One question I’m regularly asked is ‘How do I use Social Media to Help My Business?’ It’s a question that takes time to answer and even longer to implement. Along with the time it takes to establish individual strategies and monthly planning I’m not entirely convinced every business needs to use every Social Media tool available to them.
When making your decision take some time to go through our ten steps.
1. Understand your Customer
Firstly, understand your target audience; who are they, where do they ‘hang out’ and how do you reach them? Social tools like Facebook aren’t just a soap box, a way to tell an audience ‘I’m here’! Find out where your customers ‘hang out’, how to reach out to them and what to talk about. Take some time to decide which are the best social tools to reach your audience, it may not necessarily be Facebook.
2. Understand the Tools
Understand the Social tools available to you: Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, there’s so many to choose from and each one has its own individual approach.
3. Focus your Attention
Once you know where your customers spend their time focus your attention there. Don’t spread yourself too thinly in trying to use every tool – focus on just a couple.
4. Build a Social Plan
A simple spreadsheet is an easy way to approach this task. Start your spreadsheet by days of the week, times of day and your chosen Social Channels.
5. Engage with your Audience
How will you engage with your customers: users and followers.Will you maintain a high level business ethic strategy or a Social strategy?
6. How often to Update
Deciding on how often you’ll add updates to your Social Media tools. Once you’ve decided to step into this ‘Social World’ you’ll need to set a standard for yourself and the staff who you’ve tasked with the Administration of the Social channels: how often you plan to interact with your users.
7. Creating Your Timetable
Remember that your timetable for creating and responding to content is channel-specific. LinkedIn could be fine with monthly update while Facebook updates should be twice daily.
8. What will you talk about?
This can be a challenge and a good reason to subscribe to other industry blogs, newsletters and knowledge updates. A good rule of thumb is to remember the 80/20 rule – talk about your customers and your industry around 80% of the time – leave 20% of your time to talk about your own business.
9. Visit your Colleagues.
You’ll soon discover many of your clients have business Social Media accounts too. Reach out to them and connect, then ensure your calendar allows time to visit each client’s Facebook Page or Google + Page to update them.
The Social Media channels were created because ‘users/followers/liker’s want to get to know YOU – the business owner and your team. Remember, your Social tools are another way to communicate with your clients. They’ll feel more comfortable leaving feedback on a Social tool than on your website and this is your opportunity to help, support, understand or thank them for their concerns or appreciation. Your reaction to comments, both good and bad, will show new and potential customers how you manage and feel about your customers – that is exactly what they’re looking for. Take real problems onto private email with customers who need individual assistance, otherwise don’t be afraid to show how you solve your customers worries. Overall, enjoy the interaction the Social Media tools give you in connecting with your customers – they’re unique and easy to use.
If you’d like a copy of our ‘Social Media Plan for Business’ feel free to contact us using our enquiry form or email: firstname.lastname@example.org