Before you begin your social media journey or create a social media strategy for your business, there are certain steps you must take to prepare and to not leave yourself saying “now what?”.
Step 1 – Identify Your Objective
In business, we all know that there’s really only one objective, and that is to make money, and that can be done by either increasing sales or decreasing expenses.
If our objective is to increase sales, make sure you identify how you’re attempting to do that through social media; is it through customer retention? Increase brand awareness? Help generate lead and/or site traffic? Or are you using social media for brand value and/or reputation management?
If your social media objective is to decrease expenses, you can achieve that through social recruiting, customer support, or marketing. Decreasing expenses through social recruiting means you post your jobs in LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook rather than spending money on sending someone out to career fairs.
I strongly believe that for social media to be a successful, an important key factor is identifying who it is that you’re trying to reach. There are millions of people on social media, make sure you take the time to identify who it is exactly you’re trying to target.
When identifying your audience, some factors to consider might be a person’s demographics, their location, their likes and dislikes, etc. Do they like animals? Do they like food? Do they like cars?
Take the time to understand how your audience use social media; are they using social media to buy products, or are they looking more for customer service?
Additionally, it’s important to understand whether your audience are generally content creators or content consumers. Content creators are people who frequently post status updates, share links, and are interact with others via social media channels. Content consumers, on the other hand, are on social media, but use it very passively. They may log on daily as do the content creators, but they enjoy just browsing, reading, and to staying up to date with what’s going on, but do not take the time to actively participate and engage in the conversation.
Make sure to consider the relationship your audience wants to have with your brand and what content are they would want from you.
Step 3 – Identify Your Content
You wouldn’t go to war without first identifying what ammunition you have, and such is the case with social media and your content (Tweet this); make sure you identify what content you have to share with your audience that adds value. Your content can come in many shapes and sizes such as white papers, blog posts, videos, infographics, webinars, or eBooks, to name a few.
When deciding what content to share, put yourself in the customer’s shoe and ask yourself “Why would I follow my brand?”. When you go to follow companies pages like Pepsi or Skittles, why did you decide to follow that company’s updates? What’s in it for you? What kind of information are you looking from them? Be sure to answer these questions about yourself before you begin.
The general rule of thumb is to share content that makes one’s life or job better, easier, or more cost-effective. (Tweet this)
Now that you have the three steps, go out there and get started!