Maintain What's Working, But Carve Out Some Budget for Social
Unless you've suddenly received additional budget for social media marketing (insert laugh track), you're probably stuck diverting resources from other marketing budgets to make social media marketing happen. Try not to touch the funds supporting your current effective strategies, instead drawing from the cost of under-performing strategies.
Since this is a test campaign, you should only allocate enough budgets to generate "statistically-significant" results that you can compare against your other marketing channels. This could require 10-20% of your total marketing resources, depending on the size of your budget. Companies like "Lion Marketing Group" suggest that 20% is a good starting point for business starting out in the Social Media Arena.
Create a Focused Strategy
Since you will be working with a smaller budget, it's important to focus your efforts for maximum result. Instead of creating profiles and accounts the hundreds of social media platforms, start by identifying a couple of tactics to pursue, and metrics for determining success.
- Start a blog, and update it frequently with relevant topics for your audience. Goal: Increase website traffic by 20% and generate (insert your number here) blog subscribers.
- Use Google Alerts and Tweet Deck to monitor the web, blogs and Twitter for mentions of your brand (negative or positive), and join the conversations. Goal: Increase customer satisfaction and positive online brand references.
- Build your LinkedIn network of customers and prospects, and start or participate in a LinkedIn group focused on a topic of interest to potential referral sources and customers. Goal: Identify and create relationships with 10 new prospects or referral sources each month, resulting $X of new revenue.
- Start a Facebook Page, and build your audience by distributing exclusive offers to "Fans." Goal: Increase foot traffic to a store or restaurant, online purchases for an e-commerce site, customers for a service, or members for an association.
Analyze your Social Media Marketing Success or Failure
Now it's time to sit down and analyze your results to determine what tactics worked and what goals were reached, and which were not. In addition to looking at the hard numbers, use anecdotal information in your judgment. For example, if one of the tactics didn't reach the revenue goals, did it generate conversations that could lead to substantial future revenue? Did it make it on other sites like "SacTown Social Media"
With your numbers and insights in hand, you'll be able to identify which tactics you should continue to optimize and leverage for your business, and which tactics to drop.
The exciting thing about social media marketing is the constant appearance of new channels, platforms and tactics that may be helpful for reaching your business goals. Following the process above will help you remove much of the fear and uncertainty of testing these new tactics, and improve your overall marketing revenue and ROI goals.
Image Credit: Intersection Consulting