Developing a social media plan shouldn't be a daunting task. Follow these steps to build your social strategy.
Small businesses throughout the United States recognize that social media isn't just a trend. Even if you know that, it does not mean that you've had the time and energy to build a strong presence on any of the best platforms.
The good news is that if you have yet to optimize your social media existence, there's still time. The numerous benefits will be worth your effort. The advantages are endless; it can help you better your customer service, allow you to efficiently communicate with current and prospective customers, enable you reach a new audience and engage your current audience as you strive to build authority. Take a look at these seven ways you can improve your social media presence.
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Choose the best networks for your business
The use of social media has completely exploded, and there are countless networks available for those who want to join.
With all of the options available, how can your business know which to hone in on? Most experts advise to join any or a few of the popular ones. Let your audience (and where they’re active) guide you, keep your goals in mind and remember to keep your promotional content to 20 percent.
Facebook is the largest platform and an ideal site for small businesses that intend to build relationships and generate leads.
LinkedIn is the platform businesses can use to network, create trust, engage audiences and build authority. It works for both B2B and B2C companies.
Twitter is a great platform for those who seek immediacy. It's great for businesses with customers who are under the age of 50. It's ideal for sharing information like trending topics with your audience.
Pinterest is a photo-sharing site that acts as a wonderful platform for businesses with visual appeal. It's great for driving sales; so many users check the site to plan purchases. Businesses such as restaurants, or those that focus on fashion, travel, art and weddings find great success on Pinterest.
Snapchat is an expiring content platform. Small businesses can utilize Snapchat by offering exclusive promotions, providing personalized content and building relationships in order to drive loyalty and brand recognition.
There are many benefits of being active on social media for your business, such as engaging customers, expanding your audience, increasing online traffic, generating leads, performing customer service and gaining feedback and insights.
However, if you want to achieve these with any measure of success, you have to set goals you can work toward. You need to create a strategy to reach those goals. For example, your approach will be different if you want to drive sales than if you want to improve your customer service skills. It’s essential you establish what you want to accomplish.
Figure out a strategy
Always remember to keep looking for ways to improve your business and management knowledge. Setting goals to improve your social media presence is a good start, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you decide what you hope to achieve, you need a plan to ensure it comes to fruition.
First designate the individual or group who will make up the social media team. Then break up their responsibilities so each person has a clear understanding of what is expected and when.
Determine how often you will post and create a content calendar to ensure you don’t miss any days and can plan posts in advance. The content calendar is a key part of your strategy and will lay out the subjects your audience likes to learn about, the usable content you have, the content that needs curated and which platforms content will be published.
Engage your audience
Content is extremely important on social media, but it's not enough to post your content and call it a day. Social media is about the very important connection you make with your audience. That is the only way you can foster the relationships you hope to build and a good way to gain the trust of your audience.
There are various ways you can engage with your audience. You can start and participate in conversations, making sure to comment on posts. Share relevant information and answer any questions your audience may have. Always address any complaints or inquiries made by your customers and never forget to show them your appreciation. If you don't have customers, you won't have a business.
Reduce the time you dedicate to promoting your business
The practice of social selling is popular among marketers, but the actual process of using social networks to grow a business is different than what people are used to. Instead of turning to social to promote your business exclusively, utilize it as a tool for communication and engagement. Once you build rapport with your customers you will see an increase in sales.
Maintain a constant presence
Social media is more than just posting here and there and allowing numerous days to lapse between posts. It takes patience and consistence to cultivate a reliable presence. The right automation tools will allow you to minimize the time you spend planning what you share, but it's still essential to monitor what you post, respond to questions and comments and participate in conversations.
Keep your voice consistent
Social media is a good place for both brand building and recognition. This is why it is crucial that each post you make aligns with your brand and image. You may run into problems if you have numerous employees assigned to the task of social because each person will bring their own personality and flair to the task.
It’s smart to limit the number of team members responsible for posting on social and make sure they all have a clear understanding of the image you want to present.
Social media use continues to grow and every month there are even more active users than the last. It is not necessary to have a presence on each social network and it’s a smart idea to define your goals, understand and locate your audience and choose the sites that are best for your business based on those factors.