May 24, 2010
csalomonlee

Social Marketing Strategy 101: Are you ready?

Previously, I highlighted how I used social media. After reading recent posts by Dave Fleet and Social Media Explorer regarding the social media marketing ecosystem and measurement respectively, I wanted to expand upon my thoughts about how to take social marketing to the next level.

One challenge for many marketers isn’t how to get started, rather it’s how to delegate your time to make the most out of your social marketing. This series of posts will look at putting a social marketing strategy together. And where relevant, I’ll add my thoughts in terms of how PR can leverage this information for their strategies as well.

While many may start strong with social media, these efforts may slowly stop without fully evaluating if you’re ready to embark on a social marketing strategy. Here are six questions to ask yourself before starting:

1. Are your executives supporting you? While social marketing is being adopted by corporations, the question is whether your executives understand the value of social marketing to the business. Since results may not be immediate, you’ll want one executive sponsor who can advocate for the program and highlight the long-term benefits.

2. What are your objectives? The tendency is to start setting up pages and accounts before fully understanding what your objectives are. Take a step back and outline what your goals are before setting up accounts.

3. Where is your audience? Along with your objectives, evaluate where your audience congregates. Jeremiah Owyang of Web Strategist Blog calls this “fish where the fish are.”

4. Do you have something to say? Getting started is easy. Maintaining the momentum is difficult. Do you and your company have something to say, consistently? If not, then maybe starting a blog isn’t the best venue for you but maybe slideshare.net where you can post occasional presentations and white papers.

5. How much time do you have to dedicate to this? According to Exhibitor Media Group, 30% of marketing professionals spend 6+ hours on social marketing a week, with 10% spending 21+ hours. Do you have the time to monitor, create content and track metrics for your programs?

6. Who’s doing the work? Ok, you’ve identified someone who has the time, but who is that person? Social marketing is an extension of your corporate brand. You need to have the right individuals in place to evangelize and steward your brand.

Conclusion

By answering the above six questions, you can develop the right approach that fits your company and time. What other questions should one ask before pursuing a social marketing program?

5 Comments

  • [...] 1. Social Media Strategy 101: Are You Ready? [...]

  • [...] Social Media Strategy 101: Are You Ready? [...]

  • @Mandy – very true that this is something that has be strategically considered vs ad hoc

    @jeffodgen59 – good point about developing the relationships and trust. Bait is definitely key to begin the process.

  • Nice post. Planning is key. Fish where the fish are, but also you need to know what kind of bait the fish enjoy.

    Social media lets you listen and develop relationships. People buy, so you need to earn trust.

    Keep up the posting and feel free to add my blog to your blog roll as I share B2B demand generation ideas.

    Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor
    President, Find New Customers
    http://www.findnewcustomers.net
    http://www.fearlesscompetitor.com

  • Thanks for sharing such a well thought through blog post. I agree, too many companies and individuals jump on the social media bandwagon (myself included in the past) because they think they have to have a social media account. They don’t carefully consider why they need to join, who they are targeting, what they are going to say, how often and how they are going to measure it. Social media is another communications channel so it needs to be managed carefully with a strategy that fits the company’s overall communications plan.

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of product marketing for Lanyon Solutions, Inc. and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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