5 questions you should answer before jumping on the social media band wagon
1. What am I trying to accomplish through social media?
I have seen a number of organisations jump register on Facebook or Twitter simply because somebody told them so. It’s important to identify specific business objectives that are measurable and realistic, in order to get the most out of your efforts. Social media is all about providing useful, helpful, and interesting information for your online followers. If your content is infrequent and of a poor standard, you send a message that you are either not interested or you are not a quality operation.
2. How much time do I want to spend?
Some businesses treat social media as a bit of a gimmick and do not allocate adequate time or resources to maintaining an online profile because it’s free to register. If you decide to build a social media presence you should apply the same amount of attention as other marketing activities. You should also consider the most appropriate time of day to post your social media content. Focus on creating quality content for your target audience during peak periods of use.
3. Who should execute my social media strategy?
The ideal candidate to execute your social media strategy should have an in-depth understanding of your business and it’s customers. It’s crucial that the responsibility is given to someone who has the knowledge and insight to communicate the right messages through social media about your business. This is not likely to be the youngest member of your team, even though they might be the fastest to tweet, like and share.
4. Which social media platforms are best for my business?
- Facebook in some ways has become an extension of peoples social life. It’s good for sharing photos and videos and provides users with the ability to comment on your content. The audience is more diverse than you think. Over half of Facebook’s users are over 26 and the fastest growth is in the over 25 demographic. In my opinion Facebook is more suited to businesses that want to target consumers.
- Twitter is perfect for putting a human face on your business, providing useful information to your target audience, and listening to your customers/clients and responding in real time.
- LinkedIn is best suited for business-to-business conversations, establishing and demonstrating expertise, hiring, and finding appropriate clients and strategic partners.
- YouTube is the number. 2 search engine after Google. If a picture tells 1,000 words then a video must tell a million. YouTube is ideal if you want to create informative or humorous video’s about your business and broadcast them at no cost.
- Pinterest is a theme based photo-sharing service and a recent player in social media space. It has amassed a vast audience since it’s inception in 2009 with women representing over 80% of Pinterest users.
- Foursquare is the premier location-based social media platform. It’s best suited to businesses who want to engage with people and direct them to their shop front or physical location.
5. How do I know if my efforts are working?
As you may be thinking by know, all of this is very well and good but how do I know social media is working for my business. One of the best things about the Internet is that every time a web site is accessed it is recorded and therefore can be measured. Traditionally with web site analytics, you can only determine the number of total visits, unique visitors and the country of residence. The great thing about social media networks is that each user has a profile containing information about them. Therefore you can dig deeper into the demographics of your followers and fine-tune the content of your social networks to engage your target audience.