The second step in developing a social media strategy is to conduct an internal social media audit. A social media audit can be a tremendously large undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. In short, your audit should evaluate the performance of marketing, sales, customer support, and product management. Each of these departments has to ask: what are our strengths, and where can we improve? The answers should be honest, and set the foundation for future growth. An evaluation of your social media strengths quickly leads to the question: Where should I place my resources? Which social networks should I focus on?
This big question has a simple answer: Spend time and resources in the social networks where your customers spend their time. Fish where the fish are.
Ask your customers. Have sales reps slip in the question in conversation. Also consider conducting a simple customer survey.
Look at Compete.com and Google Trends to learn where audiences are migrating.insert image: Compete-Facebook-vs-Google
It’s wise to consider that your brand’s online presence will not be restricted to one or two locations. Kira Wampler, the former group marketing manager of online engagement at Intuit, described online brand presence being divided into the following categories:
Your homebase – “inside your home”, e.g. your corporate website, your blog and the company’s on-domain community
Branded presence – akin to the sidewalk outside your home, outside the confines of your website, locations such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter where you can maintain a concentration of your company’s collateral and messaging
Outposts – the rest of the neighborhood, e.g. forums, other communities, other blogs, review sites, etc.
When it comes to branded presence, most corporations start by focusing on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But other online destinations may provide even more promise. Kira Wampler, the former group marketing manager of online engagement at Intuit, explains how Intuit has leveraged Amazon.com to engage with their audience. Customers use Amazon.com to submit product ratings and reviews. This gives Intuit a chance to comment on reviews, addressing concerns and learning about product strengths and weaknesses in a very direct way. In part 3 of Setting Your Social Media Strategy, we will look at specific tactics that work for different social media channels as well as which metrics to follow.