For companies considering Social Media Marketing (SMM) many have yet to develop a clear process of how to get started or even execute a program. From my experience, many marketing departments have simply jumped straight in to developing fan pages and requiting social media contributors (often interns that are commandeered to make posts to facebook/linkedin/Kaixin etc but this is a long way from having a social media program.
So given so many of our clients in China face challengers in starting a social media program, I wanted to outline some questions to prompt ones marketers into formulating a more structured approach. For example,when we look at starting a SMM campaign, look at the clients business (the value proposition and the markets needs), their customers (where and who they are), the competition (who, what they are doing and how/where are they doing it), their web presence (traffic, content, use of social technology and design), their online marketing activities (what are they doing, what is the outcome, how long have they been doing it) their employees activity on the web (company sponsored or not, any negitive/damaging social media posts) and last – the clients views on what and why the market is or is not responding to their value proposition and how is it being marketed.
Many that have been doing marketing for a long time can gain most of this information intrinsically but for those new to marketing or to the role of gathering this type of information I have put some sample questions together that may help.
- What results are your social media current activities producing?
- Have you used/using a 3rd party to provide SMM services? What happened?
- Have you used online persona’s in a social media plan?
- Do you know what your competition is doing?
- Do you know what sites your customers/prospects are spending time visiting?
- Do you know what content is in context to your markets wants and needs?
- What are the key benefits of your offerings to the marketplace?
- How do your employees feel about the organization? Are they active on the web and what are they saying about your company?
- What do your current customers say about your product, service and reputation?
- What would you say is the best measures are too determine the success for your SMM campaign?
(This is by no means an exhaustive list)
Once have obtained the information and have a comprehensive picture of the clients position and goals, you can move into developing the right SMM strategy. You know what they say about building a house on sand… well it means without a solid foundation the house is at risk of collapse. I always felt that this was a good analogy for setting up a successful campaign. Without investing time and getting the right information from the client, the campaign is at risk of collapse.