You walk every day and think nothing of it; one foot in front of the other down the hallway, up the stairs and beyond. You’re pretty proficient at using those legs to get around; a master, if you will. But slap on some roller skates and you’re transformed into an eight-month-old with legs of jelly, grasping desperately for anything to prop you up before you fall. There are a lot of eight-month-olds on social media, figuratively speaking. Many are thrust into that responsibility because business leaders think that being “antisocial” isn’t cool. But what’s more flagrant than being antisocial is being social just because the competition is social.
If social media is a cornerstone of your business plan, value ought to be the result. However, if you’re implementing a monkey-see-monkey-do strategy, you need to reevaluate. The best strategy is to do what makes the most sense for your business. For some niche industries, that may mean being antisocial. Here are a few thoughts to help you get pointed in the right direction.
Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced? Start With Evaluation
One of my favorite pastimes is roller-skating. When I started, it was a real sight to see. There wasn’t a lot of falling going on, but imagine a duck on skates. Meanwhile, in the confines of my mind, you couldn’t tell me anything! In that space, I skated like a pro. I thought I had mastery of the cross until I fell and nearly broke my arm. I had to evaluate my actual skill level, which led to the conclusion that it was time for lessons. Enter Calvin, my instructor, who is turning me into the skating pro I know I am in my head.
So where are you currently on the social media map? Not doing social? Doing some light social? Are you heavy on social? What fruits are those efforts producing? What’s your ROI? The first place to start is with a self-assessment of your current situation. And, more importantly, determine how these results tie into your overall business goals. Are your social efforts furthering your business goals? Where is your audience? On Instagram but not Facebook? Not on social at all. Uh, really, in 2017? Sometimes, yes. If this is the case, there may be a big decision to make. And that decision may include not using certain social media platforms (or any at all) if that’s what makes the most sense. This is where you can determine if a slight adjustment or complete overhaul of your strategy is required.
Building Your Strategy: Roll With It
The kick push, the half turn and the crazy legs are all small elements of skating that can create a killer routine. But no one builds a full routine from the very start. AB testing, Twitter and developing attainable metrics strategies, for example, are also small elements of a social strategy that can create a great social boost for your business. The recommendation is to start with small bites. Jumping on all social channels at once doesn’t constitute a strategy. Choose one or two channels or even one or two metrics that you can confidently track as a starting point. A simple start is helpful to get you going and as you gain your footing, you can build on your initial metrics.
The Practice Floor: Tools That Will Help
You should definitely stretch and practice before you roll. Even the most seasoned skaters hit the practice floor on a regular basis. It’s the tool that helps define and strengthen your skill level. Determining the right metrics and ROI are often seen as the hardest exercises when it comes to social media. But tracking sales figures can be easier than you thought. A good starting point is to look at the social metrics that are performing well and adjust the needle as they relate to your business goals.
Here are a few tools to consider:
1. Sprout Social – software for social media management
2. Google Analytics – tracking and reporting of website performance
3. CoSchedule – content calendar for social media marketing strategy
4. Buffer – platform for social media management
5. Rival IQ – provides social media and SEO analytics information for marketers
Comcast Business says that ROI is the easiest metric to track and suggests the best method for measuring your progress is to use tools outside and inside of your social media platform and measure more than just your followers alone. What you’re looking for is the actionable behaviors of your customers.
After reading this, you might be inclined to immediately find the nearest skating rink and get your roll on. I definitely applaud that. Unfortunately, the Umbrellas team can’t help with your skating aspirations (well, I can, just a little). But if you’re looking for a pro when it comes to social strategy, you’re covered. With expertise in audience analysis, messaging, design development, and more, we have what it takes to help you cultivate your business in the virtual world.
Happy social media strategizing and happy rolling!
Jasmine Scott, Project Manager/Writer