With scores of people joining every day, social media is one of the fastest expanding marketing channels available. Did you know that 23% of Facebook users check their account at least 5 times a day? (It’s not just you!) Business opportunities are ripe on social media and as their target audience browse away, it’s marketers who follow the right strategy that will get the most out of their social media marketing.
Any marketing firm would agree that a well laid out strategy is the first step to helping a brand gain recognition but as companies like Blackberry have learned- the key to lasting success is innovation. Remember life before the IPhone when the coolest smart phone on the market was Blackberry? When they failed to innovate, customers moved on to the next big thing. Making sure your marketing strategy is up to date, innovative and incorporates the latest trends and techniques is essential to a successful campaign.
Strategies are essentially created to form a relationship between a company and its customers. We’ve all heard of the three C’s of marketing and integrated them into our strategies at some point but are you familiar with the FLIRT strategy? When it comes to ensuring your business thrives on social media, you have to FLIRT your way to the top.
So what exactly is FLIRT?
Focus, Listen, Integrate, Reach Out and Track- these five words can help any company navigate through social media and gain a better understanding of their audience.
Before you start any strategy you must first FOCUS- making sure you have clear objectives for your company is an essential first step. What is the point of the strategy? What do you expect to achieve? How will you go about it and by when do you expect to achieve the objectives? Set clear targets and remain focused throughout.
Next you must LISTEN- not only to clients’ input but to what is being said in and about your sector. Make sure you pay attention to trends and do your research in order to stay ahead. On social media, listening can even help you increase your client base. An effective way of finding new clients is to listen to their questions by monitoring keywords on sites like Twitter. Let’s say a small business owner needs help redesigning their website and tweets about the fact and you’re a freelance web designer in search of work. A quick hashtag or phrase search including keywords such as ‘web design’ will lead you to her tweet, allowing you to advise her and/or offer your services.
After you’ve listened and worked out where your audience is hanging out online, you should proceed to INTEGRATE your campaign across all platforms for maximum efficiency. An integrated campaign strategy is an essential part of social media; disjointed messages will only serve to impede the flow of your campaign. Ensure you utilise all available channels- email marketing, content marketing and SEM are all great additions to your social media marketing but no matter which you choose, make sure your message is clear and consistent among all platforms.
The next step after integrating your campaign is to REACH OUT to your audience. Find posts similar to the content you offer and retweet/share with your audience. Keep in mind that the kind of messages you choose to share will indirectly represent your company so pick wisely and choose messages and content that reflects well on you. Sharing content is a great way to expand your network and nurture potential online partnerships.
The final step involves evaluating the efficiency of your strategy by TRACKING your goals and determining whether you are on track to meet your targets. This is a learning stage, not all the components of your strategy will give you the desired results but tracking along the way will help you weed out the parts that are failing to deliver so you can tweak as necessary. The earlier you catch the kinks in your strategy, the easier it will be to adapt. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board!
Keep the FLIRT concept in mind next time you’re drafting a social media strategy and you will have a winning campaign.