When thinking about the impact a social media strategy can have on a brand, I was reminded of the awesome domino toppling setups that I recently saw on YouTube from Domino Day 2009. Each scene was a splendidly crafted design of links, bends, and turns incorporated into displays of famous monuments, people, and places that utilized vibrant color combinations, integrated mechanical engineering, and spectacular special effects. The number of dominos that fell in succession numbered at nearly 4.5 million, breaking the previous world record of 4.3 million.
So, what does domino toppling have to do with building a social media strategy? For domino toppling to be successful, each piece is dependent on the others, because the patterns are set up in logical and concise methods to generate a continuous chain reaction of falling dominos that lasts until the final piece drops. Likewise, to reach one’s social media marketing goals and objectives, a social media plan should be strategically designed and engineered to integrate relevant platforms that have the potential to successfully generate a chain reaction of brand recognition and conversions – recognition on multiple fronts, and conversions of followers to become customers, donors, or supporters.
The Method and the Madness
When participants of the 2009 Dominos Day first got together, they sketched out illustrations of the scenes that they wanted to recreate. Participants then chose the various methods and techniques needed to execute their vision to ultimately topple 4.8 million dominos– a record that they just missed.
To craft a successful social media strategy, we need to begin by sketching out a picture of a plan as the domino toppling participants did by asking ourselves:
- Who are the people that we want to reach?
- Where and how do they consume information online?
- How are we going to attract these individuals?
- What do we want to happen?
- What methods or platforms will work best to achieve our goal?
- How will we measure the results?
Whether you’re a business or non-profit organization, a well-thought-out social media strategy can make or break the success of your online presence or campaign. Although every brand is unique, there are some basic steps to consider.
Goals & Objectives
Define your goals and objectives first. Why are you on social media? Do you want to create awareness, build an engaged community of followers, solicit donations, drive sales, or steer people to your website or app? Whatever you need to accomplish, make certain your objectives are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Next, you will need to find your audience. Just because “everyone is on Facebook,” doesn’t mean your brand must be there too. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck if you showcase your brand on platforms where your target audience spends most of their time.
You’ll want to research your competitors too. Discover where they are on social media, and how they’re using their preferred platforms. This is an excellent way to glean some great ideas from other brands and to learn from their mistakes.
Implement an editorial calendar that includes articles relevant to your brand, open-ended and engaging questions for followers, success stories, and event updates. As you chart your content, leave space for real-time news from other sources. Remember to include dynamic images and videos to promote engagement. Regardless of what social platforms you dive into, it is vital to keep your content diverse and engaging.
Your strategy can also contain tactics such as monthly giveaways and contests, games, an ambassador campaign, live Facebook videos, chats or Tweetups, YouTube webinars, or gatherings on Google Hangouts. Whatever you choose to put into your tactical toolbox, be creative and keep it audience-driven.
Measure for Success
The final part of your strategy should focus on a plan to measure success. A variety of data resources such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Insights, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, TwitterCounters, Tailwind, Buffer, and Zoho will help you gather valuable metrics to analyze the results of your social media campaigns so that you can evaluate, tweak, and plan for the future. Check out “The Best Social Media Management & Analytics Tools of 2017,” published by PCMag.com, to find the right tools to measure your social media presence.
It’s important to measure your efforts monthly – first to establish benchmarks, and then to follow-up and work towards exceeding those benchmarks. You’ll find the learnings from your results to be invaluable, as they will help you to refine and improve the value of your social media marketing efforts.
It only takes one strategically placed domino to set off a chain reaction that can topple millions of tiles. By crafting and implementing a comprehensive strategy for your brand that contains well defined goals and objectives backed by solid tactics and measurements, you too can leverage the power of a chain-like reaction that has the greatest potential to help your brand to meet and surpass its social media endeavors.
Who knew that a simple set of tiles could be so inspiring? Tell us your strategy for successful social media marketing.