Businesses turn to social media to increase online visibility, connect with customers, self-promote and stay relevant. The simple nature and accessibility to these networks make them available to any type of business. Social media is inexpensive, easy-to-use and is a great way to handle customer relations. But, is there a wrong way to do social media? Many businesses have taken the leap into social media, but most of them are not utilizing the networks to their fullest capabilities and are missing out on ways to target new customers. Below are some tips to keep in mind when developing a social media strategy.
1) Know your Network
The interactivity that is offered through Facebook is an extremely valuable asset to small businesses. The network offers many ways to interact with fans, but not all of them have the same effectiveness rate. According to Consumers, posts offering discounts are the most effective way to reach customers while advertisements and other paid means are near the bottom. Furthermore, Facebook fans are more likely to become customers than any other social network including Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Placing Facebook at the top of your social media priorities is of the utmost importance.
2) Spend Smart
In order to achieve any sort of success in social media, money needs to be spent. Yes, most of the networks are free, but in order to deliver fresh content on a consistent basis, a business needs to have someone who is responsible for this task. An individual with a background in social media is important, but also a person who is competent in learning about the various businesses and industries that he or she will write for is imperative. An effective social media manager knows not only how to utilize social media but also how to market brands. The combination of these skills will produce the best results for any business. An expert with this particular set of skills is not going to come free, but the return on having someone of this caliber can be immense. If you are going to develop a social media strategy, you might as well have an expert who will produce results.
3) Be patient with ROI
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make in the early stages of their social media strategy is paying too much attention to the short term. A business may not see any sort of return on investment in the beginning stages of their campaign regarding basic audience engagement. Businesses that fail to realize this tend to focus less on their social media efforts, when in reality they need to be emphasizing it more. The building up of your social media status is crucial for creating an online community, fostering customer service and engaging your customers as well. At first it may be discouraging to not see any results, but with time the efforts will be rewarded.
4) Listen and Understand your business
The most important development stage of a social media strategy does not involve writing a post, tweeting, blogging or creating any content for that matter, but listening and understanding your given business in the social world. Reading and observing how your industry talks, interacts and engages with its audience is extremely important. A business does not want to jump into the conversation without any previous knowledge rather they should search for competitors and influencers who are talking about the given industry on various social networks. A business should approach the early stages of its social media strategy by finding the perfect combination of conformity and creativity.
Overall, a social media presence is important for any business. Boosting visibility, engaging customers and staying relevant are just some of the numerous benefits. Above are just a few tips to think about on how to get started.