I agree that’s the essence of a good content marketing plan--and since few businesses really have an active, evolving content marketing plan, it’s hard to criticize the need for improvement there. Unfortunately, a content marketing plan is only half of a complete social media strategy. Social media is a conversation between businesses and customers. A plan that only covers the talking part of the conversation is missing a vital ingredient: listening.
If your social media strategy consists of “the things we plan to talk about on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and our blog,” then you’re like the guy on a first date who can’t. stop. talking. about. himself.
You’ve also got about the same probability of a callback.
Listening to your customers and prospects is the missing half of your social media plan. Many clients I work with are also delighted to discover that this is the half of your social media plan that can offer tremendous business value with fewer headaches than content marketing.
As with a content marketing plan, a listening plan doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. You can get started with a few basic tools that you probably already have access to, such as Google Analytics (listening to your website visitors “voting with their feet” on your content and messaging) and Google Alerts. There are also a variety of professional social media monitoring tools at a wide range of price points--and we’d be happy to talk with you to help you find a solution that fits your budget and needs.
But as with a content marketing plan, the most valuable tool you’ll need is the one between your ears. You’ll need to think critically about what topics are being discussed online that can provide relevant business insights. It’s not just about listening for mentions of your business or your competitors--although that’s a great starting point. It’s about finding out where your customers and prospects needs and desires intersect with your services and products, so you can use that information to grow your business.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to develop the listening half of your communications strategy, give us a call. We’d love to help you apply our experience to growing your business.