Social media platforms have been one of the strongest megaphones for branding messages for several years now, but many companies still have not embraced them fully. Admittedly, it can be daunting to try to enter the world of social media, especially without a basic knowledge of the options and a strong plan moving forward. Here are some steps businesses can take to dive into the social media deep end.
Pick a Platform
There are many popular social media platforms, and each has its own type of audience. Companies must first understand who their target customers are before choosing which social media options will get them in front of the right people. For example, the youngest demographic might be on Snapchat or Instagram. Millennials could choose Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter. Facebook generally has an older audience such as Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. LinkedIn is an option that targets business to business messaging. There are other platforms that might be a good option for certain businesses as well.
Craft Your Identity
Once a company has chosen the best platforms, they can fill out their user profiles. They should focus on what they do instead of who they are. This will give followers more of an emotional insight into the business. Tone will be very important during this phase. Profiles can be clever, funny, or straightforward. However, if the company chooses humorous voice, it will have to continue in that vein for the majority of posts, so it has to be sustainable. They should leave out industry jargon and buzzwords on any platform, except maybe LinkedIn.
Another part of choosing a platform is learning when the audience is listening. Businesses should note the times of day when there is the most follower engagement and continue to post during those times. It’s important to remember that it is not so important how many followers are watching, but how many are interacting with the messages. The idea is to try to build a community of interested, engaged fans.
Companies should definitely check out what their competitors are doing in the social media world. Are their potential customers interacting? If not, why not? Owners can learn from the successes of their competitors; after all, they are looking for the same target audience. Also, business owners should think about what type of messages appeal to them. Chances are if it gets their attention, it will get others’ attention as well.
Create a Plan
Of course, the general idea of using social media at all for business purposes is to get the audience to visit the company website for more information. Then, they can be converted from leads into customers. Companies must make every effort to drive traffic back to the website by offering additional information there. A long-term content plan will make this more manageable, but they should be certain to allow for spontaneity as well, such as posting trending content.
Analyze and Adjust
Finally, businesses have to be proactive about the social media process. They should set clear goals and then monitor the results to see it the goals are reached. This will take some experimentation, but once it is dialed in, it can mean wonders for the bottom line. If some platforms just aren’t working out, companies should not hesitate to try something different. Success will require constant monitoring, goal adjusting, and tweaking to all of the company’s social media efforts.
Finding a social media strategy that really works requires effort and follow-though, but having a plan in place using these guidelines can make the process go more smoothly. The social media universe can be a fun place to experiment and find a company voice that resonates, turning followers into customers.