Sure, it seems easy enough to start a Facebook business page or Twitter account for your brand, but doing it doesn’t equal doing it well! If you want create a sucessful social presence for your brand check out these tips first.
According to Social Media Examiner…
“80% of marketers indicated social media use generated more exposure for their business.”
You want to do the same, right?
Here are some things you should have on your checklist before you begin the social media dance. #SocialMediaMarketing #SocialMedia #OnlineBrandPresence #socialmarketing #socialbrands #BeSocial
- Do your research first!
Understand your industry, your business voice, your consumer, your competitors, social media platforms and how they work, read articles on best practices.
Understand what people are talking about online regarding your industry, do keyword searches, understand audience sentiment, look up your competitors and their social media content. Understand what google searches related to your product/service are being most highly looked up. It’s key to understand each social media platform and what type of content goes where. It doesn’t work anymore to repurpose content from one platform to all platforms…Know the difference!
Understand what your social media voice will be!
“Show personality in your posts – people don’t just want a story, they want a perspective. Social media must not just enhance what you do on your blog but be integrated with it. Everything you say and everything you do becomes your ‘brand’ over time.”– Renée Blodgett
- Set a Social Media Strategy & Integrate What do you hope to accomplish? Use your research to set a strategy related to your overall marketing campaign and business goals to set a clear, achievable goal for your social media marketing. It is important to understand that, although setting measurable metrics are important to a social media marketing campaign, in the beginning it is important to establish a clear and concise voice that can provide value to your consumers before measuring quantity. Remember quality is more important than quality especially in the beginning. Without a solid foundation, you will crumble in the end. Is customer service the main goal? Is lead generation a goal? Don’t be an overachiever, set serveal accomplishable goals and then re-asses strategy in a month or two. Also, don’t do social media if you aren’t ready to make it a part of the bigger overall marketing picture. Social media shouldn’t be a stand alone channel of marketing it should work in collaboration with other channels and tactics. For example coming up with a kick ass twitter contest is great but you won’t drive any of your best advocates (your exisiting consumers) there if you don’t also utilze those email newsletters and in store signage you have up to promote the contest as well.
- Know your audience
Get a deeper understanding of your social media audience by doing some more online digging into who your current consumer is, and who prospective targets are, what is the online sentiment about topics in your industry. Utilize online tools *(many free ones!) to know what is commonly being asked for content about in your related industry. Consider making a consumer persona model to clearly identify who these people are, what they want, what they care about and how you can satisfy them/provide them value. This should be central to the goal of the content you create *(which will make or break your social media marketing).
Set up methods for content creation
Know how you will be killing the content game on the SM platforms to make your life easier when it comes to knowing what to write. Think about utilizing news stories, calendar events, holidays, repurposed content, newsletter information, internal company info/pictures, factoids on specific topics, blog posts, reposts from related pages/followers etc.
LEARN from your content! Down the road you will be able to utilize your analytics to better understand what type of content performs best, and focus on those methods *(But make sure to mix it up!).
Set specific times of days to post (do research on what other companies find work well, if you have no basis to take inventory on) and clarify how much time you or whomever is in charge of content creation will put in a week into creating posts. Down the line consider a 3rd party content posting management system like Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
Create a Crisis Management Plan & Integration Method
Consumers want and expect brands to be transparent and responsive. It is critical to create a plan for responding to social comments! The whole point of a social media presence is to interact with your consumers and potential consumers. If you do not allow for responsiveness back from your brand voice you may as well avoid social media all together. Many companies fear the social media space because of potential negative feedback…Well, too bad because A)You have got to be on social media and B)You will certainly get negative feedback so you need to know how to deal with it! It’s not so bad once you have a plan for how to deal with it. Remember to respond quickly, apologize, never get defensive and most of all personalize responses.
Integration: Plan with the other departments in your company as to how you will integrate your social media into the rest of the departments…because it certainly will overlap. You may need help from marketing to get pictures, resources, newsletters, etc. for content and HR help to manage responding + more. Most importantly, meet with someone in your legal department to identify potential issues *(go over that crisis plan with them), know the guidelines of your company’s social media policy and how to craft a responses to disgruntled posters +++ Know what your role as the responder of social media will be.
- Have a dedicated & passionate body to manage social media! Have corporate buy in
It is vital there is at least one dedicated body to managing the social media platforms, creating content and responding to comments. This person should also be passionate about your business, know the voice of the brand and be social media savvy. Reading up daily on social media trends, news article and the like are important to keeping a fresh social media presence.
Everyone should be on the Social Media Train! This is a step a lot of people move forward without, or feel may be unimportant but it’s crucial to success of social media. Determine how you can be able to measure success to the company. Understand the key stakeholders and what you can align with the business goals to speak to them when you show them the performance.
Now go and fly you social media butterflies!
Here’s another great article from my favorite, Social Media Examiner on How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing