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Creating a social media strategy? Focus on customer engagement

Creating a social media strategy that engages customers and aligns with company goals is the key to social business.

The pace of business and the increasing demands of audiences have made a social strategy all-important today, according to Brent Leary, partner at CRM Essentials LLC.

Recently, he sat down with SearchContentManagement to discuss the trends that are shaping social media usage, particularly in the area of customer service and social business.

Leary said that the nature of social technology has made crafting a strategy all the more important. Because social media reaches such a broad swath of a company’s audience so quickly, it's critical to focus less on which tools to use and more on creating a social media strategy that focuses on a company's mission, means of communication between departments and the processes that the company will use to achieve goals through social channels.

"It's always the temptation to jump to the tech and jump to the device before you really understand what you’re trying to do with this stuff because the tech enables us to reach so many people so quickly," Leary said. "If you misuse it or don't think it out completely, it can cause a lot of damage quickly."

Leary also emphasized the importance of giving customers a role in social business. "We have to make it so customers feel comfortable going through the process and give them opportunities to shape that process. Then we stand a much greater likelihood of not only keeping them longer but also giving them the incentive to feel like a partner and an advocate."

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Is your organization struggling to establish social media KPIs, and why?
In general, I think we have a handle on what we want to track. The important thing is to focus first on the business KPIs, and then find ways that social media translates into those, rather than just starting from the metrics a given social media tool offers you. For example, if you're looking to generate conversions on a web page, you want to be looking for click-throughs from social posts and how those users convert. If you're trying to build a base of return customers, you might be looking particularly at engagement level within your social communities.