Social media is the main connection of the 21st Century, and businesses are tapping into it’s powerful potential. Social media can (and should) be used for more than status updates and sharing your meatloaf dinner with family and friends.
When utilized correctly, social media can help you connect with your customers, build your business, and link with potential customers as well. However, social media seems deceivingly easy.
It can’t be difficult to post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, right?
It’s not hard per se, but it does require some clear strategy as to ensure you are not wasting your time or, at worst, inadvertently creating bad press for your business. Below are a few tips to help you improve your social media strategy.
Improve Your Social Media Strategy
Understand Your Goals
As with any business plan, the first step to determine what you do is to define where you want to go.
What are your purposes for bringing your business to social media? Do you want to raise brand awareness? Build customer loyalty? Reach out to potential customers?
Identify one or two main goals and use them to develop what social media will look like for your business. If you try to peg every goal at the same time, you are not likely to accomplish anything at all.
Set Objectives You Can Measure
Being with S.M.A.R.T goals that you can measure overtime. Successful objectives need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. For example, if your goal is to increase out reach to a potential customer base, one S.M.A.R.T goal might be to generate 5 new leads a week. However, if your focus is increasing brand awareness, you might want to increase the number of times your business is mentioned across social media by placing sponsored ads, for example.
Regardless of the goal, do not forget the important time line. Whether it is generating 5 leads every seven days or increasing brand awareness by 75 percent within a year, successful goals have expiration dates.
Characterize Your Customers
Now, you have the roadmap, but you are not quite sure of the destination yet. Successful social media encompasses the ability to target the correct group of people with the correct message. In order to do this, you must the audience you are hoping to garner. For example, if your business focuses almost exclusively on males 18-25, you want to target your posts and advertisements for this group. It would be a waste of time to target everyone from 18-65 when your product or service is only intended for a small percentage of that range.
Examine the Competition
The awesome thing about social media is your ability to check out the competition non-conspicuously. Your competition is actively targeting the same people as you are so you do not want to make the mistake of examining what they do when it comes to social media.
Select two or three of your major competitors and examine their posts.
Are they primarily funny or serious? How do they handle cultural differences and references? Do they talk about other products?
For example, if you sell yard equipment, do your competitors focus on the performance of their products, or do they simply post creative pictures that happen to feature the equipment?
Then, examine the interaction they receive for each post. The amount of likes, comments, and such for the various post types will show you which styles work best and which ones flop.
Choose your channel. Bringing your business to social media does not mean taking on every platform at the same time. In fact, that might be a sure fire way to fail. Instead, choose the outlet that appears to best fit your audience and that you feel most comfortable using to start with. Don’t forget that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are not the only social media outlets available. If you are looking to enhance business-to-business sales,you may want to consider LinkedIn. If you are in fashion, you may want to consider Pinterest.