Social Media Marketing and the use of channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. is continuously evolving and can be daunting for many businesses whatever their size. The speed at which new Social Media channels appear, for example, Google + and Pinterest, or that existing ones change can put many people off tackling the issue of how to use Social Media to help market their business.
You could be forgiven for thinking that if you don’t dabble in Social Media, you can’t get it wrong and so aren’t really doing your business any harm. However, you could be missing out on potential sales and just because you’re not talking about your business online, it doesn’t mean that others aren’t. You could be missing out on harnessing good feedback or comments from satisfied customers that can be used to market your business, or worse still, you might miss seeing or hearing a negative comment that could have an impact on whether someone decides to call you or not.
Before you jump into the world of Social Media, it’s important to have a strategy so you don’t lose your way. In addition not all Social Media is suitable for all businesses, some work better than others depending on your type of business. The following are questions to ask yourself when deciding what your Social Media Strategy should be.
- What do I want to achieve? This may sound like a stupid thing to say, but many businesses throw themselves into social media without knowing exactly what they want to get out of it, they just know that they ought to be using it. For example, is your aim to grow your reputation and forge long term relationships by providing good information and advice, or is it to sell products online and improve your turnover quickly? Do you want to run advertising campaigns?
- Which Social Media channels should I use? As said previously, not all channels work well for all businesses, start with where you know your customers are. If your customers regularly use Facebook, then that would be the place to start. If you’re looking to connect to other businesses LinkedIn may be the route to take or if you want to push information out then a blog would be vital.
- Do I want to send different updates to different groups of people? Not all social media channels allow you to segment your audience.
- How much time can I give to managing my social media? Regular, relevant content is vital to the success of any social media marketing – regular and relevant being the key words. You will know how frequently your clients will want to see your updates. However, make sure you have a good idea of what’s right – too frequent can be seen as an annoyance, but not often enough won’t give your audience a reason to return.
- Do I need to do all the work myself? You may have someone in your organisation more suited to managing your social media on a daily basis, but make sure that you have a social media policy in place so your employees what they can and can’t do.
- How do I want to respond if comments are left ? When using social media you should have a policy in place for responding to both positive and negative comments. If someone has left a positive comment about your company, it’s good to thank them and let them know you value their opinion. If something negative pops up, you need to deal with it promptly and effectively.
If you want help or advice about drafting a Social Media Strategy contact us: 01454 261111
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