Social Media is a fantastic Marketing & Communications tool for business but the truth is – Social Media won’t work for your Small Business unless you have a strategy.
Many Small Businesses set up Social Media accounts, send sales-related posts and expect the magic to happen. Fumbling in the dark isn’t a good strategy so here’s a guide on the 7 most important strategic elements in Social Media:
1) Be Social – The Golden Rule
People communicate on Social Media for one simple reason – to be social with their friends and family. Make Social Media a 2-way communication channel and engage in conversation – if you apply the golden rule of being social then building credibility & trust will follow.
2) Set SMART Objectives & Measure Results
As with any strategy setting objectives is the 1st place to start, set objectives using the SMART framework:
SPECIFIC MEASURABLE ACHIEVABLE REALISTIC TIMEBOUND
Setting Objectives is the easy part – achieving them is the real challenge.
Measure ROI – But consider other factors such as engagement, virility, credibility, trust and long-term added value which are all difficult to measure in a monetary context.
3) Build 1:2:1 Long-Term Relationships
Small Businesses have the potential to compete with larger rivals if you focus on this element of your Social Media Strategy. Give customers the focus and attention that larger rivals will struggle to replicate such a bond.
Converting a Social Media prospect into a sale takes time to come to fruition, so if you’re looking for a quick fix – Social Media isn’t for you.
4) Dedicate Time
Sorry, but there’s no avoiding this – You MUST dedicate time to Social Media to make it a successful strategy. Checking your accounts for 10 minutes in the morning & evening is enough to maintain your Social Media presence only at a very basic level. You really need a minimum of 1-2 hours a day and more if possible.
Get your employees involved in your Social Media strategy and if you can’t dedicate the time then outsource and get outside professional help.
5) Match the Platform to your Target Market
Who are your customers? What is their typical age, location, interests and habits?
Ask your prospects and customers what Social Media channels they use then establish a presence on the channels most likely to be used by your target market.
6) Share and be Shared
If you want other people and companies to share your posts then you must share others in return. Sharing other sources of information provides richness to the content you provide your audience and will encourage others to also share your material.
7) Follow and be Followed
If you follow the 1st 6 steps then people will want to engage with your company and follow you back in kind. Like it or not vanity plays a large part in Social Media and people (me included) want to have a high volume of followers. Just make sure quantity does not overshadow quality of followers.
The main takeaway here is to always have a formal strategy in place before embarking on your Social Media journey.
What works for you on Social Media or what problems do you encounter?