Seven Tips for Building and Executing an Effective Social Media Program
Jacqi Levy 270003E0DF JALEVY@US.IBM.COM | | Tags:  marketing ibm ibm-business-partner social-media demand-generation ibm-business-partners
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Social media is a hot topic these days. Most companies plan to increase their resources investment in social media over the next five years, and several recent IBM surveys, including The State of Marketing 2012 and The 2012 IBM Global CEO Study, indicate that keeping pace with social media proliferation is one of the biggest marketing challenges right now.
As you grow your social media programs, remember that social media is not an exact science -- there is no one right way to approach it. However, I do think that there are some things that you can do to increase your chances of success. Based on my own personal experiences, here are some tips on how to build and execute an effective social media program:
1 - Listen to the MarketEstablishing a social media strategy (or any strategy, for that matter) starts with market research. Before you dive in head first, take some time to:
2 - Identify your Business Goals
Before you move forward, think carefully about what goals you are trying to achieve with your social media presence. Possible goals may include:
Tie your goals back to your overall marketing strategy and integrate your social efforts with other aspects of your digital presence.
3 - Choose your Social Networks Thoughtfully
Each platform has its own unique features, user habits and demographics, so pick the platform(s) that make sense based on your goals. Consider the target audience, required time commitment and budget when making a decision, because some social network lend themselves more towards some business goals than others. If you're having trouble making a decision, this matrix offers some solid advice on how to choose the right social media platform.
4 - Set Your Profile Up for Success
5 - Develop Social Media Content & Engage Your Audience
Companies that are successful with social media usually do two things well: they enable a candid dialogue with their stakeholders and offer them meaningful, value-add content. Here are some tips on how to do both:
6 - Empower Your Advocates
7 - Understand the Impact: Quantify Your Successes
Develop metrics to identify successes/failures and continually reassess your performance. Benchmark your achievements against competitors and industry trends. Many social networks, like YouTube and Facebook, now offer free metrics that can help you do this. You can also leverage no-cost third party tools, such as Feedburner (blog metrics), to aid in this effort.
Looking for more information on building and executing an effective social media program? Visit the Getting Started with Social Media portal on PartnerWorld for self-study resources and the latest Social Media Bootcamps for Business Partners.