It becomes harder and harder with each passing day to ignore the need for and benefits of going social with your business. But making the decision to grow your brand and service your customers via social media is only the first of many decisions you’re going to need to make in order to get started.
Below are 7 steps for getting started with social media for your business:
Step 1: Determine your audience/target market on social media – Some businesses will target exactly the same customers they do with their traditional marketing and advertising campaigns, while others might choose to target a customer type they aren’t currently reaching.
Step 2:Â Determine your goals for social mediaÂ – Simply tweeting, Facebooking and pinning for the sake of doing it really isn’t enough. Without specific, pre-determined goals for your social media efforts, you’ll wind up 3-6 months down the road questioning if your time has been worthwhile. Your goals don’t have to be elaborate; it may simply be because you want to have a solid brand presence in popular social channels. Or they might be much more targeted, with you tracking campaigns, visits to your website’s landing pages, and sales.
Step 3: Determine what platforms make the most sense for your businessÂ – One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is working hard to develop a strong presence on a platform that doesn’t reach their core customers. What is best for one company is not going to be the exact same formula for the next company. Keep in mind not only your core customer type, but also what other content and media types you use in promoting your business. Photos, for example, aren’t the best for Twitter, but can be extremely favorable for you on Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest.
Step 4:Â Create a social media policy for your companyÂ – Along with deciding what your social media business goals are, you should create a social media policy that you and any other employees could use for acting as your brand’s ambassador. Tone, language, transparency and how to respond to a question or problem are all important items to include in a social media policy.
Step 5:Â Determine content to be sharedÂ – You do want to show that you are an expert in your industry, but you also want to be careful not to “give away” any proprietary information. Deciding what content and information is acceptable to share and what is off limits protects you and your business.
Step 6: Determine your time allotment – Social media requires steady, consistent effort to be successfulÂ and to grow your presence. The amount of daily time required is going to vary based on the specific platform. It’s best to decide ahead of time how much total time you can regularly dedicate to social media, and then divvy up that time across your social platforms of choice.
Step 7: Analyze & tweak as necessaryÂ – Once you’ve completed all the steps above and have implemented social media for your business, be sure to periodically assess your progress, engagement and follower growth, and decide if you need to adjust any of your current social practices or time allotments to better work toward your goals.
Working through this list of tips can make your implementation of social media for your business much smoother and more effective.
Do you have a social media policy for your company? How much time do you spend on your social platforms of choice?
I don’t really have a social media policy, because I alone am my company and I do what I want. However, I have been revamping some things and exploring other options. This post will be helpful as I continue down this path of learning more about marketing and branding.