Social media has become an invaluable tool for business owners because it is the platform which consumers use to communicate with each other. Tons of business owners ignored social media when it first began, thinking it was only for individuals looking to maintain personal relationships.
Now, most businesses realize that they probably need some sort of social media face – maybe a Facebook page for their business. Few people, however, realize the difference between merely existing on Facebook and truly leveraging the power that social media offers.Obviously, social media provides an opportunity to build brand recognition and maybe promotional opportunities. Perhaps not so obviously, it provides an opportunity for market research that has never before been so readily available or inexpensive. A business owner can actually dig in and find out what people are saying about his business, brand, product, or service. What used to be done through market research polls and surveys and other such tactics can now be done simply by "listening".
You can be sure that your competitors are involved with social media, and if you aren't involved too, you can be sure that your competitor's are winning your business.
Since every business has different needs, the best strategy for your business is to create a custom strategy that addresses the challenges of your industry and audience. To get you started, here’s a list of steps your social media marketing should include:
- Identify Realistic Objectives: Too many businesses begin their social marketing efforts with uninformed, unrealistic, or ambiguous objectives. This inevitably results in failure, frustration and giving up. Determine exactlywhat your goals should be with each campaign.
- Establish your presence on social networks: Decide which social networks will offer the most benefit for your company and get you started. Examples include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and much more.
- Provide Social Media Consulting: If you would prefer to handle the work yourself, find specialized guidance and even training for your social media efforts.
- Publish Fresh Content Regularly: Social media requires content and activity — lots of it. Find a quality source of regular content, so you can focus on running your business.
- Setup and Manage Facebook PPC: Facebook PPC campaigns require a lot of time and attention. Ads and targeting need to be constantly reviewed and adjusted. Keep monitoring.
- Provide Social Media Analytics: Social media is as much a science as an art. Don’t shy away from in-depth analysis with stats and reports which will help you make important decisions. Only this way you can be sure that every dollar you spend is going to where it needs to go.
Not so difficult after all, isn’t it? Well, there is one more special ingredient you should add. The only detail that will make your social media presence different from the millions of other pages is creativity. Build and develop your own brand personality, establish online customer service practices and never stop listening.
Build your strategy using inbound marketing best practices, all compiled in our free eBook below.