Imagine a company that has done everything “right” on social media.
They’ve drawn up a strategy, which includes clear goals – how many visitors they need to their website, how many followers they’re going to attract. They have a clear roadmap to get there – what platforms they’re going to use, how often they’re going to post – and have invested in all the right staff and technology. They’ve worked out who their audience is, and provide the exact kind of material that they might find useful.
In reality, their social media programme ticks along nicely, and is even judged a success by the company. But it never really catches the imagination of its users, or transforms the fortunes of the company. It’s good, but it’s not great. It doesn’t reach the stratosphere.
What is it missing? What is the one element that transforms good social media programmes into great ones?
In almost all cases – it’s a vision.
For most companies, the purpose of their social media programme is obvious: It’s to grow their business! That’s not what I’m talking about. Even regular customers don’t really care about a company’s expansion; if that’s the best reason for the social media programme’s existence, why should potential customers buy into it?
I’m not talking about how to make a social media programme “useful” to your clients either.
I’m talking about something beyond that: a really compelling reason for your digital programme’s existence.
You need to know what meaning it will create for your audience.
If you can figure that out – and formulate it into a mission statement – you’ll get to the emotional heart of your business.
It’s the difference between a furniture company that launches a digital presence to showcase its new line of sofas; one that wants to help clients pick the right one for them; and one that goes online to help families turn houses into homes.
The first focuses on the workmanship and prices; the second tries to be helpful; but the latter can really form a bond with its client base.
It’s the difference between a health insurance company that wants to use the internet to reach new clients; one that wants to help prospects get the best deals; and one that wants to use the internet to give families peace of mind regarding their health.
The first one pushes its latest deal, the second one might help prospects understand how to find the best deal; only the latter responds to its clients’ deepest anxieties.
The mission statement sees your digital marketing solely from your customers’ point of view, and sets out how you will play a significant part in someone’s life.
The content that is produced as a result appeals far more to their emotions, and helps develop a long-term relationship with the company, not just a quick sale.
So what does a mission statement look like?
Let’s take as an example a healthcare recruitment company that is targeting private hospitals and clinics. Their digital marketing mission statement might read something like this:
“Our vision is to create a digital space where private healthcare can discuss recruitment, retention and employee management in the sector, enabling them to create happier, better-functioning teams.”
Note – not to bring in new business, not to help companies attract new talent, but to give private healthcare companies (…potential clients) a tool that will make their employees’ working life better. The benefit of the service is really clear.
It’s helpful to put this mission statement into writing, and stick it right at the top of your digital strategy – for easy reference, and to keep your team focused on what really matters.
How do you go about creating a social media mission statement of your own?
- Clarify who your audience is. You’re producing content for them – not for your boss – and the only way your social media presence will fly is if you have a clear picture of who they are.
- Figure out how you can help them. What practical or emotional needs do they have that your product solves? What kind of content can you deliver that will answer these?
- Define how you want them to be changed as a result. What difference will you make to their personal or professional lives?
- Keep it short. When you write up your mission statement, it needs to be succinct – if you can’t write it in a few short lines, your vision is not clear enough.
Does your company have a social media mission statement? How did you craft it? Please share your tips in the comments!