Fact: social media is used by about 90% of all American companies. Have you been left out? Or, are you now considering ways to maximize social media for your business? You can only hope they’ll all work to your favor. Success in a social media campaign doesn’t happen overnight. It entails careful planning, consistency, and a lot of hard work. Without the benefit of essential rules, you may spend time putting your money up for nothing.
Here are some rules you may consider when using social media with your business efforts.
1. Have a Goal
Your basic strategy must have a main goal, such as attracting more visitors to your website, boosting sales, and improving brand awareness. For better execution, think SMART—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Time-bound. An example of a specific objective is to improve sales by 10% for the first quarter or gradually cut operating costs in four months. You may want to measure your social media efforts by comparing the figures before, during, and after you launch the social media plan.
2. Know Your Target
For your social marketing plan to succeed, consider your audience first. Create a list of at least 30 people that fit the target. Once you have identified this group of people, find out what they want from your business and know how they see it. You may send them an email with questions for feedback, such as: “How did you find us online“, “What was it about our product that caught your attention?” and “What would you like to see on our website?”
3. Engage Customers
Once you know your customers, the next step is to interact with them. You can do this on your favorite social network such as Facebook or Twitter. If they give out a negative comment, be professional about it and never lash out on your customers. That alone can give your company a bad name especially if you are still trying to build your brand. In a social media campaign, a more personal touch can mean a big difference. Don’t make it seem like they are exchanging messages with an automated machine.
4. Be a Content Person
Visitors won’t like it if you bombard them with press releases sent through email or social messaging systems. You may not be aware of it, but you could be walking the thin line between spamming and sending out of more welcome messages. The alternative is to provide customer updates through blogs and social network. You can also use content sites which focus on images and videos that your audience can appreciate and may subscribe to. Why? Here are the numbers: there are now 3.4 billion photos on Google+ and images on Twitter are the most clicked and shared. All-time-favorite, Facebook, generates interactions by as much as 50%.
5. Have a Backup Plan
Sometimes even the best laid-out social media approaches still come up short. There may be times when you do not achieve your desired effect or something backfires and you lose money. Reconsider your plan should this happen. Set a more realistic social media goal and learn from your mistakes. To lower the chances of these pitfalls happening, make adjustments even while there’s a continuing campaign. Learn through your customers’ feedback; conduct a brainstorming session with your staff. This way, ideas that lend to a solution can fly.