It’s not uncommon for a company to decide they want to be on social media. Unfortunately, it’s also not uncommon for them to not know where to begin crafting their social media presence. When it comes to creating your social media, think through these foundational steps for being strategic about yourÂ social media strategy.
- Know Your GoalsÂ We’ve said time and again that using social media only to promote yourself is not the key to success. You need to use the 80/20 rule. You will not get what you want shouting about how great you are all day. But that leaves the question: what do you want out of social media? Many companies want to engage with their following, track their social media mentions and build an audience. Sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want those things? However, having goals that are too lofty or too broad makes it incredibly difficult to decide what content is appropriate for you to create, share and interact with. Be specific about what’s right for your brand and what you want to achieve.
- Be Ready to Create Regular ContentÂ Simply creating a page and posting whenever you have a special is not enough to trulyÂ create a social media strategy. To create a social media presence, you need a consistent reason for people to visit your site(s). In many cases this means:Â business blogging. Business blogging gives you an opportunity not only to position yourself as an expert but to draw your audience to your site. Business blogging can also help you come up high in search engine searches. Crafting regular content can be done through YouTube videos or a variety of other mediums. Whatever your particular blend of content, creation is key to a good strategy. Be sure you know how you’re going to approach content creation if you want to be successful.
- Update Your SignageÂ When crafting your social media strategy, consider how your existing signage can be updated to incorporate your social media platforms. Putting a sign on your door or next to your cash register can encourage people to like you on Facebook, for instance. Adding social media handles to email signatures, business cards, invoices, and other materials can help you build your following much more quickly.
- Be VisualÂ If you’ve been following social media news at all, you’ll have heard that Instagram and Pinterest are the new hot tools. What do these platforms have in common? Images. Images spark an immediate emotional reaction. If you want your audience to really engage with you, you’ll have to include some images to really evoke the feeling of your statements. Know where you can go to get images that are available for use and how toÂ provide credit to the photo source as appropriate.
- Build RelationshipsÂ After you’ve jumped into the social media waters, you’ll want to leverage existing relationships by encouraging people to follow your new accounts. You’ll also want to build relationships online by taking an interest in others and actively engaging them in conversation.Â If you do not respond back to comments when people engage you on social media, they feel like they’re talking to themselves. Much like you couldn’t date someone whom you never speak to, you cannot build relationships via social media without talking back. If you have a smart phone, enabling push notifications is a basic move to help you stay on top of your social media mentions.
These are some steps to create a solid foundation for your social media strategy. Without factoring in the elements above, you’ll find yourself floundering to understand how social media fits into your larger business model. At the end of the day, social should become a core part of your business, not just that thing you do when you have free time.