Social media is everywhere, and chances are you already use it to connect with friends, family and coworkers on sites like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and others. But, what is social media doing for your business? Have you tapped into the nearly 500 million daily Facebook users? How many people follow your company news on twitter?
The question is no longer about whether or not to participate in social media, but how to successfully interact with the social audience. A social media marketing strategy is necessary to determine the plan of action for engaging an audience, growing your brand, and bringing in more business. Here are some particular things to consider as you develop your company’s social presence.
Before you engage in the online conversation, know what you are going to talk about. Start by following other similar companies and observe what they talk about, who the y talk to, what mediums they are utilizing and what others are saying about them. Identify popular topics that engage the audience you wish to captivate and seek out those you admire in the social world. Observe how they interact with their audience.
Define your Objective
Social media is a huge, encompassing tool that can be used for nearly any purpose. Having a clear objective will help guide your initiative and make your efforts more efficient and valuable. So, consider what you want to get out of your social media usage. Is it brand recognition? Web traffic? Leads and sales? Knowing why you participate will help you weed out the tools and tactics that will waste your time and not contribute to your success.
Determine your Audience
In a similar way, it is important to realize that you don’t need to, or even want to, reach every single person on social media networks. With over 500 million profiles on Facebook, it is worth the time to identify an audience that will be productive to your business and build a qualified and engaging audience.
Develop your Brand
To create a reputable image, a brand must remain consistent throughout all of its marketing efforts. Think about brands you know and love. Coca-cola, BMW, Starbucks, Old Spice, for example. Each time you think about these successful brands, it is automatic to envision their logo, hear their theme songs, and feel as if you know the personality of what their brand represents. You can almost hear their voice. With successful brand development and consistency, your company will develop a voice of its own, resulting in a means of self promotion with little effort.
Engage in Conversation
This is the part where we combine observations, objectives, audience and brand voice and begin engaging in conversation on social networking sites. Make a Facebook page for your business and begin building a following of individuals who share interests and may value the information you can provide. Same with Twitter. Start following other industry professionals and experts and strike up a conversation with them, which will get your name out to everyone who follows that other professional. Comment on relevant posts and blogs with useful information. Update a blog on your website regularly and announce new posts on your social media sites. This will draw traffic to your site, increase your brand recognition and help you position your company as a resource for valuable information.
Monitor your Social Results
Keep track of your social media marketing activity and maintain reports on the results of your efforts. Facebook makes this easy on with the Insights feature. This page displays reports and statistics on how many new “likes” you have received, how many daily active users view the page, how much feedback you receive on various posts, and overall how many people you are reaching. Although statistics are great, it is also important to read beyond numbers and really consider the benefits to pursuing social media. Some of these non-quantifiable benefits are how well you have come to know your customers, how the reputation of the company may have improved, and whether or not you may have learned more about your clientele in ways that will benefit future marketing efforts.
Here at TheeDigital, we are constantly learning about the changing landscape of social media marketing. Our dedicated strategists can help you navigate your way through the newest tools, services and networking platforms to develop a content strategy that will promote your company’s strengths and services. Check out our other blog entries for more resources on social media marketing, and see it in action by visiting our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.