You should have realistic marketing expectations when starting a social media campaign. First, let us set the expectation properly: Social media marketing, and particularly Facebook marketing, takes time. It is not something you just turn on overnight to gain followers, fans, friends, and hoards of consumers saying good things about your brand and / or your company.
Facebook will not do your job for you, it will not sell for you, and it will not make you creative. Facebook is a set of tools that, if used properly, can give you a way to reach people in a new and exciting way.
If it's used improperly, you are sure to spend a lot of money, get frustrated, and ultimately lose faith in a channel that could be very, very good to you.
Every situation is different, so you'll have to assess how different parts of Facebook could be used in concert to solve your business problems.
Effective execution on Facebook generally starts with an honest assessment of the metrics you are trying to drive. For example, consider the following questions:
• Do you want more direct revenue for your e-commerce effort?
• Are you primarily trying to reach new customers? Or are you trying to communicate better with existing customers?
• Do you want to improve your customer engagement or image metrics?
• Are you establishing a base from which you can market future products and services over coming months and years?
• Do you need to connect better with people in different demographic groups?
• Are you interested in a set of customers on social media that you can benchmark against other customer lists (eâ € 'mail, newsletter subscribers, show / conference attendees)?
• Do you want to increase referral business?
• Are you trying to reposition your business or brand?
The answer to these questions will help determine your tactics, how aggressive you should be, and sometimes most important, the things you want consumers to do.
Remember, this is an interactive medium, so you are not necessarily just blasting messages to your customers. You can get them to communicate with you and with their friends. This is the power of the medium, and it's at your fingertips.
In terms of workflow, you'll first have to come to grips with the fact that managing social media will take time, and quite frankly, you have a lot of work to do.
You first have to decide what you will promote – a company, a brand, a product?
These decisions are typically driven by organizational dynamics, such as what a manager owns or how a company views social media.
These conversations can take a lot of time, and the outcome can be based as much on politics as the right thing to do for the customer.
Once you've determined what you want to do, you need to have the resources set aside to establish the presence. So in summary, you'll need to ask yourself the following questions as you begin.
• What do you want to say?
• How will you say it?
• Do you need your own content or will you point to other content on the Internet?
• Who will post the content?
• What creative is necessary (logos, icons, ongoing graphic design work, custom applications) to fulfill the business objectives?
Depending on priorities, these tasks are generally assigned to full-time employees, interns, or even consultants who know the business well and understand how to establish a social media presence quickly.
The best situation is to have a trusted employee manage your social media presence. You do not want to invest time and money in all the learning only to have the person responsible work for someone else or end a contract and take the knowledge with them.
After the basic presence is established, you'll have to maintain your new property.
I like to think of this responsibility as a social "editor-in-chief," someone who is responsible for making sure the presence is fresh with updates on a regular basis.
This should be a person you trust implicitly; words and thoughts shared on social media can in some cases be permanent!
I've typically recommended at least one update per day per social network for clients, and no more than 7 or 8 per week.
Remember, you do not want to annoy people.
This person is oftentimes the person who will monitor outcomes and manage analytics for a social media project. In an ideal situation, each business goal you've identified will be adapted to a specific success metric.
Those metrics should be measurable and recorded in a spreadsheet on a daily basis once your project is established.
Social media projects are relatively new, so you'll probably have to go above and beyond to ensure that management is supportive of your effort.
We've had a lot of success when we are able to show data, charts, and details on how the effort results in increased awareness, improved image, or higher revenues.
All told, you are trying to create a presence and tweak it into optimal performance.
Very few web properties were perfect upon launch. The optimal combination of design and content for your business goals is determined only after a lot of experimentation.
Get comfortable trying things out. It's a common characteristic of the Web, and social media is no different. If you have metrics to back up your assertions, you'll be a lot more confident because numbers rarely lie.