Social Media

Hot Tips for Social Media and Business

Written by Ann Stanley on 26th October 2011

Social media as a business tool is always a hotly debated subject, especially if companies goals are to drive sales, which is why it comes as no surprise that businesses have begun to argue that social media doesn’t actually provide the rate of return they’d hoped for. Whose fault is this? Is it that social media is genuinely hyped up to be more than it is, or are people not quite hitting the nail on the head and not using it to its full potential…

 
There are 10 things which you or your company should do when setting up a social media strategy. You can’t force people to like your page or follow you on Twitter, but with the right tools you can optimise on what you have and build on it, making social media work for your company.

 
Before we get to that point we need the basics. Marketers worldwide will have the 7 P’s drilled into their head; Price, Product, Promotion, Place, Process, Physical evidence and People.  Good marketing will tick all of these boxes.  Good social media marketing will take these P’s and make them work for their media strategy.

 

Jumping on the social media for marketing band wagon...

1.    Establish a Baseline – You may need to start at the bottom.  You need to get followers, likes and connections to increase the crowd you’re speaking to.  Even if you’re starting with 0 followers and likes, by growing your audience you can map out your success to yourselves and to them.

2.    Competitor Bench marks –Don’t do this to be a copycat. Do this for the same reason you gather the baseline metrics in number one above. It’s not always easy to identify what you’re actually after with your social media program, and competitors make an easy (and fun) example.

3.    Goals and Objectives- The return you’ll see on social media platforms won’t be as obvious as what you’d see on a Pay-Per-Click campaign, it takes time to materialise. Some companies find leads within weeks, some it will take months.  The better your campaign strategy the more likely your success will be.  Also remember people won’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches all the time, aim to have a smaller ratio of sales pitches to other content posted on your site.

4.    Naming Strategy – You need to choose a name which is going to support or reflect your brand.  Going with your brand name should always be the number one choice, so you’re easily searchable.  If this isn’t possible go for something which can be linked back to your company, something unique that will stand out from your competitors.

5.    Staff Planning – To get a good social media campaign up and running, you need to have more than one person to execute it.  a successful campaign relies on a group of people to work on it and carry the weight of the plan.  The more people work on a project the more resources, support, creative ideas and importantly time, can collectively be spent on the plan.

6.    Content Calendar – Plan the content you will post onto social media sites to avoid spending more time on content than you have to. You need to know what you’re going to put on there and when.  You need to justify why you’re putting this content on there.  Are you trying to get more followers? Are you driving people back to your website or to enter a competition? If you know this before you do it the end result will be clean and accomplished, and essentially – look professional.

7.    Partner Integration – You can use your social media strategy to appeal to colleagues and partners in your business. If you present your strategy with a win-win outcome for your colleagues the chances are they’ll get on board. The bigger the network, both in and out of the office the better.

8.    Ideas – Your strategy needs to find the balance between original and creative ideas behind the plan to capture a user’s attention, and good organisation.  If you can get a basic schedule and plan into place then your creativity can flow.

9.    Examples – Find a page similar to what you want yours to be, and a page from one of your competitors.  Look at the bad and the good of both and see which points you want to draw from for your own social media campaign.  However you need to make sure you don’t solely take from other people’s sites, being unique is important.

10.    Analysis – You need to get used to constantly analysing your social media strategy.  Once it’s up and running, take a look at it.  What’s working well? What’s not working? Don’t be afraid to scrap an idea. You need to analyse throughout the campaign. At the beginning, know what you want to measure and how you’re going to measure it.  Mid-plan take a look back and see what needs changing and what’s worked well, and carry on doing so.

Remember¬ social media is constantly evolving, and your social media campaign needs to do so as well.  Setting up a Facebook page in January and ignoring it for months will only bring you disappointment.  But if your plan is well nurtured, thought out and executed, social media was, is and will be a uniquely successful means of marketing.

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