Yeah, yeah, social media is still trendy and we all wish people would stop singling it out as anything other than another tool in the customer relations and marketing toolbox. But utilizing this tool effectively is still crucial to quality customer interaction. And what better way for a business to make a royal, social media mess of things? By not having a social media policy.
I would like to make the argument that any company, however small or large, in whichever type of business it may be, needs to have a social media policy of some kind.
Now certainly a one-man business or small shop shouldn’t waste their time writing an elaborate 20 page document covering every single aspect of every possible social media platform available. But they do need to evaluate how their employees are going to conduct themselves across various platforms as representatives of the company. Even if that means a simple paragraph in the employee handbook.
What is important to understand is the scope and penetration of company related social media interaction. For example, as the marketing director, I try to weigh each item I post anywhere against how I might be perceived as a spokesman for Big Bang. Even on accounts that have no direct tie to the company, I still consciously conduct myself as if the person reading what I typed knew I worked for Big Bang and what it was all about. This is largely because I spread Big Bang information all over on a daily basis.
But what about the person who isn’t responsible for external media, like one of our software developers. Well Big Bang’s short little two-page social media policy breaks it down two ways. First, if the individual does not have their work email, work url or any other work related items tied to any of their social media accounts, then they may conduct themselves however they wish. If however, they do have information available for public consumption that indicates their affiliation with Big Bang, they need to conduct themselves accordingly.
The extent to which a company manages and enforces social media policy is typically based on the scale of effect that an individual's personal social media presence can have on the company's brand and image. For Big Bang, we simply want represent ourselves ethically and with common sense, to offer honest and transparent insight into our brand and protect its integrity. And if we make a mistake, to be honest about that as well.
For us, and what I think is the most effective way to institute social media policy, is to treat employees with the same level of respect and trust that you have in them to work hard for you every day. They already possess the level of pride in their company necessary to, with the subtle guide of a well-written social media policy, conduct themselves as brand ambassadors.
And if they don’t, then that is probably indicative of larger issues than errant tweets.
As I mentioned in THIS POST, I find it very important to highlight from my yearly goals, the top ten things that I really want to accomplish. These are the big ones, the items that might require a little education, a little extra research, a little extra money, and maybe a lot of extra time, but are key to the success of that particular year’s marketing strategy. Sometimes they correspond with what I think are new or valuable trends in marketing (last year’s completed mobile site goal), but they are always items that will be crucial for our success in the coming year.
Here are my Top Ten Marketing Goals for 2012 – (in no particular order)
We have been holding steady between 11 and 12k for the last quarter of 2011, and after completely revamping Paid search program and a full SEO audit, are continuing to generate relevant content to attract more visitors.
Our Universal Imaging Utility trial conversion rate is pretty solid, now I just need to get more of the right info to the right prospects at the right time for increased trial activation.
Our Big Bang Blog (the one you are reading) has done extremely well in the first few months so I really want to get a solid blog schedule for our two software offerings. Product updates, relevant industry news, upcoming development ideas, etc.
Last year I really tightened down my social media tactics and developed a clear plan. Now, as our customer base and brand awareness continues to grow, I want to make sure the rest of the building is on the same page and utilizing SM appropriately.
If I can justify the expense with increased revenue, I really want to fire up a re-targeting campaign this year.
The web-based knowledge base from SF is pretty robust and I think will help us take better care of our customers more efficiently.
Well-written wiki can’t hurt. Just haven’t had the time.
Our new SCCM plug-in, the UIUSD, will be perfect for a well-laid webinar schedule for lead capture.
Now that we have moved to Pardot and SF, I am, for the first time, able to be Super-OCD on ROI for absolutely everything. And I now have a marketing underling to help with reporting and metrics.
Speaking of Marketing assistant, as I get her trained up and involved, I already told her that I want to focus on her strengths and interests and have her “own” at least three major aspects of of our overall marketing strategy.
Those are my Top Ten Marketing Goals for 2012, what are yours?
At the beginning of each year, I prepare a list of the top ten marketing goals I would like to achieve in the year ahead. I do this to help me plan out my marketing strategy, aid in budget preparation, but largely to set marketing expectations for myself a little higher than the previous year.
Most of the items required new research, learning new skills, or careful incorporation into my existing marketing strategy. But some goals I desired to have in place by this time, but for a variety of reasons was not able to complete.
My Top Ten Marketing Goals for 2011
Continue to Develop Solid Brand Position - SUCCESS
-Speak and write passionately about product to attract ideal customer
Start Small Business Blog - SUCCESS
-You are reading it
Create Social Media Policy - SUCCESS
-Develop and document strategies and tactics for connecting and
networking with ideal customer
Build and Combine Customer Lists - SUCCESS
-Take current customer list, clean, and combine with new lead list
Increase Unique Web visits to 15k/month - FAILURE
-Fine Tune SEO and analytics – finesse content and design
Do a Professional Product Video - SUCCESS
-Utilize Angelvision for product video
Mobile Marketing - SUCCESS
-Develop mobile site and begin opt-in mobile program for updates
Referral System - FAILURE
-Focus on centers of influence and trusted advisers to promote brand and product. Develop referral promotion for loyal, enthusiastic existing customers.
Focus on ideal Customers - SUCCESS
-Identify ideal customer and focus 90% of assets and energy on closing
opportunities to them.
Define and clarify Sales Cycle - SUCCESS
-Clearly define conversion parameters and lead scoring to qualify and track each lead through cycle and increase opportunity close percentage.
*Failed - Increase Unique Web Visits to 15+/month
Big Bang and the UIU have been averaging between 11 and 12k unique visitors per month for about six months and I really wanted increase that by a few thousand. The primary reason that this goal was not completed is that I really stopped focusing on clicks and completely revamped my entire adwords and landing page strategy to really focus on interaction. Another factor was the complete rebuild of our websites including new developer and CMS, for which we have been re-establishing our organic search ranking slowly. The goal of increased traffic will definitely be making it to the 2012 list in an upcoming post, but I think I might up the ante just a bit to 17k+/month now that the foundation is set.
*Failed - Referral System
This goal has been on the last two year’s goals in a row, and I think that it will not be making it to the 2012 list for a few very good reasons. But since I’m already getting long-typed on this post, I will save the topic of Referral System and why I think it will never work for us for a dedicated post in two weeks.
What goals did you miss this year and why?
About Big Bang Blog
There are many reasons to write a small business blog, we wanted to bring you at least a few reasons to read one. The Big Bang Blog covers the ins and outs of running a small software business, as well as a variety of small business marketing and media topics. Please leave us your comments and questions.
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|About Adam Murphy -
Adam is the President and Owner of Big Bang LLC and espouses a pretty progressive small business philosophy based primarily around hiring the right people and getting the hell out of their way.
|About Nate Bauer -
Nate is the Marketing Director for Big Bang LLC and pretty much spends his days tip-toeing on the pinnacle of how to most effectively implement strategy given the wide open cookie jar of small business marketing possibilities.
|About Kelley Burian - @kelleyburian
Kelley is the Sales Director for Big Bang LLC. Responsible for everything from GSA contracts, resellers and international customers, she has her hands full doing whatever she can to make sure our valued clients are thrilled with our fantastic products.