I know what you’re thinking… “Green stop signs? Do those exist?” Believe it or not, they do.
If you were to see one would you stop? We are taught from a very young age to stop when we see red and to go when we see green. Changing and innovating something that is culturally and globally accepted really doesn’t make much sense. It’s just change for the sake of change, innovation without thought or purpose, and it is a waste of time and effort. The same is true with your social media campaign. If you want to innovate and do something different you have to remember that people can’t read your mind or see your vision of the future. They see your story. So always make sure your social media campaigns have a clear purpose and aren’t a green stop sign.
Can What You’re Doing Be Measured?
The bottom line is that you MUST be able to measure and evaluate the REACH and ENGAGEMENT of your social media campaign at the beginning, throughout, and afterwards. Here are some of the key metrics for a basic Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn campaign:
|# of Tweets
|LinkedIn Group Members
|Click Through Rate
|LinkedIn Group Discussions
|LinkedIn Group Comments
If your social media strategy does not include an evaluation section that includes *some* of these metrics, then the ROI conversation you are going to have with the executive team will be worthless because you can’t prove that you accomplished anything.
Can You Connect the Campaign to Organizational Goals?
There’s a reason that you are spending countless hours pouring over social media, creating content, and trying to create the ever-elusive viral video… right? If you can’t connect the end goal of your social media campaign to a real, tangible organizational goal then you really need to sit down and reevaluate. In this growing digital world, it is getting easier to justify the existence of a digital marketing team (which we feel is critical to ANY business success) but there are still a lot of companies that are resistant to change. If you cannot strategically align the goals of your social media campaign to those of the organization, I suggest sitting down with upper management and ensuring that you truly understand how your role helps drive organizational success. It will make you a stronger marketer, and help to break down some of the internal barriers facing your team.
Does Your Messaging Have a Call To Action?
You have strong metrics, great organizational buy-in, and a great communications plan. Yet no one is clicking, viewing, or downloading any of the fantastic content that you have created. You have essentially created a green stop sign without the word STOP. Would you stop for a random green sign along your drive to work? You need a call to action. Tell your followers, viewers, and fans where to go and how to get there. Do you want them to click and download an eBook? Or click through to your video? Tell them to. It is surprising how many marketers miss this point. You can have the best content on the planet, but if you don’t tell people to go and see it then they never will.
Are Your Posts Optimized to the Platform?
There was a really powerful infographic posted to the LinkedIn group Social Media Marketing Canada last week by Kevin Lee that discusses the Optimal Length for Every Social Media Update that sparked some excellent debate. He found that tweets between 70 and 100 characters had a 17% higher engagement rate, and that Facebook posts with 40 characters received an 86% higher engagement rate than posts with greater than 40 characters. Beyond the length of the post, there are countless resources available that have tips for optimizing your efforts.
Where’s the Story?
All of these outlets providing advice on why your social media campaign isn’t working will agree: you need to look at your story. I will tell you that no one wants to read content unless it actually stands out. Readers want to be entertained and they want to know how they are impacted by your message. Create an element of humanity in every story you tell. There is a difference between telling your target market that ‘there is a green stop sign on the corner of Wellington and Erb’, and asking them, ‘Green stop signs, the way of the future?’. Think about how you engage your target market through your storytelling. Is there consistency across platforms, and are we entertaining the proper audience?