Social Media can feel like a big undertaking for any business, especially for a small business whose primary focus is growing their business. The days of simply throwing up posts on Twitter and Facebook and hoping for engagement are over. To truly reap the benefits of social media (and there are many benefits), a business most put in the time, effort and strategy behind their social media efforts.
We have put together our 5 Best Practices:
Have a Plan – Take the time to build a strategy behind your social media. It is no different than any other marketing tactics you plan for. Think about what your goals are, who your audience is and what you hope to achieve through your social media efforts. Once you have done this take the time to create an editorial calendar so that you are less likely to scramble with each post. Think about your editorial calendar as your social story. Craft the story and then tell it through your social posts. Having a plan will save you time and make your social media efforts more effective.
Use Data- Understanding if your social media efforts are effective is key to the success of your social media marketing strategy. Platforms such as Facebook & Twitter provide free analytics that are readily available for you to review. It is critical that you look at these weekly/ bi-monthly and assess what is working and what is not. The great thing about social media is that your efforts can be changed instantly. If a post isn’t gaining traction, simply try something new.
Create a System– As a business owner it is impossible to balance it all and social media can seem like a 24/7 commitment. With the right scheduling tools like Buffer, Tweetdeck & Hootsuite you can be efficient in your social media planning. Choose 1 day a week, block off a few hours and schedule your content for the week ahead.
Be Present– The key to any successful social media plan is to be social. Scheduling is a great efficiency tool but it is imperative that you are present to respond, engage and interact with your followers. 42% of customers who use social media as a forum to launch a complaint expect a 60 minute response time. This doesn’t mean you have to be on social all day/ every day but it does mean that you should be checking in and putting aside some time each day to be social.
Just Be You-There are no shortage of books that will teach you how to leverage social and become a social brand but the best tip we can share is to just be you. The personality behind your brand is what will help connect you to your customers. Being authentic may sound like a cliche but it should not be overlooked. Your greatest asset is yourself. Let your customers see who you are and why you are passionate about your business and your customers.