I'm thankful for the amazing entrepreneurs I've met during my recent spate of speaking engagements between March and May. It gave me a renewed sense of what people know, don't know and find most challenging on social media. Sadly, many don't know the strategic importance of social media community and its unique advantage in sustainable client relations.
What Do Your Clients Mean To You?
As an entrepreneur, if you've been in business for at least four (4) years, you know that:
- Happy, empowered clients realize their dreams and help you realize yours.
- Client relationship management (CRM) is a $20B industry for a reason. (Forbes)
- You have a CRM system, loyalty programs and client gifts for that reason.
Get it? No Clients, No Business. If you don't have a clear social media strategy or, worse, can't differentiate between strategy and tactics, you'll find you're constantly in flux about what to do next. Regardless of how many great campaigns you run, how amazing your services are or how social media 'savvy' you are, if you're not speaking to your clients or real leads, if there's no clear strategy, what's your return on investment (ROI)?
Strategy. Beyond Tactics.
I focus on overarching social media strategy for entrepreneurs. It wasn't until my recent spate of speaking engagements that I've come to realize that not everyone knows what that means. This blog post by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Crowd Companies Council, helps you better differentiate between Strategy and Tactics, but in summary:
- Strategy. A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall goal(s).
- Tactic. An activity that puts strategy into action to achieve strategic goals.
Here's an example. If the defining statement of your social media strategy is to "retain existing clients and attract new clients on your current schedule", then tactics could include:
- Automating to save time and curate client-focused content.
- Inviting clients, offline, to connect online to continue group conversations.
- Extending your client loyalty program to social media through contests, etc.
An overarching strategy governs your social media community, regardless of which channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) you use and how often those channels change or disappear. Your tactics would determine how each channels fits within your social media strategy.
If You're Serious, This Is Not Kid's Play.
Social media does not work for all businesses. This is why you have to assess its value to your business strategically. Determine if, how, social media can really be aligned with your business goals. As with everything else, you get what you put in. A professional approach to social media will get you results. A strategy is the first piece of that. Knowing how to use, navigate, "play" on social media is not the same as leveraging it's potential for your unique brand.
In this video, I talk about the importance of equipping your Social Media Manager, from teenager to retiree, with a clear strategy. If "your (friend's) kids" manage your social media community, a clear strategy gives direction to their social media savvy. Help them connect successfully with your clients.