We all know that if you go shopping without a list—whether to Home Depot or the grocery store—you may come home with more than you planned on or worse, without something you needed. What’s more, your trip may take longer than you intended. We also know than when we go shopping with a specific goal or goals in mind, we’re in faster and much more likely to come home with what we needed.
Managing social media for your company isn’t that different. You need a plan going in, so you know what you’re hoping to come away with. In marketing, we like to call that having objectives.
So what are your objectives for taking your company into the social arena? What do you want to come away with? Spending just a little time trying to determine this, can help you refine what you do on your social channels and come away with what you planned on coming away with.
Determining your objectives doesn’t have to be hard. Just brainstorm what you want to accomplish. If your company already has some goals for the year, consider simply expanding those goals to your social efforts. Maybe your call center is overwhelmed. A good goal might be to address frequently-asked questions on your social channels, allowing customers to self-serve, but also giving your call center a place to send customers. Measuring the impact of your efforts on call center volume, would be easy to track and quantifiable.
Maybe you want to easily and inexpensively do a contest or a promotion to drive people to your store or website or even a survey. Social media can make that fairly easy—once you have some followers/fans.
Other objectives can include:
- Raising brand awareness
- Increasing communication with your customers
- Creating soft sales leads (conversion of download, clicks)
- Driving conversions to other media channels (websites, microsites)
- Crisis communications
- Customer support triage
- Reputation management
One thing to avoid is the “everyone is in social media, so we need to be there too.” While it can be important to have a social media presence, don’t rush in because you think you have to. Decide first what you want social media to do for your company and its sales and/or marketing efforts. This way, you’ll have something to measure your efforts against.
Also avoid trying to tackle too many objectives at once. Pick one or two and start there. Once you feel you’ve succeeded with those objectives, you can expand or modify.
Whatever you do, don’t assume having a Facebook or Twitter account for your company is going to drive a lot of sales. It might, if you’re lucky, but chances all, it will simply be one step in the sales cycle for your company—one more about awareness and credibility than sales you can credit solely to a social media account.
One of our key objectives here at Symantec is to engage with our partners and keep them informed. I’d love to hear how you think we’re doing and what you’d like to hear more of on the Symantec partner social channels.