Online interaction with customers is not easy. Which platform should I choose for a business? Where are my customers and how do I enable it? These are the primary questions, which one need to answer before starting his social media strategy for his business. Flexibility is needed, especially, in social media. A strategy is essential to target more effectively and to know when you have achieved the objectives as well. Similarly, it requires discipline, the designed strategy and continuous implementation. Below, we will take a look at the 10 essential elements of a customer-focused social media strategy that every business should consider:
1. Objectives: What 5-10 main goals I want to achieve through my social media engagement? These objectives should be arranged in a list in order of priority, in order to concentrate on more important goals.
2. Competitors: How will my competitors behave online? What works for you and what does not? Who keeps an eye on the competition can learn a lot from his successes and mistakes. If there is no direct competition, you should still look at similar companies in order to learn from them.
3. Platforms: Which platforms are appropriate for my presence? You should focus on key platforms and not try to be everywhere around, as you would loose its effectiveness.
4.Customer Relations: Where are my customers on the web and what they do on each platform? You should think about how to contact the customer in person and encourage them to deal with your company or product.
5. Tools: Which tools help you to improve your reach and save time? If you are not careful, social media can quickly become a time waster. With the right tools, social media is an effective marketing channel.
6. Metrics: How to measure success? Which metrics are good indicators for me? Any effective management is based on the ability to make measurements. Much on social media is difficult to determine, and not every company has an access to the same metrics. Social media expert Jay Baer recommends in his post “The 6 Step Process for Measuring Social Media” (Link) to measure significant factors.
7. Action Plan: What should be done first? What comes next? A step-by-step plan helps targeted approach. The first 3 months should be specified in detail, and then every month should be made an update to remain competitive in the fast paced world of social media flexibility.
8. Cost: How much will it cost the tools, especially, when monitoring tools are available at big price differences? Free tools, like Klout, and expensive tools, like Radian6, are available. What are my expenses for the members? Do I need additional staff? If one has these costs in mind, it becomes easier to quantify the results.
9. Timeline: When the actions to be implemented? How often can the metrics be queried and discussed? With a timeline, everyone knows when to implement which targets.
10. Flexibility: Especially in social media, things are changing quickly. The ability to adapt to these changes is an important factor to keep an active and loyal community.