Social is a strategy that should be present in every aspect of your B2B marketing. In the past companies viewed social as merely posting on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Now, it is evident that social needs to be part of your entire marketing strategy. You need to learn to leverage social media—for building relationships, listening to the market, promoting content, and influencing buyers even before they’re identified as potential leads. To crush your competition, you have to do more than social media; you have to do social marketing!
As you evolve your social marketing strategy, you need to make sure you have the resources and are prepared to devote time to make an integrated plan.
Here are 6 questions that you should be asking yourself and your team to assess social marketing readiness:
1. Do we have clear goals for social marketing?
When you are coming up with goals, be as specific as you can and keep these objectives in mind for every initiative you execute. Assign a key team of business stakeholders to discuss social marketing priorities and strategy. It is important to have a solid understanding of your business’ personal social marketing methodology and how your team will execute in order to define metrics. See my earlier post on post on creating a social media governance board on ways to organize your social media efforts internally.
2. Do we have the human resources to commit to social marketing?
Before you start your social marketing initiative ask yourself if you can allocate the resources needed. Social marketing is about real-time response and continuously updated information—both of which require commitment and dedication.
3. Do we produce enough quality content to sustain social marketing conversations?
Content feeds the social marketing beast. Audit your existing marketing assets and identify your thought leadership pieces. Also make sure you put a plan in place that will enable you to consistently produce social marketing-worthy content—including blog posts, infographics, videos, and white papers. Remember, your larger content pieces can be re-purposed into other smaller content pieces. An example is a webinar can be re-purposed into video clips, whitepapers, infographics, blog posts etc.
4. Is our company website is prepared for social marketing attention?
Before you set up multiple social media profiles and pages, make sure your own website is in good enough shape to handle the attention. Make sure you have set up active social sharing on your website. Prompt your audience to share your content by giving them the tools they need to share your message on your social networks.
5. Are we are ready to incorporate social marketing strategies throughout the buying process?
Social marketing is not just for the top of the demand generation funnel. It’s important to monitor and track your prospects and customers throughout your sales pipeline. You can use social marketing practices in your lead nurturing, opportunity nurturing, and customer nurturing. Make sure that you are connected to your audience throughout your buying and customer life-cycle.
6. Are we are committed to making every campaign social?
As you determine what your campaign calendar looks like for the next six months or a year, you want to make sure that you have a plan to use social to amplify every marketing tactic. Whether you have just created a new content piece or are running a demand generation campaign, be sure to include social sharing and create tactics within the campaign that encourage relationship building across your social landscape.
Although it’s tempting to dive right into the various social media sites out there, you need to develop a social marketing plan first. Create goals and metrics will help ensure that the time and resources your organization invests in social marketing are well spent. It’s important to have guidelines that structure your efforts and guide your participants in the right direction.
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