More and more businesses are using social media because it gives them another avenue to connect with customers but how do you determine which ones best suits your business?
Before you sign up and start Tweeting or Facebooking, you should think about the social media strategy. This means taking time to stop and think about what you want to accomplish.
Here are a few questions to answer and points to think about while creating your social media strategy.
Describe your business
If you can’t describe your business and value you have to offer in a sentence, how will potential new customers know what you do? You will need to do this first.
What do you want to accomplish using social media? You need to define your objectives on why you want to use social media. Are you joining to make more contacts within your industry? Do you want to build on your relationships using an online medium? Would you like more engagement from your current customers? Whatever your reason, you’re bound to find an outlet that suits your business.
What social media outlets are best for you? There are many different options when choosing social media outlets. Some options include social networking sites (i.e. Facebook), real-time updates or micro-blogs (i.e. Twitter), blogs, social news websites, just to name a few. You need to examine the characteristics of each social media outlet and see which of those support what you want to accomplish.
Do you have something to share? Social media is about sharing content and information, as well as making connections with others. Do you have something interesting to share? Do you have news? Do you have information that is relevant and fascinating? Having something to share will encourage people to keep coming back for more.
How will you drive people to participate? You can have multiple social media accounts and link them to each other to expand your business’ profile. Sharing content and information will encourage your contacts to participate in dialogue with you, whether it’s posting a comment on your blog or inviting others to read your information. Participation is a two-way street, if you make the effort your customers will too, thus building stronger relationships.
Who will maintain your social media presence?
Do you have the resources to keep updating your social media profiles? Will you or someone at your company update content, so your ideas and what you have to share is fresh?
How will you measure success? Will you be measuring your profile views or how many followers or subscribers you have? Have any business transactions happened as a result of your online conversations? If your goal was to build relationships with other contacts, are you doing this and are your relationships positive? You need some sort of measuring system to tell you whether or not social media is having a positive effect on your business.
Social media is making a big impact on how we do business. Take time out to think about why you want to use it, what outlets are best for you are and how you’re going to measure success.