Insider Lessons for Building a Social Media Strategy
About three-quarters of all Internet users are members of at least one social network, and social media ranks in as the number one daily activity among Americans. With so many consumers networking online, it is essential for today’s businesses to have a strong social media presence. If your company has been slow to hop on the bandwagon, here are some tips on how to climb aboard and stay mobile.
1. Set Goals
Outlining reasonable daily goals will help you stay on target. Determine what the minimum amount of posts per day should be in order to obtain maximum results. Don’t set the bar too high initially. The number can be adjusted accordingly, but setting a limit as a beginner will create a benchmark. Be sure to do your research to determine how often your competitors are posting, what their overall message is and how well it is being received.
Compiling your content in an editorial calendar is a good way to stay organized. Establish a weekly, shareable calendar separated by network that your coworkers can view and comment on before posting. Planning ahead will ensure that you spend enough time preparing and strategizing.
2. Tailor Your Posts
Social networks aim to be unique, and each one should be regarded as such. Certain content should be posted to all channels—especially good news and rave reviews—but you should generally tailor your posts to suit each individual forum.
For example, LinkedIn is strictly business, and their audience is looking for in-depth, informative content, while Instagram users expect meaningful visual imagery. Pay attention to your follower demographic in each network to ensure that you are publishing content that will interest them. Also, consider the space limitations of each medium as you craft your post. At a 140-character per tweet maximum, Twitter thrives on brevity, as do many of the channels.
3. Engage With Users
Visitors who tweet at you or post on your Facebook page should receive a prompt reply, as leads can be lost if their questions are ignored. When you deliver a thoughtful reply, the visitor will feel as though their comments and concerns have been heard and addressed. Although often bemoaned for its lack of humanity, social media networks enable users to reach out to each other in a significant way.
To stay on top of customer or follower feedback, assign a member of your team to monitor each social media channel. Have a system in place for responding patiently and professionally to negative comments. Reward followers for promoting your business and engage them through contests and giveaways.
4. Track Data
Tracking may be time-consuming, but the useful data that it provides is worth the effort. Set aside time to review important metrics on a monthly basis. Statistics to focus on include number of posts, follower growth, feedback from followers including “likes” and retweets, page views and clicks to your website. Analyze each channel separately and compare them to those of your largest competitors.
For companies that are short on time, software can be enlisted to help track data, including free tools such as Hootsuite and Google Analytics. Determining which content received the most clicks or shares will help you to strategize for future posts. Share your results with the different marketing forces within your company for further evaluation and seek additional input from other departments. Customer service and sales departments may have good insight into your social media market, as they are the people who interact with prospects and customers the most consistently.
5. Stay Active
Just because your business is generating exceptional buzz on one particular site does not mean that you should decrease your engagement with the others. Interest in social media networks fluctuates as channels compete and introduce new features. In that vein, be careful not to underestimate the viability of certain platforms. Google+ does not yet have the reputation that Facebook does, but it actually gets more hits: according to iMedia Connection, Google+ actually averages more visits per month than Facebook, with Google+ receiving 1.2 billion visits per month compared to Facebook’s 809 million. Additionally, Google+ is tied to both Google search and YouTube. The more often your business posts on Google+ or YouTube, the more free ad space you will have when users search for you on Google, and your network will continue to grow as a result.
Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR
The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.”
NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well.
2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer.