In the UK it’s estimated that 66% of the population use some form of Social Media. Social Marketing has enormous potential to help any business grow. It allows you to interact with customers and create a loyal following that in time become brand advocates. Just having a well designed website isn’t enough, you also need to have engaging content.
Due to its prominence in people’s lives, Social Media platforms have a vast amount of power and reach. Businesses need to harness the power of these platforms, that’s where Social Media marketing comes in.
Although Social Media is a powerhouse, if you’re not organised, you’ll not be able to leverage the power. You may hurt your brand in the long term.
In this post, we’ll explore how to get started with a Social Media presence for any business.
Where to start
There are several things to consider and organise before you start with any platform. The first thing we would say you need to understand is your customers and the platforms they use.
This point is critical to reaching the audience that may turn into your customers. For example, if you’re wanting to showcase your talents in the beauty industry then posting pictures of your clients on LinkedIn probably isn’t going to get you any customers. Instagram, however, with its focus on images and a wider audience demographic is perhaps well suited.
Social media policies and guidelines
If you have more than one employee or if you have more than one person responsible for your social media it’s important to have a range of policies. Policies should cover what can be shared and how you should share it, how employees can interact with you.
As Social Media relies on people engaging with content, the more people who engage, the more people see the content. If you have employees who are sharing your content in a way that reflects poorly on your brand, it really could hurt your business as vast numbers of people could see it. An acceptable policy to ensure everyone knows where they stand is a must.
If you have more than one person managing your account, guidelines are useful to advocate your brand’s voice. When interacting with customers, everyone should use the same language and tone in their replies to ensure consistency.
One other important document to have in place is one that deals with negative feedback as things can escalate quickly. If not dealt with correctly by the right people, things could snowball and turn into a huge PR disaster. Not what anyone wants.
Creation of a Social Media Strategy
Creation of a strategy document will help you stay in the game. This document is a summary of what you want to achieve over a period of time. A strategy document should also contain a plan with activities for social over the next period.
A strategy document helps you know if you are succeeding or failing in your aims as time progresses. It would be best if you start by creating a list of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) objectives. You then have something to measure how successful you are.
You’ll need to learn everything you can about your audience. That way, you can create content that will be engaging, turning likes, comments and shares into a growing customer base. You should create persona’s for your audience and be able to answer things like the age of your customers, interests and location.
Knowing your competition is also a huge advantage. You should find out what they’re doing well and what they’re not doing so well. Once this research is complete, it will allow you to spot trends and opportunities.
Social Media Audit
If you’re already using Social Media, you should look to audit what you’re already posting. Look for what works and what doesn’t and what platforms are working for you.
Identifying what you’re already doing well will mean that you stop wasting time and resources on things that don’t work. You can then utilise it more effectively on things that do.
Creation of a timeline
You’ll need to find the right mix of content to share depending on your aims, which are defined by your strategy. For example, this could be the creation of your own content, curated content from other sources or content to gain more leads.
A timeline or schedule will allow you to keep up to date on your publishing timeline. It will also help you work out when your deadlines are for writing or finding content to share. One of the critical things is to keep regularly sharing to ensure your brand continues to imprint on customers.
Your Social Media Strategy should be a ‘living’ document, not merely a ‘write and forget’.
As things change in the world, you should take time to take stock and adjust your timeline and plan based on whether you are achieving the goals set in your strategy.
You’ll need to look at the metrics that are provided by each social media platform to inform your ongoing content. If things are not going as well as you hoped, perhaps you need to write more content or target a different persona.
You should plan points in the year for you to review how you are getting on. At these review points you should make any necessary adjustments for the next period.
After you’ve got the basics in place, you can then start looking at creating content.
Engaging content is vital for Social Media, the more often you post, the more likely that your posts get seen. To create engaging content, you’ll need to use the results from your research and match the content you create to each platforms’ audience.
You’ve also got to ensure that your content is right for the platform. Each platform has its unique guidelines, and you should familiarise yourself with the requirements of each. For example, Twitter is king of the #hashtag, where Instagram is the king of filters.
It’s also important to remember that what works for one platform may not work for another so whilst some post may be right for one platform you should always review each post to make sure it fits with each platform.
As you can see, getting up and running on social media isn’t just as simple as creating some profiles and start posting. It would help if you had a plan and have the relevant policies and procedures in place. Ensuring you’re making the most of social whilst protecting your brands image.
At T’TOY we don’t just build your website, we can work with you to help you get the most of your Social Media accounts with guidance on policies and plans. We’ll even help manage your social accounts if you need us too.
Why not get in touch and see how we can elevate your business?