
Often, the best and most creative content arises from putting restrictions on your subject. When the goal changes from “getting something on Twitter this week” to “getting more leads by showing how durable the product is,” you’ll create better content more easily.
In addition, the content you create will be more effective, because you’ll evaluate it in light of your main goal. Being able to ask, “Does this drive lead generation?” will help you separate the wheat from the chaff. It may even help you put aside ideas that are good, but not the right choice for your current goal.
Many companies have social media feeds that jump from subject to subject, combining product information and recruiting notices with whatever company news crops up. Some even feature content that is essentially personal posts from management. The result can end up looking like a cross between a trade magazine and a family photo album.
True, social media is about sharing and is a great place to (for example) call out a great employee performance. But using it effectively means keeping an investment mindset. Keep content that is tangential to your goal to a minimum. Having a single goal makes it easier to determine when you should sprinkle in other content and what that content should be.
Likes, shares, views, interactions…all of these social media benchmarks can be important. Plus, the platforms themselves put them front and center, in notifications and as a visible part of every post.
Do these benchmarks serve you? Often, they will. But focusing on them can lead to chasing likes and shares without any real bottom line benefit or believing good content is a failure because it didn’t receive that sort of approval. If you focus on a certain aim—lead generation, for instance—you can measure how well your social media strategy is working and make corrections that provide a measurable benefit.
You may have more than one high priority concern, such as keeping your lead pipeline full while filling several open positions. In that case, use a content calendar to develop weekly or bi-weekly themes that keep the focus tight and maintain effectiveness.
Not every company has experienced social media experts in house or the time to create the needed content. We follow the most up-to-date practices and achieve the metrics that matter. Get in touch with Cain & Company for thoughtful, strategic social media that boosts your bottom line.
Theresa CarlsonMarketing Manager
685 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107