There are so many strands when it comes to social media, that it can be difficult for businesses to grasp the facts. After all, social media is still relatively new for many and while having a page on Facebook or Twitter seems like a great idea, it can be very difficult to work out HOW these pages can be used effectively to market your business or your Search Engine Marketing efforts.
In reality, social media comprises everything from Search Engine Marketing through to PR and to harness it well, you need to be aware of how best to apply your daily business efforts to your social media presence to get what you want!
So this is a very basic but helpful blog for you on how to create a proper social media strategy for your business, while identifying what is truly relevant and what you can ignore!
The very first step is to identify what you want to achieve as a business. This is usually before you do anything else and certainly before you set anything up! So, take the time to think this through.
While it’s also obvious that for most businesses, gaining more business is top of the list, for social media you need to be much more creative in your thinking, so think about brand awareness, launching of new products or services, gaining customer feedback, opinion, search engine marketing, SEO and so on.
The next step in creating your social media strategy is working out what social media platforms will integrate well with your business needs and that list you have created.
Now this bit can be a little more challenging. Basically you’re not just promoting yourself on Facebook for example you have to assume that you’ll be marketing, selling, communicating and a whole host of other things through your social media platforms and thus, you need to work out which social media platform will work best for your activities.
Therefore, if you are utilising your social media to support your Search Engine Marketing efforts you need to consider how you will use Twitter and your blog to assist you!
So, the best advice here is to keep it simple and build upon it in stages. Consider that Facebook is a good business to consumer tool, but is not necessarily going to sell products for you on an individual basis and that Twitter can drive traffic to your website, thus it is a great Search Engine Marketing tool but it will have lots of other uses too!
This is of course very simplified for you and for a top notch social media strategy you may be wise to consult a professional but if you’re a smaller business it’s a good place to start!
Once you’ve deduced what platforms you’re going to start with – we would usually suggest Facebook, Twitter and possibly You Tube (but do speak to us about micro-blogging sites for Search Engine Marketing purposes).
So once you’ve worked out what you want and which platforms you’re going to use, you now need to apply all the other activities that need to be considered when it comes to social media for business.
- Include your Social Media links on your website
- Include your Social Media links at the bottom of your emails
- Contact of your current customer base to tell them where they can find you. Maybe consider an email to your database!
- Set yourself a ‘review’ date for your activities. This is usually around three months from the date you started.
- Start looking for your current or past client base if you’re a business. If they’re on Twitter follow them and say hello. If they’re on Facebook do the same!
- Make sure that whenever you produce new marketing or PR materials that you consider the impact they will have on your social media. Don’t forget. Social media is not a ‘bolt on’ to what you already do. It’s part of what you already do so you need to integrate it.
- Don’t forget your current clients or customers. Most people assume that with social media you are simply gaining more followers to buy or promote you. Remember in traditional marketing your biggest advocates will be the people who have used or purchased from you before so don’t forget them!
- If you’re thinking of having a blog, consider that what you write is going to be important as a customer service tool but also as a Search Engine Marketing tool at least – so once you start it, keep it up!
There are of course a multitude of other things to consider when creating a social media strategy, but this blog should give you a few pointers to get you started.
Always evaluate and review your activities regularly and once you think you’re doing okay, it’ll be time to create another strategy to take you forward another three months!
If you would like any help or advice on creating a professional social media strategy you can CONTACT US anytime or do read our other social media blogs for top tips and tricks!