Social media marketing continues to dominate the digital marketing landscape. Despite the ongoing importance of using social media to acquire, grow and retain customers, many organizations continue to miss the mark. Too often marketers keep social separate from overall marketing goals and business objectives. This approach can cause social content to sound forced to an increasingly aware audience. To achieve success in this dynamic space, marketers must back social efforts with a strategic plan that supports the bigger picture.
In May social media experts Scott Martineau, Eyal Ronan and Adam Metz led a Social Media Today webinar on the topic of “Scaling Personal Engagement,” which included an interesting discussion about “defining the perfect customer lifecycle.” Social marketers are employing this methodology to make the most of their initiatives. The idea behind the “perfect customer lifecycle” is simple. Marketing strategists map out an ideal customer path and then define the types of communication that will take place at each touch point along the path. Upon completing this process, they see how and when social media impacts the sales cycle.
While every brand, including yours, has unique goals, consider these points when you’re working social media marketing into your overarching marketing plan:
- Acquisition: In which social networks is your target audience active? Should you use Facebook advertising to attract untapped members of your target audience? How can you encourage your current fans to act as brand ambassadors within their own networks, and how else can you gain more exposure for your brand?
- Growth: What social platforms make sense for your business? What types of content will you push to your audience and how often will you communicate? How can you reward past customers on your social networks to establish brand loyalty?
- Retention: How can you encourage past customers to become members of your social communities? How can you leverage your social community to help answer questions about your product or service? Who will be responsible for managing questions and comments on your social networks?
Answering these types of questions will help you pinpoint specific initiatives for your social marketing strategy. From there, get creative with how you plan to engage users in different ways throughout the cycle. One message will not work everywhere. And every social network is not right for every brand.
What types of messaging have been successful in your current social marketing efforts? Offer your stories in the comments below. We love to hear from you!