Social media marketing not as easy as ‘just do it”

8 Apr

When it comes to social marketing, is your business just doing it or doing it right? “Just Do It” is a one-in-a-million advertising slogan that has great marketing legs for a sports brand. In fact, the “Just Do It” campaign increased Nike’s share of the domestic sport-shoe business from 18 percent to 43 percent between 1988 and 1998. It is about as simple as it gets to communicate a call-to-action of “go”! It’s easy to understand and simple to communicate. Get out there and do “it”. Do something, do anything. Do whatever “it” is that gets you off the couch and moving.

Unfortunately, when it comes to beginning a business social media campaign, many businesses think the same “just do it” message also applies. It doesn’t. The reality is that for many businesses, social media activities are rarely adding-up to more than a series of completed tasks and simply “doing.” While you can’t break the internet, you can damage a brand and waste a lot of time and money on social media without a plan.

According to a recent survey of top U.S. marketing leadership, social media spending by marketers is expected to skyrocket from the 5 percent current spend to nearly a quarter of the marketing budget in the next five years. Certainly, well before spending rises to 25 percent of a marketing budget, the expenditure is worthy of spending time charting a strategic course.

Being strategic requires businesses to be deliberate, innovative, focused, and less reactive in their social media practices. Businesses need to regard social media communications as an integral component of, and not separate from, overall communications and business practices. If the goal is to build sustainable and effective social media relationships, it is essential that social media be woven into the communications processes and business systems. A comprehensive assessment of existing web-based activity, also known as a digital audit, is the foundation of a strategic, integrated digital strategy.

A digital audit shouldn’t be confused with reporting analytics of a single social media platform where likes, shares and visits are reported on a dashboard for measurement and review. Instead, an audit asks overall business questions about your social engagements:

  • What are your business goals? How can tools and social technology help?
  • What are your digital business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)?
  • What are your digital assets and are they working together?
  • How do competitive and best practices compare with yours?

These questions determine what is working well, what is not, what might work better if adjustments are made, and what needs to be added. Armed with these answers, organizations can build a social media strategic plan that includes engagement objectives, targeted social media channels, and an editorial calendar. These businesses will be ready to competitively participate and not tempted to “just do it.”

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