Many business owners know that they should be using social media for their business. However, many are bewildered by all the choices. To make matters worse there are many different social media experts telling them what they should do and what they should say without understanding the business. In my opinion this approach is counterintuitive. Social media is simply a new form of advertising and communication that requires a plan and strategy to be effective. To help connect business reality with the new media I recently teamed up with a social media strategist. Here is some of what we discuss.
It is important to have a clear message? How do you differentiate yourself from others? What is your unique value proposition? These questions will take some thoughtful analysis. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the best thing you do?
- Who is you target market?
- How to people learn about and acquire your product or service?
- What separates you from your competition?
- What geographic area does your business cover?
- What are your goals?
- How do you look when you are successful?
Answering these questions will help you develop your social media strategy. Then you can choose your media. Make your message clear by taking full advantage of the tools available to you. For example:
LinkedIn is most used for connecting with other business professionals and is the greatest online business-to-business networking tool. You can use it to publish your skills for people to see. You can also get recommendations from clients and business connections that will really boost your credibility!
Facebook is all about connecting, socializing, posting, and reading others’ posts. When you get a new Facebook friend, make contact with them and find out more about what they do. You need to show interest in them in order for them to be interested in you. Join Facebook groups and connect with people who are looking for what you have to offer.
Twitter has a search box on the right hand side of your page when you log in. You can enter a word and click the magnifying glass to see recent posts that include the word. Use this to your advantage! You can use the search box to find people who are looking for the services you provide. Make sure your tweets include key words that are commonly searched.
YouTube can be a great and creative way to interact with your customer base. This will also make your company appear more personal, as there is somebody visually answering a question or giving information.
When you develop your plan you need to remain accountable to that plan. Consistency is the most important component. The amount of posting on social media is not as important as doing it consistently. Set realistic goals and follow through.
Finally, you need to measure it. Keep track of results of your activity. Most of the social media platforms have measurements to help you. For ultimate results, measure client engagement using responses, comments, and ultimately sales.