30 Jul Social Media Strategy for Businesses
Social media networking has become a very important part of our lives. It has gotten people to wake up, get creative, become more daring and engage with others even if they are introverted, shy or generally anti-social. For businesses it has become a new marketing platform and a grand stage for image branding. There are a few major social networks and a lot of tiny start-ups as well and only God knows where they will go or what they will mean to us in a few years.
For individuals, social media networking has allowed them to connect with people who they have lost contact with and has allowed them to meet new people who they might not have met otherwise. For businesses, it creates an atmosphere where they can engage with the clients and prospects for a very small investment and in most cases completely free. The only issue is that many businesses do not know which social networks will benefit them and depending on the type of company they have, which networks they should focus their efforts on.
Social media is not a one-size fits all solution. Some networks are better than others for certain businesses. For instance, restaurants should definitely be participating in Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook and Twitter, but that isn’t the right recipe for a technology company or an online business. Also it is important to think about your audience and demographic before doing an all out blitz on any of the social networks.
The number one task a business owner or operator should engage in before diving heavily into a the social media space is goal setting and project planning. Without goals and planning you will end up posting random content and you won’t be creating meaningful conversations with your target audience. The fact is that a lot of businesses have an existing social media initiative, but few of them are effective. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you want your social campaigns to be effective:
- Who is my ideal customer?
- What is their average age based on the type of product you sell?
- Is my product reach local, national or global?
- What are my competitors doing? Are they successful in creating conversations or are they just posting random nonsense?
- How can my business be fun, creative and differentiate?
- Are there certain seasons, events, holidays or other periods where your business should plan to do something special? Contests, Charity, Webinars, Awards, Mixers, Videos etc…
- What would you most like to get out of social media? Be realistic. Remember just getting followers doesn’t mean anything if they aren’t listening to you. Watch out for quick gimmicks that promise to sell you thousands of followers. They will likely end up being people in Pakistan who will never buy anything from you.
- Look at your own friends, contacts, customers and prospects and invite them all to participate in your social networks. Many of them will. When you get 100 people who see you post something that is really valuable or special, they will share it with friends and family and now your message can reach thousands. This is a good way for you to see how important your social networking can be to your business.
- Stay on the look-out for new social companies who are becoming popular. Remember, Facebook and Twitter may not be the top companies forever. Social media in thrives on trends and fads and there really doesn’t appear to be any longevity for a single platform. Even companies like Facebook struggle with staying relevant and now that they are a publicly traded company, they are pushing to build revenue through advertising which is sometimes a turn-off to users.
- Experiment with advertising on social networks and see if it yields results. For some it works well yet others seem not to get a benefit. If you choose to advertise you will need to make sure your call to action is strong, you use great eye-catching graphics and you have a good website and landing pages to convert prospects into buyers.
- Make sure to add social media links to your website so people can like and follow or write a review.
- If you find it difficult to get to the tasks above, consider hiring a firm like Spitfire Social Media. They will do all this heavy lifting for you at a price that is reasonable for most small businesses.
There are a lot of great steps you can take to play in the social media sandbox and yield the results that you want, but creating a strategy is the most important step in being successful.
Best of luck to you on your social media journey. Think Outside The Box 🙂