With everyone extolling the virtues of getting your local business on the social media scene, how exactly should you go about it? You need a Social Media Strategy- a game plan to win and to win big. Here are some pointers to a successful Social Media Strategy:
Establish a resources budget
Know exactly how much of your finances, human resources and time you are going to dedicate to your social media plan. Consider such things as how much you are willing to spend on ad campaigns; whether its better for you to hire a social media manager or assign an employee to the task ; and if you have to do it on your own decide which days and times are you going to dedicate to focusing on your campaigns.
Do market research
It pays to get your facts right before you dive into the social media world. Research will show you who your target market is, what products and services they want, their demographics, what appeals to their emotional psychology (since this is what drives buying decisions), which social media platform they are more likely to use and the best platforms to engage with to deliver your business message.
Choose what suits your business niche
A big mistake businesses make in social media strategy is spreading themselves too thin by joining every social media bandwagon. Each business niche is unique and every target market is unique too and some social media platforms just won’t work for certain businesses. It’s always best to focus on the top 2 to 3 social media that work best for your kind of business. A professional consultant would wisely choose Linkedin and Facebook Groups, while an interior decorator would best profile their expertise through YouTube videos and an entertainer would certainly find Twitter and Facebook fan page a good fit.
Have a social media policy
When you first start interacting with social media it looks easy and manageable, but as your business gets more popular, you can easily find yourself avalanched with a mass of followers. A wrong comment by your employee on your company’s social media account or their own personal account can be damaging to the company’s reputation and open the door to legal problems. If you have employees, it’s therefore best to develop a policy from the get-go that governs their online communications. Have them read it and sign it.
I hope these pointers have opened your eyes to see the bigger picture of social media and how your local business can go about maximizing the potential of social networks by starting out with a Social Media Strategy – a plan before engaging in any action.
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