To properly prepare a social strategy, you must include both goals and a means of measurement to ensure a successful launch. If you follow a simple four-step process, it gives you a chance to focus your efforts and determine the power needed to enhance the implementation of your social strategy. This process includes:
- Identifying your goals
- Finding your audience
- Setting your key performance indicators
- Scheduling and resource management
Step One: Identifying your goals
Establishing the right goals is extremely important in choosing which social platform and audience is the best fit for your business. They will allow you to set realistic and measurable metrics, in terms of how much time and staff you’ll be able to commit to your program. There are three main goals that your business could focus on to develop a successful social strategy: establishing your brand so as to build loyalty, capturing leads, and increasing sales.
Brand Engagement, Advocacy and Loyalty
Two key ways that businesses can achieve this goal is by creating social platform content and utilizing community interactions. Billions of pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared on social networks each month. This can be used as a key component to lead your brand or business’s presence. Community commitment plays a key role in sparking positive conversations about your business. A strong community presence can help create and monitor loyal customers.
Lead Generation/Brand Awareness
Two ways to reach this goal is by incorporating product sampling in your social strategy. Give away a small portion of a product or service that best represents your inventory. By giving customers a sample of what your business offers, they will become more aware of your brand. This encourages customers to try your products/services, therefore increasing the chance they will want to know more.
Promotional content posts are a perfect place to begin to increase sales for your eCommerce services. When running a contest or other promotional offer, “softer sell” keywords resonate better with users as opposed to more direct or aggressive language like “promotion”, “contest” and “coupon” keywords. Some top promotional keywords are “winner” and “win” because it gives customers something to get excited about rather then feeling they are being sold to. You can also correspond different group deals through social platforms to generate sales for your business.
Step Two: Finding your audience
Finding your audience is key to any social strategy. With so many different social platforms, there are many different possible audiences. Each platform is used in a different way for a different purpose. If you’re looking to build brand awareness and support, then Facebook would be a good fit. If you’re looking to generate and pass on material in a particular industry to reach potential customers who have never heard of you, Twitter could be the best choice. If you’re pursuing a social strategy to recruit, a platform like LinkedIn could be your best bet. Once your goals are set, you can begin determining the best social channels, tools and services to meet eCommerce optimization for your strategy.
Step Three: Setting your key performance indicators
Once you’ve set the goals for your social platforms and identified the key audiences for each, you can begin to establish the metrics of how each platform can be measured. Below are some examples of things that can be measured to determine a proper social strategy for your business:
- Blog traffic
- Twitter followers
- Facebook page “likes”
- Retweets of your content
- Interactions on Twitter
- Facebook content
- LinkedIn group members
- Blog comments
- Independent share of your content
- Links back to your blog
Step Four: Scheduling and resource management
This stage revolves around setting a proper timeline and determining how you’re going to support your ongoing social eCommerce strategy. Will you have the adequate staffing in-house or will you need to outsource your services through an online marketing agency? This is very important to think about when formulating a social strategy. Every eCommerce business must consider the time investment, the man power investment and the timeline set to successfully reach every goal set in Step 1. In the end, this planning process will prepare you to address any specific challenges or opportunities your business may see when implementing its social strategy.