by Noah Yaughn

This post is part of the Top Ten Tips series put on by SCORE.  SCORE is a great organization dedicated to setting small business owners up for success.  I’m so honored to be part of their board and kicking off the Top Ten Tips series.  This is the second post of ten so please start from the beginning otherwise you may get lost.

A quick recap: For something that has only been in existence in the last ten years; social media has gotten a lot of press.  It has also grown in complexity as it has gone from a place for friends to get together to something companies develop entire strategies around.  This can be quite daunting.  When I put these three facts together: young, complex, daunting; it reminds me of a particular time in my life.  It’s called high school.  So we’re going to have some fun with this by connecting social media with high school.

This will be our last post as part of the Top Ten Tips Series and so I like to share some final thoughts about strategy and evaluating performance.   Early in high school I joined our school chess team.  Please no throwing rooks, I mean rocks.  I really enjoyed chess and thought I was pretty good.  Then I played the foreign exchange student.  He demolished me.  It was utter annihilation.

We both knew the pieces.  We both knew what moves they could perform.  Despite this he won in a big way and it all had to do with strategy.  Here’s your tip:

It’s not the pieces that matter, it’s how you use them.

Just like you wouldn’t dream of starting a $20,000 TV ad campaign without putting some thought into it; you shouldn’t do it with social media.  A proper social media campaign should show thoughtfulness and an understanding of to whom you are communicating.

Keep a close eye on your analytics.  They are your best measuring stick.  They will tell you what posts really resonated with your audience.  Then you should ask yourself why did it resonate with them?  What can we learn from it to be even more relevant and useful to them.  Have a comment that fell flat?  What about it made no one care?  Was it the product?  Was it the way you phrased it?  Are you getting a great response from Facebook, but not from Twitter?  Why?

You put time into your sales pitch or your menu.  Your marketing efforts should reflect that too.  If you don’t have time to do it, get a contractor who will.  Set goals for each area that we’ve talked about in the series like for customer service you may say to have a 24 hour response time to questions.  For market research it may be to ask one product-related question a week.  For PR, it may be a picture of the award you just won or doing a bio on an exemplary employee to built consumer trust.

My final tip:

Come to the SCORE seminar tomorrow.