Part II — SMM Experts: What’s the Plan?
In Part I of this two-part series on hiring Social Media Marketing talent to execute your social media programs, we discussed what being an “expert” in this field actually means. In Part II, we’re focusing on deliverables.
So you’ve settled on your expert to run your social media program.
The team at Go Be Social Media advises you to ask a simple question: What’s the plan?
Great marketing plans are always based on great marketing campaigns—intelligently coordinated activities and programs designed to achieve your commercial goals. Effective campaigns integrate social media with PR efforts because these closely related forms of marketing communications share a natural business synergy.
While media relations is only one PR silo, it’s what people most often think of when PR is mentioned. Obtaining media coverage in and on TV, radio, podcasts, online news sites and online videos, blogs, digital newspapers, magazines and other publications, etc. is a great way to spread the word about your business and its products/services.
One of the best ways to land a mention of (or maybe even a feature about) your business in the media is to start by connecting with the journalists, reporters, bloggers and other “influencers” who cover topics in your industry. Luckily, the Web and social media are great facilitators of this process.
Whereas before you had to go through mass media to get your message out, the Web and social media now give you access to a wide range of influencers with whom you can easily interact and develop relationships … sans middleman.
By communicating with these influencers, you can ensure your business is top-of-mind when an opportunity for a story comes along. Ask your expert for ways he or she will use social media to build relationships with influencers and the media.
What are the Deliverable?
Everyone wants “results,” but you and your SMM expert need to start with a mutual understanding of just what that means.
Results are what happens as a consequence of certain applied actions. It’s important to distinguish particular features of results based on time elements:
- Outputs—short-term results related to the completion of actions (e.g., the number of blog posts in a single month).
- Outcomes—medium-term results related to practices (e.g., the number of leads generated from a campaign).
- Impacts—long-term results related to influence and effects (e.g., sales, brand exposure, etc.).
Results don’t always mean direct sales. There are other key results that your business can aim for when using social media. These include tangible values like reputation enhancement, obtaining and showcasing customer testimonials, customer care recognition, increased website traffic, etc.
Of course all of these things should lead to increased sales because that’s what business is all about. But remember, even sales themselves can be another measurement of your social media activities.
Re measurement, we’ll discuss specific social media metrics and monitoring (e.g., channel reports, ROI data, customer response rates, opportunity response rates, “reach and virality,” etc.) in another blog post.
So, when talking to the person or persons that you are considering selecting as the social media experts for your business, ask them about experience, strategy, tactics, plans, campaigns and the results (outputs, outcomes and impacts) they have had when using social media in the past, and intend to have in the future…with you.