Building Your Social Marketing Plan

advertisingIf there’s one thing we’ve learned about successful social businesses, It’s that reputation is everything. While a great social media strategy may help you to say certain things about your brand, it also allows your consumers to say a lot more about your brand. And what people are saying about your brand is of course, very important.

In this social era that we live in, we as marketers have learned that what’s most important is not what you are saying about your brand, it’s what your customers are saying about it. And as a new paper Social Marketing by Wildfire outlines, the most successful social brands are the ones that try to influence that conversation, without trying to control it.

This paper outlines five key initiatives that great social brands have used successfully.

1. Integrating social into the marketing mix  – Social needs to be integrated into your marketing strategy, rather than be a separate entity. Gone are the days of having an intern handle a companies social media strategy, and here to stay are high-level integrations with your companies overall marketing strategy. Budgets need to increase, and everyone customer facing on your team should have a stream-lined presence.

2. Organizing for social – Start from the ground up, and build a plan. Use a “Hub” and “Spoke” strategy where there is a central social strategy as the hub, and the spokes are the different teams of your company, all collaborating. Using a tool like HootSuite is a great way to manage your entire operation with access and action control at all levels.

3. Aligning social for business objectives – Clearly define your goals, and generate your social strategy towards this. Whether you’re trying to build awareness, generate leads, enable customer service, or drive sales, use your social network to drive these actions, and measure the results.

4. Engaging consumers – Research consistently shows that the more engaged a person is with a brand, the more likely they are to buy that brands product or services. Engagement should be the central principle to your social strategy.

5. Building a multi-network presence – People interact with brands across different channels, and the volume of people on these networks is growing exponentially. Do your research and use the social network the way it’s meant to be used, and then go be great at it.

You can read the complete Wildfire by Google report here.