Making social media work for your business
Connecting with your customers is the easy part. Staying connected and engaging with them is critical and where many businesses fall down. It’s estimated that over three quarters of Internet users regularly read blogs and are active in social media communities, so it’s clear social media platforms present us with a huge opportunity to interact with our target audiences. Here are Beach’s top 10 tips for using social networking in a business context.
1. Plan your strategy.
It’s important to have an action plan. Think about what you want to achieve and how your business will benefit. Define your goals and outline the steps you will take – and the resources you will need – to meet your objectives. Your social media strategy should integrate into your existing marketing strategy.
2. Research competitors.
If you’re new to social media, take a look at what your competitors and other local businesses are doing. It’s not about reinventing the wheel; it’s about making the best use of the tools available. Once you’ve seen what works for them, you’ll be in a much better position to plan your own strategy.
3. Schedule social time.
Tweeting can be time consuming so you’ll need to schedule social time to show customers you are there on a regular basis. You will also need to monitor conversations and provide feedback to any questions or interactions. Allocating time throughout the day will show customers you care enough to check back and respond to any questions.
4. Be an expert.
One of the best ways to interact with your customers is by being a trusted source of expertise. Join existing communities where your customers are, and establish yourself as a voice of expert advice.
5. Publish fresh, relevant content.
Content needs to be refreshed regularly – at least on a weekly basis. This includes the removal of redundant content. You want to show customers you are a ‘”reliable friend”, so stay active and participate in conversations related to your area of expertise.
6. Spread the word.
Let the world know of your existence. Integrate your website into your social media campaign – it’s likely potential customers spend more time social networking than on your website. Use links on email signatures, and provide links between your blog, Facebook, Linked In and Twitter profiles. You’ll soon see your numbers of followers and fans grow.
7. Make it appealing.
There needs to be a reason why people would want to visit your profile. Consider competitions or promotions exclusive to your online community.
8. Get creative.
Using images and embedding videos are just a couple of things you can do to make your site / profile visually appealing. Creativity is a great way to get across the personality of your business.
9. Be authentic and human.
People are more likely to create relationships with other people than they are with businesses. You can encourage customers by using a ‘human’ voice – not a corporate presence – when connecting in social spaces.
10. Deal with negative feedback.
Feedback is not always going to be positive – but don’t delete negative comments, use them to your advantage. By acknowledging; showing users that you are listening, taking on board their views and offering a solution where possible you can turn negativity into positivity and portray your business in a more genuine light.
If you would like some assistance in setting up a social media presence give us a call on 01604 239837, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org We’re always happy to help!