Get Social Media to Work For Your Business
Social media can be overwhelming to think about and for many businesses, it’s viewed as a necessary evil. Your business wasn’t built around a cookie cutter approach and you can’t treat social media with a one size fits all approach. You may be wondering where to start and how social media can apply to YOU and your business. Social media should be considered as part of your overall marketing plan. It should also be helping build your brand, client touch points, engaging your community, and ideally increase sales. There are three pillars to social media that can support your business. These pillars are essential and the foundational first steps you should take when considering where to start implementing social media for your business.
STRATEGY – Who are you and what do you do. In order to get social media to work for your business, create a strategy that will act as a framework and guidepost for all of your actions. Each social media platform has its own audience, purpose, and outcomes.
Before defining a strategy, conduct a social media audit of your business. This will paint a picture of what platforms your business is currently using, how active your business is on the platforms, and how your business is represented on social media. Once you’ve conducted an audit, begin to think about your strategy. These essential questions will guide you in writing a strategy:
- What is the purpose of using social media for your business?
- Which platforms will be the most beneficial for your business?
- Who will be managing the social media accounts?
- Who is your ideal audience?
- Do you have a budget for ads?
- What is your goal for growth?
- Set short term and long term measurements. Number of followers/Fans, pageviews, retweets, leads, sales, contracts, etc..
COMMUNICATION. The purpose of social media is to communicate WHO your business is and WHY your business matters. Posting consistently is the key to success on social media. Posting consistently, at optimal times, will drive more traffic to your website, create a strong brand message for current and future clients and employees, and will efficiently spread awareness about your business.
The more consistently you post, the more frequently your content will appear in people’s feeds as well. Depending on your business, some social media platforms may be more beneficial than others. In your strategy, you decide which platforms you’ll utilize and how often you’ll be posting on those platforms. As a general rule of thumb, I follow these posting guidelines:
- Twitter: 1-2 posts/week
- Instagram: 1-2 posts/week
- Facebook: 2-3 posts/week
- LinkedIn: 2-3 posts/week
As mentioned above, there are optimal times to post on social media. These are times, based on data of when the most users are active on social media. In addition to posting at optimal times, you also need to engage with your followers during these times. The more you engage with other users, the more likely your posts are to show in other feeds. You can engage by liking, commenting, and sharing your posts and other’s posts.
BRAND. The tone or “voice” of your business. Social media is the most relevant and important place for your brand to come alive. The WHAT and WHY of your business should be apparent when people visit your social media platforms. When clients and employees are looking for information on your business, first they type your name into google and then they immediately go to your social media platforms to get a glimpse into what your organization is all about. These essential questions will guide you in defining your brand:
- What is your business’ purpose or mission?
- What are your business’ core values?
- What are the 3-5 things you want your business to be known for?
- What tone do you want to portray? (Edgy, modern, knowledgeable, etc)
- What is the voice of your brand? (Sarcastic, professional, warm, relatable, etc)
When you focus on the strategy, communication, and brand behind your social media platforms, you will have access to a whole world of opportunity for your business. Social media is complex and when used efficiently is the most powerful tool you can use for your business.