Executing a content strategy is a lot of work. Let no one tell you that social media for business is easy or fast. You must invest consistently and regularly in your content updates. You must know your audience. You must evalaluate and re-evaluate your strategy and work to become a trusted resource. You must be engaging, fun and entertaining. You must target and grow your audience using a multifaceted approach. And you must be flexible and willing to change course when your audience dictates it. So how do you know if all of this work is paying off? How do you know if your content strategy is working?
You are Engaged in an Ongoing Conversation with Fans
When starting out on a social media campaign you may first feel as though you’re talking to an empty room. There may be little engagement from fans and few clickthroughs to your website. Now is not the time to decide social media doesn’t work. Just like I write in Social Media Marketing is Like Dating, relationships take time to build and develop trust. As you build your audience you should see a gradual increase of likes, comments, retweets and shares. You’ll get to know your audience and what they enjoy. You’ll find yourself thinking of them when you read a certain article or produce an original content piece. You’ll become part of a larger conversation with fans and followers and you’ll recognize their unique personalities and traits. Don’t give up too soon as this process can take months to develop.
Fans Tell their Friends about You
Maybe this process starts with the Twitter Follow Friday tradition, or perhaps your Facebook page is recommended by friends in the beginning. Take advantage of these recommendations to help your account grow. Remember to recommend the pages and people you find valuable too. Social media, like dating, is a two way street. You need to recommend others if you want them to recommend you.
People Tell You They Recognize You from Social Media
You know that feeling when you buy a car and then start seeing that same make and model all around you? You never noticed it before, but now it seems like it’s everywhere. That’s brand recognition. The same thing happens when you engage regularly in social media spaces. If you’ve done a good job of branding your account and are actively engaging in these spaces, people start to recognize your logo and your name. Then, when they see your store in their neighborhood, your products on shelves or your brand name on your collateral materials they’re already familiar with you. That’s how trust in a brand builds.
Your Conversion Rate is Growing
I don’t necessarily mean sales here. How you measure a conversion is unique to your business. A conversion from Facebook may be a subscription to a blog. A Twitter conversion may be a Facebook page like, or a newsletter sign up. Conversations can also be:
- Donations to a cause
- Downloads of a white paper
- Requests for information
- Commitment to volunteer
However you measure a conversion, as you continue to execute your strategy you should see this rate increasing.
You are Having Fun
You’ve heard this one before. While social media for business is hard work, you should also be truly enjoying your engagement with your fans and followers. People involved in social media are social in nature, so their online interactions should reflect their offline values. Use your sense of humor and be interesting. Remember your job is to entertain and add value to your fans’ newsfeeds. So if you’re not having fun what makes you think your fans are? Whether you’re writing a blog on a topic about which you are passionate or posting a silly photo of your business, you should be enjoying the interaction as much as your fans do.
How do you measure success in your strategy? I’d love to hear from you.