Understanding Social Media for Business
Are you a Boomerpreneur or older generation business owner struggling to understand the world of social media and its benefits for your business? For many, traversing the online world can be full of frustration, annoyance and confusion.
But First!! … Kudos to you!
You, after all, are a business owner / entrepreneur … so you have an in depth understanding of the importance of having a business plan and marketing strategy in place. Well, the same applies to ensuring social media success. Planning, understanding your goals, having objectives in place, tracking and measuring ROI is just as important.
The following was written to provide you with a basic roadmap, some insights and links to various websites that just may help you understand, plan, implement and track you social media success.
I suggest you take time out, write down your answers to the following question and seriously reflect on them. By doing this you will begin to understand what you are wanting to achieve by investing in social media, and further, how you can successfully approach it.
What do I want to achieve with my social media accounts?
Is it branding? To increase customer awareness? Develop a loyal community? To capture leads and make more sales? Enhance your business’s trustworthiness? Boost search engine optimisation (SEO)? Or provide customer service? Maybe it is all of these … and more.
It is important that you gain a deep understanding of how social media will fit into your marketing plan and ultimate business goals.
After all, social media is not going to go away and will prove to be a highly effective tool when it comes to ensuring your business success.
Who should manage my social media accounts?
Will it be you? An employee? Or are you going to outsource it to a social media manager?
Keep in mind that social media is time consuming.
Learning and keeping up to date with the intricacies and constant change of the various platforms, including the monitoring and measuring the success of your social media strategies, will add to your workload.
Management of social media in house can be cost effective. However, if left to one employee, or yourself even, you will find that your social media marketing strategy can often be left on the backburner due to other work duties needing attention.
If that is the case, maybe you should look into the option of outsourcing your social media to a freelance social media manager.
What social networks suit my business best?
Immediately following that question you should ask “Where are my customers hanging out?”
Once you work that out you’re ready for the next step. My suggestion is to take on a maximum of three social media platforms, concentrate on them and do them well.
So which ones suit your business best? Do you prefer using lots of imagery? In that case look at Pinterest or Instagram. Maybe you prefer text base contact, than Twitter would be ideal. For professional networking LinkedIn may suit your business best.
Personally, I think all businesses should have a Facebook account, as qwaya.com said “It’s a great opportunity for a company to make online sales, get a following around the brand, create a platform where customers can discuss the products and, when done successfully, let people spread the word about your qualities.”
How often should I post?
Getting the right posting frequency to connect with your customer is part science and part art. Post too much and you will lose followers.
For a general rule of thumb bufferapp.com recommends the following:
Pinterest x 5, Twitter x 3, Google+ x 3, and Facebook x 2. Instagram x 1 to 2 times a day.
Timing is another important factor. Posting at the right time will increase your reach on all platforms significantly.
Make sure you check your social media insights and Google Analytics (you do need to set this up, but if you have a website I am sure your website developer would have connected this). You may need to post more or you may need to post less, you really never know how well your audience is going to respond, so testing is important.
What types of content should I post?
Post content that is inspirational, educational, conversational, promotional, behind the scenes, and even humorous. This can be in the form of images, text, video, and even curated content from others.
There are some fabulous apps out there such as Wordswag, Typorama and Phonto (I use an iPhone, so not sure if they are available on the Google Store) that help you create some awesome images whether it be for Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook or any of your other social media platforms.
Another is Canva which is perfect not just for social media but posters, presentations, blog graphics flyers, letterheads and more. If you haven’t used it yet I highly recommend you signup.
For curating content use Feedly. Another great resource is PostPlanner (paid platform), it provides content that meets all your content posting requirements including images, quotes and content – check it out when you get a chance and tell me what you think of it
How will I convert followers into customers.
This is where it can get really involved, you need to understand your sales funnel and your brand. The main thing is to ensure you are focused on the right target demographic.
Then think custom landing pages for your website, a blog, sales offers, the use of hashtags and QR codes …
Mmm, there is a lot to take in, but don’t stress! The above topics, and tips on how to implement, will be published in future blogs 🙂
Got questions? Let me know if the above post was helpful.