Social Media is an amazing tool for your business, it lets you connect and engage directly with your customers in ways that many older marketing practises just can’t replicate. Though Social Media for business use is much more then just simply posting something to Facebook once in a while. Every business no matter what size needs to have a Social Media strategy in place, this will help your business really get the most out of Social Media and prepare you for a stronger future.
Having a Social Media strategy will make it easier for you to develop the right approach on the right platforms. You will be able to identify what your audience wants and how to engagement to fulfil their needs as your fans and customers. It will also help you be effective when dealing with issues and turn around potentially damaging scenarios.
To help you consider what you need in your Social Media strategy I’ve put together 8 points that should be included as fundamental foundations for developing an effective Social Media approach for your business.
Social Media Strategy
- Audience – The most import factor to decide, who is your target audience. Think about different segments you can group them in.
- Platforms – The biggest call is which of the many Social Media platforms your business should be on. Around 50 have over 10 million users. You can use different platforms to target different Audience segments. If your business is new to Social or hasn’t really gone beyond having a Facebook page, then I would suggest that you start small and then as you learn about your social customers expand out into others.
- Branding – How will you brand your business online? What guidelines will you put in place for others in your business who work on your Social Media. Developing a branding toolkit will help keep consistency in larger marketing teams.
- Content – What content will you share and re-share. Does your business have content you can re-purpose. Does it match your sales, customer service and marketing aims? Does your company already have a blog and how will you integrate it fully with your Social Media.
- Listening -Once you have identified your audience listening is vital, not only will it help you identify what content interests them but also which needs they are looking to have fulfilled by following your business. Its also a vital part of engaging with your audience. Remember good Social Media is a two-way conversation, so its important you listen to what your fans and customers are saying online. Develop a monitoring process that makes sure all customer posts on your platforms get a reply. This not only boosts engagement but it also increases your fans purchase intent.
- Problem Management – Its important to nail down how your business will respond to simple negative comments to maybe a much large PR crisis. Think about what issues effect your business and plan for them, as they will most likely happen at some point. There is nothing worse then losing all the trust and creditability of your business on Social Media because you didn’t have a plan how to deal effectively in one instance. Provide guidelines for your Social Media team so each one knows how to deal with an issue in the exact same way. I know from experience that having something to fall back on in a moment of crisis helps not just the staff at the coal face but also protects the brand.
- Frequency – How often will your business post. Deciding the frequency of your posts is important and brings consistency to your brand message. Regular content is the best way to keep engagement level up. Use analytics to find out when your fans are online and what days and times produce the best results. Facebook has some great insight reports to help you.
- Campaigns – What campaigns will you need to run and on which platforms. Will different Social Media have different campaigns aim specifically at the platform or its audience. How can every day posts and content support these campaigns and any bigger campaigns that you might be running via email, website or offline.
Hopefully these short points will help you develop a plan for your business, thinking about each of these points and having a plan will not only make Social Media easier for your business but it will also bring a much bigger reward for your efforts.