It's time to zero in on your social media strategy and determine if you're having an identity crisis. Is your digital strategy healthy, or lingering on life support?
Your messaging must be:
The big picture
Keep in mind that strategy is the big picture and tactics are the everyday activities that help you achieve success in your big picture.
Do you have a written vision of what you want to achieve and why it's important to you? This is not about money. It's about doing work and providing products and services you are genuinely passionate about. Don't panic; you won't need a 63-page business plan. A few lines can provide clarity and a foundation for our next steps.
Does your staff know your vision? Are they enthusiastic and fully committed? Do they use the same language as the CEO to describe the company?
Did you identify your niche, ideal client, and target market? Do you know your target market's specific challenges, needs and problems, and how your company can solve them? Which Twitter chats and LinkedIn groups are decision makers involved with? What's your message to them? If you are a B2B company, you must focus on what your customer's customer needs.
Think of your marketing like this: Your prospect and/or client has pain (a problem) and you have the medicine (expertise) to ease his discomfort. Focus on the results you get for people, not the title on your business card.
Begin with your website
To create a cohesive, integrated and consistent strategy, begin with your website. This is the hub of your identity and activities.
The goal is to use various social and traditional communications to lead people to your site. Once they are there, you want to keep them interested and engaged with valuable information and a clear call to action. Be sure your site is easy to navigate. Simplicity is a good thing.
What do you want visitors to do? Sign up for something, watch a video, subscribe to a newsletter, or download a free e-book?
Keep a watchful eye on Google Analytics to see the bounce rate, time visitors spend on the site, and other important metrics. Focus on list building and your sales funnel (monetization).
Another critical part of your online presence and website is the title tag. The title tag is the short phrase or descriptor with keywords at the top of your site. This phrase can help you hyper-focus on your services. These few words directly impact search engine optimization and rankings.
This point may seem obvious, but be sure to have a professionally-designed logo, color scheme, and visual that communicates the heart of your company. The tone and feel are important.
Your 11-point checklist:
1. Your blog: Like your website, your blog must be current, offer sound advice, and have a casual voice.
How often do you post? How do you decide on content and frequency? Hint: It goes back to the challenges of your niche market.
Does more than one person post? Is your blog's voice in harmony with your main messages? Who are your readers and why did they choose your site over millions of others?
2. Your e-zine or newsletter: Does your newsletter include the title tag from your site? List your social links and URL to encourage people to connect online.
3. Your videos: Do you have an opening and closing slide with your company name and/or logo? Did you weave your website into the text so the speaker can subtly promote it as a resource?
4. Your email marketing: Does the same common attitude of helping people shine through? Don't sell; build relationships with your target market. Use your title-tag descriptor, and forget the jargon, rhetoric and BS.
5. Your social profiles: Do your profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other channels have (nearly) identical language that clearly describes how you help people?
6. Your business cards: Are business cards are a thing of the past? I don't think so, but not everyone agrees. If you have cards, do you have one or two social links listed? Do you really need your fax number, or is it obsolete?
People will look for your logo and consistent punchy phrase of how you solve problems and get results. Keep it clear, uncluttered, and visually pleasing. Dump the cutesy titles and focus on the prospect/client.
7. Your email signature line: This is an area many tend to forget. Include your social links, website, and anything that separates you from others. Use live links as well. Remember, the goal is to get people back to your site or profile.
8. Your "about us" page: These pages tend to be static, but if you update them periodically with staff changes, awards, accomplishments, and links to new testimonials, they can compel visitors to stay on your site and poke around.
9. Your Pinterest boards: Do your visuals and pictures make it absolutely clear which field/industry you're in? Is your profile congruent with your bio, title tag, email marketing, and blog?
10. Your bio line: Do you have two versions-long and short-that you use at the end of your bylined articles, white papers, and case studies?
11. Your traditional print-marketing pieces:
Many industries find success in mailers, print advertising, and other traditional marketing channels. Are these pieces consistent, clear and congruent with all of the above? Is your message, clear, concise, compelling and visually appealing? Does your contact information and call to action stand out?
A version of this article first appeared on Get In Front Communications.