Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on social media, and more small businesses are recognizing the need to join the bigger players in using social media effectively.
Find your platform(s)
You know you need to get your brand active socially but do not know where you should be present? Take a step back and think from your customers point of view. Where would they be most active? What are you trying to achieve? Facebook and Twitter platforms tend to get the highest engagement. Instagram and Pinterest have also gained large popularity recently. LinkedIn may also be a good platform to assist your company’s HR and business development team.
Have a plan
Add social media in to your marketing plan and set some goals. Figure out who will be handling the day-to-day management as having one tone-of-voice is vital to keep your messages consistent. Having a plan also helps avoid blunders on social media. Keep in mind, while having a plan is ideal, the world of social media is always evolving and therefore adapting to a new plan is just as important.
Get the organisation involved
Create a process where you get your organisation involved. For example, If your sales team is trying to push a particular product, find a way to get those key messages out there. Models like “hub-and-spoke” are great to manage and delegate tasks.
Regionalise your page
If your company is international and already be existing on social media for their region, create social accounts for your territory. By doing so, you will be able to engage with your customers in the language they speak and culture they understand.
There are several social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter that allow companies to advertise their brands. Advertising allows you to not just build your audience, but also gets your messages to a larger spectrum. Companies that use advertising effectively reach a much larger audience than those who choose to grow organically.
Companies often make the mistake of hiring an admin or an intern to handle the role of a social media manager or agency. Social media community managers must be highly efficient in communication skills and have the knowledge on the tools, techniques and philosophies of social media. The role of a social account holder is critical as they are holding access to the company’s public platforms. Consult with an agency and get some help.
Listening is an important part of social media as it not only keeps you in pace with what your customers are saying, but also gives you updated information of what your competitors are saying about themselves in the same space as you. While there are several free websites one can use to listen such as www.socialmention.com, agencies will have access to powerful tools that allow for greater in-depth listening.
Social media is a two way communication channel so you must start asking questions on the social web. Not asking in the form of selling online, but purely in the form of asking questions to your network, target audience, and clients to start engaging with them. It’s human that people want to tell their achievements and success stories online or share something interesting where they overcame hurdles to achieve success. It’s natural that we want to hear about these experiences, but we get too caught up by our own schedule or we are afraid to ask for this information.
Build and reward your online influencers
Build real relationships with your influencers that extend past the length of your programme. These people believe in your brand and they will promote it on your behalf. Be grateful for their participation and show them that appreciation often. Remember, they have opted into this relationship with your company, so thank them for it.
Social media is measurable! In fact it is much more quantifiable than other marketing efforts such as print and billboards. You can quantify exactly how many people were able to see your update, how many new fans you have gained, where they are located, how many people may have clicked to go on your website and much more. Using free social media tools such as Hootsuite or Klout will allow companies to get an in-depth analysis of how they are doing socially.