Most businesses these days, whatever their size, can’t afford not to be on social media sites. However, it’s about more than just turning up; you need a strategy to make social media bring benefits for your company.
- Be in the right places – Don’t just sign up to all social media sites because you feel like you should. Think about where is most useful for your business and where your target audience will be found. For example, consider Pinterest if you have visual content to share. Twitter might be better for quick links to news items and your blog.
- Don’t just spam. One of the most common mistakes businesses make on social media is to just spam their contacts with one-way sales and marketing messages. People will very quickly lose interest and it could even damage your brand. Social media should be a two-way conversation so ask for feedback and respond to others when on social media too.
- Make time. Social media is something you have to make adequate time for like any other marketing and brand-building activity. Building time into your schedule will allow you to be consistent and visible.
- Be innovative. Most of us are saturated by social media these days so you need to do something innovative or fun to stand out. Keep brainstorming with your team of new ways to reach audiences through social media. Companies such as Ikea and Old Spice are examples of companies who have had successful and innovative social media approaches.
- Take it seriously. Although social media is fun, it should not be taken too lightly. Everyone has seen the online meltdowns by big businesses when a member of staff posts something that they shouldn’t. It helps to have a social media policy so staff explicitly know what is and isn’t appropriate.
- Plan – Getting started with social media is likely to highlight the need for a content plan. Even a rough plan of topics, messages and content, in line with your overall marketing plan, can help you avoid the feeling of not knowing what to post.
- Evaluate results – There are now a range of sophisticated social media monitoring tools available which track basics such as click-throughs and shares, as well as more complex data such as what people are saying about your company. Constant evaluation can help you refine and improve your social media marketing efforts.
Social media is a marketing channel that is likely to continue innovating – don’t miss out on these free tools.