A Social Media Health Check: Is Your Strategy on Life Support?
Social media has been described as vast, confusing, essential, and a fad, among other things.
Let’s zero in on your social media strategy and determine if you’re having an identity crisis (online, of course). Do you think your digital strategy is healthy or lingering on life support?
When was the last time you set aside time to assess your overall plan? Why is it so important? It determines if your messaging is:
The Big Picture
Keep in mind that strategy is the big picture and tactics are the everyday activities to help you achieve success in your big picture (vision).
Do you have a written vision of what you want to achieve and why it’s important to you?
This is not about money. It’s about doing work and providing products and services that you are genuinely passionate about. Don’t panic; you won’t need a 63-page business plan. A few lines can provide clarity and a foundation for our next steps.
Does your staff know your vision? Are they enthusiastic and fully committed to it? Do they use the same verbiage and language in describing the company as the CEO?
Here’s a real eye-opener. Individually, ask employees to describe the company in one or two sentences. What’s their “elevator speech”? If you receive a myriad of responses that are way off-base, don’t worry. Unfortunately, this is typical, which is the reason for this health checkup.
Have you identified your niche, ideal client, and target market? Do you know their specific challenges, needs, and problems AND how your company can solve them? Which Twitter chats and LinkedIn groups are decision makers involved with? What’s your message to them?
Think of your marketing like this: Your prospect and/or client has pain (problem) and you have the medicine (expertise) to ease their discomfort. How do you communicate that message to them? Focus on the results you get for people, not on the title on your business card.
Let the Journey Begin
To create a cohesive, integrated, and consistent strategy, the place to begin is with your website. This is the hub of your identity and activities.
The goal is to use various social and traditional communications to lead people to your site. Once there, you want to keep visitors interested and engaged with valuable information and a clear call to action. Be sure your site is easy to navigate. Simplicity is a good thing.
What do you want visitors to do? Sign up for something, watch a video, subscribe to a newsletter or download a free e-book?
Keep a watchful eye on Google Analytics to see the bounce rate, time spent on the site, and other important metrics. Your focus should be on list building and your sales funnel (monetization).
Another critical part of your online presence and website is the title tag. That’s the short phrase or descriptor with keywords at the top of your site.
This phrase can help you hyper-focus on your services. Choose words carefully as your title tag directly impacts search engine optimization and rankings.
This point may seem obvious, but be sure to have a professionally designed logo, color scheme, and visuals that communicate the heart of your company. The tone and feel are important.
Let’s Look at Specifics With This Checklist:
- Your blog. Like your website, your blog must be current, offer sound advice, and be written in a casual voice. How often do you post? How do you decide on content and frequency? Hint: It goes back to the challenges of your niche market. Does more than one person post? Is the voice of your blog in harmony with your main messaging? Who are your readers and why have they chosen your site over millions of others? Here’s an example: I write about communication. It may be social media, body language, PR or workplace conflicts. You’ll never find anything about quilting or yoga. Not my thing. People appreciate consistency.
- Your e-zine or newsletter. Does your newsletter include the title tag from your site? Encourage people to connect online by listing your social links and URL.
- Your videos. Do you have an opening and closing slide with your company name and/or logo? Is your website woven into the text so the speaker can subtly promote it as a resource?
- Your e-mail marketing. Does the same common attitude of helping people shine through? Don’t sell; build relationships with your target market. Use your title tag descriptor, and forget the jargon, rhetoric, and BS.
- Your social profiles. Do your profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and your other channels have (nearly) identical language that’s crystal clear in describing how you help people?
- Your business cards. Are business cards are a thing of the past? I don’t think so, but not everyone agrees. If you have cards, do you have one or two social links listed? Do you really need your fax number or is it obsolete? Your logo and consistent punchy phrase of how you solve problems and get results is what people are looking for. Clear, uncluttered, visually pleasing. Dump the cutesy titles; focus on the prospect/client.
- Your e-mail signature line. This is an area that tends to be forgotten. Your social links, website, and anything that separates you from others should be included. Use live links as well. Remember, the goal is to get people back to you site or profile.
- Your “about us” page. These pages tend to be static, but if you update them periodically with staff changes, awards, accomplishments, and links to new testimonials, it can be compelling for visitors to stay on your site and poke around.
- Your Pinterest board. Is it absolutely clear from your visuals and pictures the field/industry you’re in? Is your profile congruent with your bio, title tag, e-mail marketing, and blog?
- Your bio line. Do you have two versions (long and short) that are used at the end of your bylined articles, white papers, and case studies? If you make public presentations, be sure to write your own introduction. Don’t allow someone to introduce you by reading your website bio or front page of a brochure. An introduction is written in a shorter, more casual, and fun style.
- Your traditional print marketing pieces. Many industries find success in mailers, print advertising, and other traditional marketing channels. Do these pieces have that thread of consistency and clarity that are congruent will all of the above? Is your message, clear, concise, compelling, and visually appealing? Does your contact information and call to action stand out?
Now, what can you do to improve the health of your social media set-up?
Main illustration: Giulia Forsythe on flickr