Welcome to the latest installment of the Day One Strategy series. This is a weekly blog series that will address how to start from scratch. Each week we’ll discuss a new topic and offers tips for the business that is taking their very first step. Last week’s topic was Conversion Rate Optimization.
Today’s Topic = Social Media
The benefits of social media for companies were disputed for a long time. That’s primarily true for two reasons: 1) the platforms themselves were initially built for people, not companies and 2) companies had not yet had time to experiment and find the right way to use social media to boost their business.
Now that we can all agree that social media is essential for companies to communicate with consumers, here’s a high-level guide to getting started.
First you have to choose the platforms you want to use. You don’t have to use them all. You should start with 2 or 3 that make the most sense based on where your customers are and how you want to use social media for your business. Facebook is the obvious first choice. From there you can pick from Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
Define a Purpose
What do you hope to accomplish on social media? The more specific your goals, the easier it will be to move forward. Do you want to use it primarily for customer service? To increase brand awareness? To create a customer community?
Don’t try to do everything. Companies with a specific set of goals outperform those that don’t have a clearly defined goal. The primary reason you are using social media should be clear to your customers and staff, and will guide your decision making going forward.
I won’t go into detail here because setting up your accounts is simple across the board, as each platform provides a step by step procedure if you just visit their sites. Be sure the keep the branding and naming consistent so that when you start using them to communicate with consumers, it’s easy to find you and know who you are.
Once your accounts are set up its time to start using them. Choose someone, or a group of people, at your company who are responsible for the social media presence. Make sure they understand the goals you’ve set and how to use each platform.
Create an editorial calendar that you will be able to stick to. The key at the beginning is consistency in the frequency, the tone and the style of posts. This will all go toward defining your brand and who you are to social media users.
Give them a reason to read and follow you. Don’t sell or be overly promotional. You want to join the conversation, or start one of your own.
Once you have established your brand on social media and you have built a following, you can explore other opportunities that cost money, but have the ability to greatly expand your reach. All the major social platforms now come with an advertising program. You can use them to target new customers, promote deals and discounts, boost the reach of your organic posts, and more.
Stay tuned next week for another installment. If you have a topic you would like to see covered in the Day One Strategy blog series, use the comments below or contact us today.