You’ve started a Facebook page, have a few followers on your Twitter account, and you’ve posted some videos to YouTube – that’s all you need for a social media strategy, right? Not quite. Social media is a very powerful marketing tool in today’s business world. The web is a great place to find new customers, interact with existing customers, get feedback and generally help others to feel a part of your business. Social media is valuable and should be treated like any other traditional marketing plan.
If you are ready to start marketing through social media, follow some simple steps to make sure you have a profitable and effective social media strategy in place.
Have a pitch.
This is similar to an “elevator” pitch, which is what would you say about your company to someone you met during a short ride in an elevator. You need this short introduction about what you do online as well. Your online elevator pitch needs to describe what your company does in 120 characters or less.
Make a point and stick to it.
You need to have a point when you are online. Your Facebook posts, tweets and videos should all have a purpose. If you’re trying to promote your product, talk about it. If you are trying to relate to your customers, keep the conversation light and friendly. Figure out your point and then try to stick to it across all of your platforms. Remember, you don’t always have to be all business when you’re online and your point can change daily.
Know your audience.
Learn the age demographic of your online viewers, what other sites they frequent, and any other details about their online habits. If you have this understanding about your audience’s ages, genders, geographic locations, and spending habits, you will know how to target your product better.
Remember, social media is about human beings and not corporate logos. Let your guard down and create a balance between business and fun. This will help your company be more relatable to your audience, which also ties into knowing more about them and how to relate to them.
Track your success.
Just like you would with a traditional marketing plan, you need to measure your social media success. Determine how you will measure success before you get started. Are you going to measure by the amount of sales, the number of “likes” on your Facebook page, or how many times your video is shared? Figure out the metrics you will use to track success and then monitor your social media outlets to determine if you are going in the right direction.
There are different platforms to engage in online. You’ll want to choose one or two that make sense for your company and then stick with those platforms before growing. Not all social media outlets are appropriate for every business. You’ll save time and money if you have an engagement strategy in place and focus on areas that will benefit your company the most.
Part of any good strategy is analyzing the results and asking questions about how to improve in the future. Discover what you have learned, ask what your customers have learned and find out if your strategy was successful.
Social media is definitely a big part of the business world. Take some time to create a strategy before delving into the online world. Social Media Examiner is a great resource, and I recommend checking out their articles on strategy. What have you found that works best for your company?