Every new and small business understands the need to have customers know like and trust them in order to make relationships and sales. A social media presence is absolutely essential. The problem is that time is such a huge factor and we want to use it wisely. It is not enough to have social media sites set up for your business, engagement levels which lead to increased sales are of course the goal.
You should include the following:
- Who is your ideal customer go here
- Determine which sites are most beneficial to post to and when
- Decide how large you want your presence to be
- Identify which metrics you want to measure your progress by
- How and why to engage current and potential customers online.
Step 1 Clarify your business social media goals
All business planning needs to start with clear goals and of course social media is not going to be an exception. Without a clear goal or idea in mind you will not most likely achieve anything because your efforts will be scattered or aimless. In addition, different social media goals require different sets of action. For example, trying to gain consumer credibility is going to look different than converting a percentage of your fans, followers to sales.
Write down those goals and make sure that they are specific, realistic and measurable. Ask yourself what it will look like when you have achieved the goal. If you cannot answer that question, then work in the measurability of that goal. Make sure that these goals tie in with sales, marketing and productivity.
All too often a person will start a fan page or a Twitter site and post only about their business. It is a non-stop sell fest. I see this all too often and it is such a source of grief for me. Let me give a great example of a company that sells diet products. All I see are advertisements to go to the site and order now. Now let me point out a few facts that I feel when I see a site like this:
- Why should I buy from you
- How do I know you understand me
- What makes you different from the thousands of others out there
- Why does yours cost more or less
- What else do I need to know
- Why should I even do all the work involved in losing the excess weight
Do you see the disadvantages of just trying to “sell” constantly? Am I going to go back to this site? Heck no!
Step 2 Audit your current social media status
Take an honest look at your social media sites and use and see how it is working- if it is working for you. Learn who is really connecting to you on your social media sites, which social media sites are working best and how you are doing compared to your competitor.
Look for official sites and unauthorized pages that represent your company. These could be fan sites, rouge employee sites or malicious sites posing as you or your company. Check the pages and see how many followers you have, how much activity you have and if all the links are working. Look carefully for spam on any of your pages and delete any.
If you are not yet on social media, your best first step besides ensuring you know your Ideal Customer, is to ask your current customers to complete a survey online or in the store. Give an incentive to do so like a small discount, coupon, free shipping. Be sure to include demographic information as well as information about which social media sites your customer enjoys. If you do not have a current customer base, then look again at the questions I provide and determine where your customer will be on social media. Go to Google, take your survey “results” to get stats on that social media site and see if your ideal customer is located within those demographics. If not, try again. If you already have a social media presence, post a survey on your social media pages as well as giving to your customers after their purchase. (I used Google sheets, could use Excel as well)
Now investigate what your competitors are doing online. Check out their pages on each of the networks. Analyze their pages. Look at what does well and what does not do well on their sites. Find what area you think they are lacking in that you can possibly do better. Take this analysis to help you craft your own strategy.
Step 3 Develop your Content Strategy
At this point you should be ready to develop a comprehensive strategy. You should be sure to include some of the following
- What type of content do you intend to post
- What type of content do you intend to promote
- How often will you post
- Who is your target audience for each type of content
- Who is going to create your content
- How will you promote the content
You should then create an editorial content calendar. This will list the dates you intend to post blogs, Facebook posts and other content you may plan to use during your campaigns.
Your strategy might also involve creating posts in advance to post later
My next blog will go into detail about creating the calendar
Step 4: Track your progress
I wish I could tell you that your work is done and it is easy from here. You will want to check your analytics frequently to see how your campaign is doing.
- Use YOUR preferred analytics tool to find out who is reading , responding and reposting your posts
- Use Facebook insights to find out when your fans are online, how many see the posts and who is responding and sharing
- Google analytics can show you who is viewing and engaging with your web pages
Most importantly, remember to match those analytics up with your goals. You will see plenty of material out there on how to measure different things. If your goal is recognition, why measure conversions? Your objectives are the right path to follow.
Step 5 Adjust, Change, Revise
Once you have analyzed your current social media efforts, resolve to do more of what is working and less of what is not. Revise, rewrite and rework your content strategy based on your analytics and goals. You will need to keep developing your strategy and content as well as using those analytics to guide you to your next step in your campaigns.
I can’t change the direction of the wind,, I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. Jimmy Dean
Next week I will explain how to create your own personalized content calendar and why you want one as part 2 of this blog.
What would you add to my list? Comment below.
If you have created a strategy, please comment how it has helped your business to encourage others just starting. Thanks!