Lamb CMC's essential tips to consider when thinking about building a social media presence for your company. Probably the fastest growing area of our business, both in interest and actual work has been communication services involving social media. We have written a number of times here about how Linkedin and Twitter need to be considered as a key element of your external brand positioning, so we won’t preach here, but rather assume that if you are reading this then you have made that leap of faith to give it some serious consideration.
So what should be in your mind when thinking about how it should be delivered within your organisation?
Well the very first thing is to realise is that this is a strategy that will by its nature spread across the whole your organisation. It cannot nor ever will be delivered as a single thread that will not influence all else. It is a public broadcasting medium, therefore you need to appreciate that what is said here could extend many times beyond your direct following or networks. People sharing or retweeting could potentially give it a huge outreach that will overlap all your other communication channels. So think organisation-wide and develop a concerted strategy before pressing send.
Know your goals
Most think that it is the size of your community that is the key aim. Of course that is important, but knowing what you want to achieve with that community is of much greater importance; is it to drive brand awareness, traffic back to your website or is it perhaps sales? Your social communications strategies must accord to these goals and always have them in mind.
What is your ROI?
Whether managed internally or externally there will be a cost and with that you need to have the measurements to know that the campaign is meeting your goals. Whether short, medium or ultimate aims, be clear about how it will be measured.
Should I worry about Follower numbers?
In a word, no! It is more about having influencers – people that are trusted and have engaged followers themselves. Look out for bloggers, acknowledged experts, interesting “celebrities” in your sector and active tweeters; all of whom can help spread and evangelise your messages.
Look out for other communities to be active within
There are some obvious channels to use, Twitter & LinkedIn being two here, plus Facebook, as with its new Timeline platform it finally makes some sense for businesses to profile on it. But there are equally many other communities that have been created to be shared amongst like-minded people. Look them out and get involved as you never know who might be on them.
Understand the data
There are a plethora of tools on the internet that can help you delve into the effectiveness of your social media presence. Everyone has their favourites; here at Lamb we use HootSuite as the dashboard for monitoring the various accounts we have. Aside of the usual timelines, mentions, messages, etc it has a great search tool for looking at Twitter trends as well as being able to tell you when and how many times a tweet posted has been retweeted, thereby showing the outreach of it. We use Klout and its inbuilt scoring matrix to gauge how effective our accounts are. Its algorithms assess amongst other things, your activity, the quality of your followers and the outreach of your tweets to build a number score. Very simply the higher the number the greater your perceived Twitter clout or Klout is considered. It also shows how it goes up and down, which can be a great indicator of any specific messaging done. SocialBro is great for lifting the bonnet of your Twitter account and seeing who’s following you, who they really are, how active they are and how influential they are for you.
Make everything social
Ultimately one of the prime motivations of all this is to raise awareness. A big part of which is to drive traffic to your site and likewise raise its profile in the Google search rankings. This is now almost entirely driven by how active and contemporary your site is, therefore it pays huge attention to the social media content within it. Don’t miss that trick then and make sure your site captures and displays that content where Google will find it.