A recent report shows that 40% of businesses plan to use social media in the coming year. Of the 60% of businesses who don’t plan on using social media, 41% are doing so because they don’t see the value to their business.
For me, this report highlights a huge gap in understanding. The social web has value for between 80-90% of businesses. The problem is that only 40% see that value.
In a large percentage of the cases I come across, this gap is caused by companies failing to define ‘value’, and how to achieve it using social channels. Mostly, those companies who see limited results do so because of a lack of social media infrastructure.
No Infrastructure = Disaster!
So many companies approach social media with a ‘let’s see what happens’ attitude. Do you approach other elements of your marketing like that? I hope not.
In order for a social strategy to deliver value, you need to have a pre-planned infrastructure which fortifies the success of your campaign.
The key components of a successful social strategy are curation, monitoring and measurement.
Let’s look at each of them in more detail:
Businesses, and individuals, often mistake ‘sharing’ for ‘curation’. The process of curating content requires the application of expertise. Just because you’ve shared something on Twitter or Google+ doesn’t make you a curator.
Successful curation involves the thoughtful and intelligent selection and organisation of content into a resource which provides genuine value. To do this you not only need to have an in depth understanding of your own industry, but also of your community.
There are many ways to curate content on the web. When you are choosing your curation methods make sure you prioritise quality over quantity. In many ways, you will be judged by what you share. Make sure it represents your business in the best possible way.
Another important consideration is relevance. Ask yourself, ‘is this content relevant to my whole community?’ If not; target it.
HootSuite has some great functions which allow you to target content based on language or geographical location. By ensuring that your content is always useful, relevant and engaging you will earn trust, loyalty and influence.
Social media monitoring is crucial if you hope to derive any value from your social campaigns.
Again, tools like HootSuite allow businesses to monitor keywords, phrases and hashtags in real time. The added ability to monitor mentions of these terms using geo-location also gives you the ability to become a fly on the wall anywhere on the social web. The value which can come from successfully utilising these tools is phenomenal – but without the infrastructure you will miss it completely.
Most businesses realise the importance of measuring the effectiveness of their social campaigns. The problem is, most are measuring the wrong things. Sure, the size of your community is an important factor, but is it as important as your true reach, relevance or your CTR (Click Through Rate)? Effective measurement is all about you understanding what constitutes ‘value’ for your business. Once you know that, use measurement tools to measure the KPIs which most accurately reflect this value.
Have you been using the social web with limited success? Or perhaps you are about to start a new campaign for your business? Before you do anything, make sure you have the social media infrastructure in place to successfully implement these three, value driven processes. Without these you won’t get any value from the social web. By making sure you have them in place BEFORE you begin your campaign, you can almost guarantee success.
Are you putting together a social strategy for your business? Worried about the value you will receive? Why not get in touch? I have a number of consultancy options designed to ensure you get the maximum possible value from your social investment.