The start of a social media strategy

The implementation of social media tactics

The final aim = To convert visitors to consumers.

If they do not become consumers then they should be converted to one of three things if possible beginning with the most important.

Primary Goal

  • Purchase and item or order

Secondary Goal

  • Email subscribers on the blog
  • Facebook Fan page members
  • Twitter followers

The Company Blog

With the inclusion of the blog we must look at it as the hub of the social media efforts.  It is the content provider that is used to compliment current promotional campaign efforts and as such is the focal point where visitors are sent.

Currently we are discussing sport as the next marketing effort.

To begin with, content about sport should be created in the generic form.  Rules about the sport or competitions and some history of the sport and its development are good areas to cover. Then, content should be aimed towards more up to date news about the current leagues, teams or individuals and their standings and form. Eventually and if possible, interviews are an excellent form of content from players or teams as human interest pieces are the most “sticky” and also it is the easiest content to produce as the players themselves fill in the blanks.

While being exposed to the content then visitors should also be exposed to the opportunity to choose one of the three options listed above AFTER they have been offered the possibility to purchase and item or make an order on the company site.

This is achieved by the placement of text or attractive graphics at the end of content articles linking to the necessary product order pages on the main commerce site. Should this option not bear fruit then the secondary options should be available for consideration at little to no effort for the visitor via floating sidebars or unmistakable icons placed on the page and linking to the relevant profile.

The FaceBook Fan Page

Once this drive of content is in place we must begin the social media effort of talking about sport on the FaceBook Fan Page (not exclusively but enough for it to be a major subject).  This can be achieved by adding in the content form the blog automatically to the Facebook page and asking the current fans if they are involved in a sport or know anyone that is.

Of course, much more of a response is forth coming the more fans the page has, so I would strongly recommend that the mail shot to the current client base be completed at the earliest opportunity in order to establish a base and solid foundation to work on in the FaceBook ecosystem.  Having this available allows more depth and feedback to be gathered and more reaction to different promotions and campaigns assessed quickly and honestly from the user base. Indeed, it can be an excellent way of helping to generate sales as old clients are reminded of the excellent service and quality provided by the company though simple conversation.

In regards the administration of the page one person will responsible for this at the initial stages.  By administration we mean that conversations will be monitored and keep in the realms of decency and on point and of course, members that single themselves out to be particularly abusive or have little or now positive input can be removed.  allow this may sound ominous, due to the members on FaceBook carrying their own names and faces, this rarely happens as it did in the past on anonymous forums whereby users posted on fake or unidentifiable names.

Other FaceBook Groups and Fan Pages.

In conjunction to this the company then need to source and join some sport or sporting related groups and engage these groups in conversation about the sport.  the engagement should not be overbearing or pushy at this stage.  It should be a process of listening, engaging and assessing the groups nature and context by reading the information already available on the wall then asking a series of questions such as:

“How are the team doing this year?”

“Who has the best average score per game?”

“When is the next match?”

“Are any matches local to my area (put the specific area)”

Gradually this may lead onto things about the team and its events commenting on the team strip and mentioning how the company have supplied other sports teams and showing the results of this service via photos or links to the product itself on the company website or blog.

This whole process can take seconds and be done in a single burst if the group and users are active or it can happen over several days as comments and replays are made and the company react to them. Several groups can be run at once of course and by several it can be two or hundreds depending on time and resource and if those groups are exist.

The group sourcing aspect can be facilitated by searching or asking your direct network for advice but the actually conversational process must be completed and maintained by the company are it is the company that are most familiar with the product, service and price.

Beginning with Twitter

At this early stage twitter must be considered a fall back option.  It is an excellent tool for networking and locating individuals to connect with so it should be available and maintained to some extent at this stage in order to gather and increase its natural follower count.

The account can be maintained via the blog as the content created there, much like Facebook, can be automatically feed into the Twitter profile updating the status and increasing the visible content.  Twitter should be monitored on occasion for information requests (all of this will arrive via email regardless) until such times as the the company account can be run effectively and in a more hands on manner.