Engaging your business in social media marketing is not like a spontaneous vacation – you don’t just wake up one day and say “I think I’ll go to Punta Cana.” Don’t think that your company will suddenly appear on Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media sites and everything will be fine.
Such a move requires careful planning to prevent panic when things get out of hand. Lee Odden, chief executive of TopRank Online Marketing, and author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing, zeroes-in on the questions you need to ask yourself in planning your social media strategy:
1. What should my company expect after entering social media?
According to Odden, “ The first and most important step in creating your plan is to clearly identify your goals.” There could be several motives depending on your product or service. Is it exposure? Interaction? Customer service? Or all three?
2. Who shall maintain and update my social media accounts?
Are you a small or mid-sized company? Then your accounts can be handled by an internal team who has experience (or at least knowledge) of social media marketing. If you’re a big company, you could seek help from experts or consultants.
3. Does my company be present on all popular social media sites?
Odden’s advice: Start with one blog site and one social networking site. Which site? Ask your customers which one they use the most. As you progress, you can add more presence on other networks.
4. How often will new content be posted on our accounts?
One post a day may not be enough since most of your fans won’t see it due to timing. Odden advises posting 2-4 times a day, especially for those who are using fresh accounts with few fans.
5. What exactly should we post on social media?
The type of content to be posted depends on the platform, says Odden. For instance, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram are geared towards visual media, so content should emphasize on striking images of your products, events, or even artworks related to your content’s message.
6. How will we convert our social media supporters into customers?
From mere exposure, you can level up into real marketing strategies like having people to fill-out forms, engage them in contests, and offering newsletters via email. “Next, understand your customers’ goals, and then figure out how your social-media strategy will connect both,” Odden suggests.
7. How will our social media efforts be measured?
Social networking sites do offer free analytics. Facebook gives Page Insights data for free, so does LinkedIn. You can use these tools to see how much interaction your posts are generating. Also, you can use Google Analytics to determine if you’re achieving your website’s desired traffics. Of course, the ultimate reward is when your leads tell you that they stumbled upon you in social media – which means your efforts have paid off.