Deciding where to focus your social media energy can become overwhelming, as time is short and resources are limited. Therefore, every action you take on social networks needs to work towards accomplishing your business goals. That means every post, reply, like and comment should be guided by a plan and moving towards those pre-determined goals. Here are Six Things Every Business Should Consider When Setting Up their Social Media Accounts:
1. DEFINE YOUR GOALS
Before you start any social media campaign, you need to answer the question: “Why are we doing this?” Is it to create advocates for your business? To improve customer retention? Gain new customers? Monitor your competitors’ businesses? Or all of the above? Once you define your goals, everything you do on social media should work towards accomplishing them.
2. ESTABLISH YOUR CHANNELS
Determine what channels make the most sense to reach your desired audience. If your audience is female, and you have visual elements to showcase, then Pinterest could be a great place to establish a relationship with your customers. If you are trying to reach males between the ages of 25 and 45, then Twitter could be a good place to start. A good first step for any business is to visit KnowEm.com. This site allows you to register your brand name across more than 500 social networks. It ensures that your name will be registered when you need it to be, regardless of which platform you end up deciding is right for your brand.
3. CREATE A COMMUNITY
Once you have established which platforms make the most sense for your community, the next step is to start growing them. A few strategies to grow your fan base are contesting, cross promotion with your partners, and utilization of social media advertising capabilities. Facebook advertising, especially, has great features that allow you to effectively target your demographic.
4. ENGAGE FOLLOWERS
Focus on what is most important to your community rather than what is most popular. Make an effort to spark conversation seven days a week. Your business may not be open on the weekends, but your customers are likely spending time on social then. The point of social isn’t to just post what you have to say; it is important to listen and respond to your audience too. Sprout Social, Hootsuite and Google alerts are great listening tools, to make your social listening job easier.
5. INTEGRATE YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS
All of your efforts with social media marketing should feed off each other. Cross-promote your efforts both online and offline, and make sure your social media and traditional marketing efforts work together. If you have an email database, send out an email to your members and encourage them to get social with you. Include links to your social media channels on your marketing materials and in your email signatures.
6. DEDICATE SOMEONE TO YOUR ACCOUNTS
Have someone who is accountable for managing your social media and is focusing on meeting your business goals. This person helps the business navigate the social media stream and keeps up-to-date on changes and best practices.
Social Media is constantly changing, and it’s important to keep up-to-date with the new tactics that can help grow your brand. For more information on creating a social media strategy for your business, check out our podcast: www.socialfeedpodcast.com