Home > Geoffrey Kwitko > PART 1: A map to the social media maze (means to an end)

PART 1: A map to the social media maze (means to an end)

So you are interested in building your own online community or social media presence? There are a maze of choices out there (with many leading you to dead ends). I’d like to offer you a summary of the map I use with my internet marketing consulting clients to navigate the exciting but sometimes overwhelming maze of social media.

STEP 1: Accept you don’t absolutely NEED to build a social media presence

Building a vibrant, healthy online community around your brand is simply one of many possible means to an end. Sure, a social media campaign is relatively low cost strategy with high ROI potential. But that doesn’t mean social media is necessarily the best strategy to get you to your particular end goal the fastest, cheapest, easiest and with best results for your stakeholders. Before getting bogged down by what to name your twitter account, take a step back and really consider what exactly you are trying to achieve here.

COMMON “END” GOALS

  • Increase customer loyalty (i.e. purchase frequency, client retention)
  • Give your stakeholders a voice, collect feedback, two way communication
  • Shift your brand values to more fresh, modern, open, transparent, fun
  • Make it easy for your existing fans and customers to spread a positive message about your brand to their peers (i.e. stimulate word of mouth referrals)
  • Create immediate awareness of latest news, product offerings, events, offers (i.e. keeping stakeholders informed)
  • Increase raw sales numbers or decrease the cost per new warm lead interested in your services

QUESTION: What are the business / community problems you are trying to solve? What is the “in a perfect world” you want to create? How quickly do you need these results? Do you need an absolute performance guarantee? What budget do you have behind you?

Keep a list of these business “end” goals visible (e.g. a poster on the wall) as they will remind you of what you are doing and help you guide all future decisions. These end goals will also play a major part in the “measuring success” step of the map.

POSSIBLE “MEANS” TO THESE END GOALS

  • Building an online social media presence (E.g. facebook fan page, twitter account)
  • Hosting face to face “open to the community” roundtable discussions or networking events in a pub or meeting space (see http://www.StartupClub.com.au)
  • Create a referral incentive scheme and give out info packs for your customers to share face to face with their friends
  • Refining your product/service to better satisfy the needs of your customers
  • Running an online or offline advertising campaign (e.g. PPC advertising on facebook, radio adverts etc)

QUESTION: Out of all the online and offline strategies available to you, which will get you directly to your end goal?

Social media will most likely be the best choice for you, but sometimes a more specific solution may be more appropriate (e.g. if you want to increase sales, maybe just running a paid advertising campaign on facebook or google will be cheaper and easier in the long run).

In ensuring that your strategy caters well to your business goals, you can move forward confidently knowing that you correctly explored all the options.

If you need help or advice with step one, feel free to contact me….. and stay tuned for STEP TWO (measuring social media success) and STEP THREE (choosing your technology).

All the best!

Geoffrey Kwitko
–  Internet Marketing Consultant (Adelaide)

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