Social media is the hottest thing since the Snuggie, and your business’ CMO is probably eager to invest money in social media initiatives in 2010. I found an awesome graphic while I was browsing Reddit.com today, and figured it would be a great resource to start a conversation about setting realistic business goals and managing client expectations during social media campaigns.
What is Social Media?
The concept of social media has been evolving since the web’s first Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), email, and Usenet discussions systems enabled people to collaborate and communicate online with like-minded people. In recent years, these concepts that laid the foundation for the Internet have been embraced by businesses and built into a massive online industry. Unemployed marketers created the “social media” buzzword during the economic crisis in the fall of 2008.
Social media covers a ton of websites and media-types, but its really just a broad term that means “interpersonal online communication”. It can be in the form of photos (Flickr), videos (YouTube), professional recommendations (Linked In), social networking (Facebook), or quick broadcasts (twitter). These sites all serve very different functions in the lives of your customers, and have very different features and attributes that will benefit your business. If you haven’t checked out the attached graphic yet, do it now.
As this graphic illustrates, It all starts with goals. Do you want to drive more customers to your online store? Do you want to increase brand recognition for your totally ridiculous product? (I’m talking about the Snuggie there.) Do you want to show your photography portfolio to a larger audience and provide your potential customers with a new communication channel? Most likely its a unique combination of the above, and more.
There are a lot of people doing awesome things in the social media space, and there are a lot of people that are taking money from business owners and not getting any ROI for their clients. Social media is not a magic money-tree, and without a concrete plan with quantifiable performance indicators, you’re going to waste your money.
Burlington Bytes Social Media Management
Here is how it will work when you contact me about the best opportunities for a social media campaign.
- We’ll meet and chat about your business. I will ask you questions about your industry, your customers, your sales process, your competition, your goals, and God knows what else.
- I will get excited and start throwing out terms like “automated syndication to twitter”, “url shorteners with analytics”, “building indexed backlinks with pagerank”, etc. You may know exactly what I’m talking about, you may ask a lot of questions, or you may just nod and smile at me.
- During this conversation, we’ll begin to form an outline of your social media campaign, including your level of involvement & budget.
- I’ll get to work and research your business and competition, and come up with a detailed written proposal with performance indicators and ROI goals. We’ll set expecatations. Then…
- …. We’ll execute!
You don’t need to understand every aspect of your social media campaign, but you NEED to understand how it should be impacting your business’ bottom line. Don’t throw your money away, hold your social media consultant accountable!