So, we’re half way through January and you’ve had your New Year Strategy meeting, thrown around what’s going on in the world of social media and decided that using social media in business is no longer an option it’s a necessity!
But how do you do it properly? Do you grab every social media platform possible and get posting? It’s easy to spend lots of time on social media but if you have no direction the chances are that you won’t achieve the desired result. In addition, getting it wrong can be disastrous.
Here are our 6 tips for using Social Media in Business
1. Understand Your Main Business Goals
To understand where social media fits in you first need to understand your overall business goals and how social media will fit in. This will ensure that you can measure the return on your social media efforts. Just how will social media help to increase sales, increase brand awareness etc.? Will you use it for advertising campaigns, give away white papers or run competitions?
2. Know where your customers are
Using social media in business doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to use every social media platform available to you. If your target market isn’t using Facebook, there’s no point in putting lots of effort into Facebook posts, ads and campaigns. That said, you may need to claim your page/presence to make sure that you maintain control your company name and brand. If you don’t someone else could
3. Understand what your customers want
Work out what your customers’ challenges are and how you can help them. Use your content to help your customers overcome their challenges; give them useful tips and advice. Don’t be afraid to ask their opinion; especially useful if thinking of introducing new products or services. You need to become their go to source of information in your sector. Which leads neatly on to number 4.
4. Plan your content
When using social media in business it’s essential that what you are posting is relevant to your audience. Once you’ve worked out number 3 above, draft yourself a content plan so that you and your staff know what they should be posting and who the target audience is. Some social media even allow you to segment your message to particular groups of your customers, making your message even more targeted.
5. Have a staff social media policy
Absolutely essential if you have company social media accounts and have staff posting on them. Make sure your staff know what they can and can’t post. If staff have their own individual company profiles make sure they know who ‘owns’ the account and what will happen in the event they leave your employment. In addition, make sure you have a crisis management process. Hopefully you’ll never encounter negative comment on your accounts, but if you do, you and your staff need to know how to deal with it professionally and efficiently. Poorly managed complaints online can be the downfall of your business.
6. Measure your efforts
Just ‘doing’ social media will not magically bring results, in the same way as having a website will not automatically bring sales. You need to monitor and measure your efforts, tweaking and changing as you go along to get best results. Using tools like Google Analytics will help you work out where your traffic is coming from and help you focus your efforts more. There are many tools out there, both free and paid for that will help you measure the results of your online activities. Some simple and easy to use like Hootsuite and Sprout Social, other more in depth and detailed like gShiftlabs. You will need to look at each and decide which is for you.
If you need help setting up your social media strategy or accounts, get in touch.