In order to be part of business today you need to take part in social media; more business than ever is being undertaken/engaged through social media spaces.
In order to make a successful impact you need to ensure that the voice you choose to use represents the values of your company – is respected and above all else trusted by those you want to reach.
Here is a guide to how you can use social media in your businesses marketing strategy.
Know your market
If you want to use social media effectively it is about interacting with existing content; you need to be actively contributing to online communities such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and online blogs. If you do not understand the platforms available then your campaign will fail in its execution at the outset.
Make sure that you do not ‘mass broadcast’ to your audience. Create conversation and from there connections will form.
Be a strategist
You wouldn’t go into a business meeting without a plan or structure would you? The same approach must be taken with regards to your social media strategy. The strategy you develop should be used throughout your business to ensure that there is consistency of your brand message, identity and also to build up trust amongst your target audience.
When you create a social media strategy you will be able to use this within your business to benchmark against objectives, show results and measure any return on investment. All important elements of being able to analyse your social media campaigns.
In using your social media strategy you will be listening to the conversations taking place around you; you will be researching what challenges your clients are currently facing and also spot any potential areas you can tap into and prospect for new business in – Look out for those light bulb flashing!
The biggest benefit of listening to conversations is that it gives you a unique insight into competitor analysis; companies are more and more shouting about their gains and successes on the social media platforms. You may get first wind of a new idea or the chance to seize an opportunity.
Social media works best when you are open and honest in your communication – you need to be transparent in everything you do. Use the platforms available to interact with your customers and find out where you can improve and become a better organisation.
Social media creates a long lasting imprint online and comments you post can be tracked for a long time – an open door policy from the outset will lead to a better relationship with your audience.
In for the long-haul
Social media is not about quick wins – what you start now will have long term benefits. By adopting a strong long term strategy you are laying the foundations within your business for successful future marketing campaigns and will have a better chance of engaging successfully with your audience.
Ensure that any social media platforms you use to broadcast your messages are updated regularly so that your competitors do not move in and seize your spot; even short term campaigns can have increased longevity and effectiveness when linked to larger activities.
Content is king
Social media is about engaging conversation – start topics and conversations that are current and will kick start a debate. Use the internet to carry out research and create white papers which you can offer out to your wider audience.
The more you seek to create unique and engaging content the more you will become recognised and respected in your industry field.
Remember, social media is not like a t-shirt; one size definitely will not fill all. Each business will have to adapt different strategies to fit their industry and audience but no matter what route you take the principles remain the same. So, if it doesn’t seem to be working, review what you have been doing and tweak it until you see the results but, keep going!
If you spend time and effort in creating a social media strategy now and you will have more fun and better engagement in the long term.