Social media can be an extremely effective marketing channel for your business. There is a great deal of enthusiasm from businesses and marketers about getting involved but many marketing people are not sure how to build a solid strategy.
Before you dive into social media marketing, you need to establish your social media marketing strategy. It isn’t enough to merely be connected to a variety of different social media accounts. You need to concentrate on quality vs quantity and to leverage your social media networks so that you get maximum benefit for your business.
Why do you need a strategy for social media marketing?
Many business people have Facebook fan pages or Twitter accounts because they are free, simple to use and everyone else has one too. Even though it is very important for businesses to have social media accounts for their brands, they need to think carefully before they devote a great deal of time to them. The return on investment (ROI) needs to be worthwhile.
If you attempt to implement social media marketing tactics without a solid strategy behind them, the result will be chaotic and your efforts may not produce positive results. Your strategy should be focused and have a high probability of success.
A part of your social media strategy should be to connect directly with your customers. You should make it your business to be a part of the online social communities that they are a part of. Participate in the discussions that occur and add value to the discussions by contributing your valued opinions and interesting information about your brands.
The key to business success through online channels is to pay close attention to your customers’ needs and interests. You can give them useful information and discussions that satisfy their needs and strengthen your brand credibility at the same time. That will increase your brand exposure and the more familiar your business is, the more people will be comfortable around you.
Social media strategy is much more involved than making a list of marketing tactics
Simply having a list doesn’t mean that you actually have a strategy. You need to ask yourself why you are using social media to increase your business. You should fully understand what is involved in a social media strategy. What should you be looking for?
· Answering “why?”: Your social media strategy should totally answer why you are using a particular tactic. You need to find out if your audience is interacting with you already and if the potential for branding and exposure exists.
· Deploying: You need to gain respect within social media. If you understand the social media channels as they relate to basic marketing principles, best practices, tools and tactics, you can create the structure for establishing a social media strategy.
Your social media strategy will direct your approach. It will tell you if you should be aggressive or if you should passively sit back and quietly get a sense of what you are about to embark upon. It will also tell you if the best approach for you is to ask questions first and then offer advice and whether you want to get submissions from the audience before you start writing valuable content. Your social media strategy should answer all of these questions.
· Defining your goals and measuring: You need to have some way to measure if your efforts have been successful. What sort of ROI are you expecting? If you don’t have a clear set of goals that can be measured, how can you justify your tactics?
· When to reevaluate your social media strategy: It is very common for a company not to include reevaluation in their strategy from the beginning. They don’t think beyond what they are doing now and how much they are spending on that. If something is not working, and you aren’t meeting your goals, you need to make adjustments in your strategy. When you look at your strategy and you are able to identify what is working, you need to leverage that as much as you can. The most effective thing to do is to build in the reevaluation from the beginning.
Using social media strategies to get your message across is an effective and vital approach to business. All marketing tactics (online and traditional) work in tandem to help your business succeed.
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About the Author.
Carolyn Cohn is the Chief Editor of CompuKol Communications LLC. Mrs. Cohn has a wealth of experience in business writing as well as having a strong editorial background. She manages all of the company’s writers, journalists and editors as well as writing, editing and publishing several business articles a week on a consistent basis, which are syndicated globally.
Mrs. Cohn has run several editorial departments for other companies. She has over 25 years of editorial experience and her expertise covers a wide range of media, such as online editing, and editing books, journal articles, abstracts, and promotional and educational materials.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Cohn has established and maintained strong relationships with professionals from a wide variety of companies. The principle that governs her work is that all words need to be edited.
Mrs. Cohn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
Mrs. Cohn is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA).