Social media seems to be the most popular buzzword in business and marketing nowadays. Everybody realizes the power in having a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profile (I’m still evangelizing Google+ as the best thing since door knobs, but we’ll talk about that in another post). But what I see day-to-day is the lack of strategy and thought behind these profiles. Business owners seem to think “if you build it they will come” and they sit with 12 followers on each account wondering why their message isn’t getting out there.
Social media strategy is imperative if you join Facebook or Twitter as a business. If you just want to have a personal page or talk to friends and family, there’s really no rhyme or reason needed. But as a business, you must consider your social media strategy. Here are a few things to consider.
- Why are you on social media? You have to set a goal, understand it, and get buy-in from your team before setting out on the social media adventure. Are you trying to build a community and gain notoriety? Do you want to entice people to visit your website to drive traffic and ad revenue? Is your goal to sell directly from social media? Not all businesses need to be on all platforms. Understanding your end goal will not only help you choose which profiles to start but it will also help guide you along the way. Then you can gauge whether you’re getting out of it what you expected.
- Who is your audience? Please, for the love of all things beautiful, PLEASE know who you are speaking to or trying to engage. You have to speak the language of your intended clientele to even begin to make sense on social media. Remember, it’s about building relationships. You can’t build a relationship with someone if you’re talking over their heads all the time or if you’re not saying anything they want to hear. Trust me, it has happened to me on a few dates and needless to say we’re not in a relationship.
- How should you engage with your audience? The tone and timing of your messaging is equally as important as identifying who your audience is. Consider the message you want to send not only in terms of the words, but also how it is communicated. Is your brand to be interpreted as lighthearted and fun? Maybe add some tasteful jokes and funny memes to engage people and hone in on your message. Know when to say certain things and when not to. If you have an important announcement to make, you probably don’t want to do it during rush hour or dinner time after work. Choose times during the day when it is likely that your audience will be there to catch them.
- How do you intend to manage your profiles? Devising a content plan is important. It helps you map out in advance key messages you would like to send. It makes you really think about what you’re saying, when you’re saying it and on what channels. One way I suggest is to use an editorial calendar. By mapping out each week or month in advance, you can coordinate your website, social networks, and newsletters around promotions or events happening in your business. This way all of your communications are cohesive and they all lead to an expected end.
If you need help with your social media strategy, don’t hesitate to hit us up for a free consultation. We would love to help you devise a strategy to make sense of your communications.