How Effective Is Your Social Media Marketing?
To maximize your organization’s social media effectiveness, here’s a set of fifty questions. Depending on where your organization is along the social media adoption curve, these questions can help you develop your social media marketing plans going forward by determining where you need to improve.
50 Questions to determine your organization’s social media success
Social media monitoring. Before diving into the social media waters, it’s critical to listen to the conversation.
- Do you have social media monitoring analytics in place? Regardless of the size of your pocketbook, you need to have something in place to assess what’s happening on social media networks. (Here’s what ten social media experts recommend.)
- Is your social media monitoring analytics integrated with your other web analytics? To be effective, you need to be able to track traffic and activity from social media networks through your conversion process as well as from your website to social media networks.
- Are you tracking the appropriate brand names, products and executives for your firm? Depending on your product array, consider using category names.
- Are you monitoring competitive products and firms? In today’s social media connected world, a problem with a competitor can quickly become your problem.
- Is the social media information collected being converted to effective data? Just collecting social media mentions isn’t sufficient. It needs to be made actionable.
- Do you have processes in place to take action where appropriate based on your social media monitoring? Watch for trends as well as specific mentions. Only about 2% of comments require any form of company response.
Social media guidelines. Don’t underestimate the value of establishing boundaries for both employees, customers and the public.
- Do you have social media guidelines in place for how employees should represent themselves and what they can say? Interestingly, only half of companies have social media policies in place after three years.
- Do you have guidelines for what’s acceptable for public contributions to your organization’s website, blog, and/or forum? While you can’t delete comments just because they show your company or products in a bad light, you can set standards such as no foul language or no off-topic rants. Remember customers will say whatever they want on third-party social media networks where you have no control.
- Do you have a crisis management plan? If you do, is it reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it’s up-to-date and the appropriate employees know what to do? Your firm needs to be ready to respond 24/7.
Social media goals. As with any good marketing program, your goals must be aligned with your business objectives.
- Does your social media marketing have goals? While many businesses just jump in with the assumption they’ll figure it out later, the problem is you may miss critical steps or not have appropriate metrics later.
- Are your social media marketing goals integrated with your overall business objectives? This is a must for any marketing plan!
- Does your social media marketing drive revenues? For many businesses, this is a sign of social media maturity.
Senior management buy-in for social media usage. Social media must be tested and proven before senior management supports this initiative.
- Does senior management buy into social media as part of the business’ plans? Recognize this can be difficult to achieve. Only one in three businesses has senior management support for social media marketing after three years.
- If your senior management team doesn’t buy into social media, are you making the case for its usage? Often you need to prove that social media marketing yields results associated with business goals.
- If your senior management team buys into social media, have you expanded buy-in across the organization? Among the areas to consider are customer service, sales, product management, human resources, investor relations, and other organizational departments.
Social media marketing strategies.
- Who is your social media marketing targeting? How does your target audience on social media platforms differ from other platforms? How does this effect your marketing personas?
- Have you developed your social media marketing strategies? What do you want social media to help you accomplish?
- Are these social media marketing strategies incorporated with your marketing plans? Social media shouldn’t be used in a vacuum or off to the side.
- Have you created specific social media marketing tactics related to your strategies? It’s critical to ensure your plans are aligned so your actions will yield appropriate results.
- How is your brand integrated into your social media executions? Does your social media reflect your brand standards?
- Does your social media have a human voice that resonates with your brand? Social media’s many formats enable brands to have visual and aural attributes.
- Who represents your business and/or brand on social media platforms? Is it a dedicated employee or multiple employees?
- Do you have other employees or representatives engaging on social media platforms for other non-branding functions? Include sales support, customer service and investor relations among others.
- Are employees monitoring social media marketing implementation(s)? Customers will use every point of contact to reach a human being.
- Are you promoting your social media marketing implementations? As with any other form of marketing, it’s critical to continually remind customers and drive them to your social media executions.
- Does your other marketing reference your social media implementations? The goal is to leverage the power of your existing marketing to engage with prospects on social media.
- Have you incorporated social sharing in your social media executions? Think social sharing including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. This helps yield earned media by extending your social media reach.
- Do your social media implementations have tailored call-to-actions incorporating related tracking mechanisms? Prospects and customers must be guided to act.
- Is your conversion process integrated with your social media implementations? Do you have supporting marketing to move prospects from social media networks through your organization’s purchase funnel.
Social media marketing content. Social media is fueled by content.
- Are you creating tailored content for your social media marketing initiatives? Since social media thrives on content, ensure your social media efforts have the fuel they need.
- Have you created a variety of content formats? Use a range of different content types including text, video, photographs, graphics, presentations and audio.
- Are you curating content to support your social media efforts? You don’t need to create all of the content yourself.
- Are you integrating customer created (or user generated) content into your social media efforts? If so, do you have guidelines for submissions including having the right to use the content?
- Does your social media-related content support the purchase process? Consumers may need information from across your organization. Use an editorial calendar to support your social media efforts.
- Does your social media-related content incorporate your search optimization keywords? Social media provides other ways for consumers to find information. Don’t forget to include related metrics.
Social media headcount. These are the employees who engage on social media platforms to represent your firm.
- Does your organization expect employees to participate on social media platforms in addition to their other responsibilities? If so, there’s a strong chance the work won’t get done.
- Does your firm have employees who were specifically hired for their social media expertise? These are employees with social media in their title. Remember a college student who knows Facebook doesn’t count.
- Do you have other personnel whose time is dedicated to your social media marketing efforts? Are their social media marketing activities incorporated into their job descriptions?
- Do you have social media training across your organization to ensure employees understand how to engage on social media platforms and consistently represent your organization? While many firms train their front line employees, they underestimate the need for training across the organization to understand how it can impact the total business.
- Do you a social media contingency plan? Ensure your social media execution is covered regardless of what’s happening. Your organization must be covered 24/7.
Social media marketing budget. Show me the money!
- Do you have a dedicated social media marketing budget? Since social media marketing isn’t free, you need financial and headcount resources to support a robust social media marketing strategy.
- If you don’t have a dedicated social media budget, can you leverage other organizational resources or hide your social media marketing budget? It doesn’t matter how the resources are labeled.
- Who owns the social media budget? Is it a standalone budget?
Social media marketing metrics. Answers how am I doing on social media platforms.
- Have you established metrics to track social media marketing efforts to your business objectives? At a minimum, track costs and basic measures. (Here’s what ten experts say is the one social media metric you need to track.)
- Do you have different metrics and tracking for different social media implementations? Not all social media is measured the same way.
- Have you established methods for measuring soft results such as improved brand perception?
- Do your social media metrics go beyond the last marketing touched to show the impact on the full purchase process? Social media influences prospects before marketers know they’re in market for your product or service.
- Have your firm’s social media implementations yielded savings in other areas of your organization that may not be tracked? For example, has social media participation reduced customer inquiries?
- Do your social media metrics extend to other areas of your business? Think broadly across your business such as customer service.
- Are you tracking your social media marketing ROI? While establishing a well-integrated social media marketing strategy requires time, short-term, determine whether your social media marketing makes a positive contribution towards your business goals.
Since social media continues to be a growing part of every marketer’s plans, you must continually assess the effectiveness of what you’re doing and modify your strategies to enhance your results.
Is there any other aspect of social media marketing effectiveness that you’d add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below.
Here are some related articles that you may find of interest.
- Social media marketing ABC
- 17 Guidelines every firm needs
- How to guarantee your social media ROI is zero.
- Forget Social Media ROI.
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