A lot of people get overwhelmed when it comes to using social media for their business. There are so many options it can feel like a full time job (and for some of us marketing gurus it is!). How do you know which platforms are right for you? Is social media even worth your time? (SPOILER ALERT: the answer is yes!) Today we have some quick guidelines that can help you as you're starting on your social journey.
Pick your social media platforms BASED on what you are trying to accomplish. Are you trying to educate people about a certain disease or problem? Are you launching a product? Do you have a new service or a special promotion? Get familiar with how Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Houzz, Twitter, FourSquare and Pinterest operate, and how their "content" is presented. This is an investment of your time that will really pay off.
Stop thinking of social media as an "excess, extra thing." Your website isn't an option (at least we hope not! EVERY business needs a website). Social media has to be come an integral, non-negotiable part of your business. We know you've come across a Facebook page that hasn't been updated in months with an old photo of a business and there's a few "Merry Christmas" posts with photos of a cute puppy in some kind of costume. This is what happens when social media is an afterthought - and we can promise you it's not effective. You have to have a strategic plan and be committed, or you won't be getting the most out of it, or anything for that matter.
Automate wherever you can. No, we're not referring to automated posts! We're talking about tying your social media into your website, your website analytics, your CRM, and whatever else you can. There are automation tools to do this and web specialists like us that can help you. There is so much untapped potential data to be gleaned from your social presence! The opportunities are endless - leads for your sales team, product insight for your developers, reviews, consumer information for your customer support leaders…it goes on and on. You need to know which platforms are generating leads, which are generating sales, or reviews, etc. so you know where to invest your time.
Monitor customer interactions! We're sure you've heard a horror story or two about bad reviews, horrible customer commentary, etc. We cannot stress to you more how effective it is for you to be a present voice in the conversation rather than an idle bystander. Time and time again it has been proven that customers expect and appreciate an involved brand that listens. The conversation is going to take place, the only question is if you'll be a part of it.
When social media functions become integrated across business processes and there is a well-defined strategy outside the marketing department, you won't have to wait long to see the benefits. Better quality website traffic, great customer engagement, brand loyalty and recognition…that's just the beginning.