Social Media – What’s your strategy?
A lot of people are talking about the importance of social media for SMEs these days. Have you noticed that?
It’s all too easy to create a Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook account but . . . what then.
What the heck do I tweet about? What even is a tweet?
Will my clients really care about this Facebook post?
Excellent, I’ve got 500 LinkedIn connections . . . what do I do with them?
Although each social media platform works differently and your content and activity should vary depending on whether you are using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, they are all there for the same purpose. It’s about creating awareness for your brand yes but it is primarily there to open up another medium of communication with your clients. It’s not a megaphone. It’s a conversation, not a presentation so no need to shout.
We just don’t see it as an important tool for our company. . .
Social media is an important tool that is free and can benefit almost any business in almost any industry. In a recent study by Social Media Examiner, it was discovered that 97% of 2800 marketers are now using social media in some form. This is a free marketing tool available to everyone which allows you to reach out to billions of people across the globe. Don’t miss out by not putting this marketing medium to good use!
Tthis post is here to help you find your feet and maybe even give you the confidence to get involved if you’re currently sat on the fence.
I am not however, going to guide you through how to use each social media platform. I am instead going to discuss strategy and content as this is something that is often overlooked but really it’s the most important part!
Your Strategy. . .
Who are you?
How are you going to communicate the personality behind your company? Or rather what personality do you want your company to project to its clients?
Think about your current clients, your company’s most loyal and valued customers. What would they like to see or read about? Your purpose is customer retention first and the rest comes after. If your clients like your content they will share it with their connections which may generate referrals and leads.
Irritating and unhelpful tweets
What do you find irritating on social media? Think about how much content is too much. For smaller businesses there is often just one person managing the company’s social media and it’s all too easy for that person to get sucked in and begin treating it as their own personal account. Always keep your strategy and clients in mind. Don’t get too carried away!
How are you going to find the time?
This one is important. You need to dedicate time to managing your pages. Is there someone who can do this for you? If not, you should think about designating this job to someone either externally or make the time internally. Whoever is taking the time to do this job needs to be able to be responsive. It’s good to regularly post content but you also need to be able to respond to those who take the time to engage with you. Try not to leave it any longer than 1 hour!
What do I say?
A lot of people get all worked up about what they should say and spend half an hour or so composing a post or article only to resort to hitting the back space and deciding “no one cares about that anyway.” It is good to be cautious but if you’re not careful you’ll end up never posting anything.
The most important thing is to mix it up with a healthy variety of content. Check out this pie chart for a rough guide:
Did you read an interesting article that could be deemed relevant to your company? Do you think your followers may be interested to read it too? There are many places through which you can find useful and interesting content. Such as Buffer which posts a number of articles on all sorts of topics. Best of all its free. The internet is an excellent source of information. The content is there you just need to take the time to find it.
Better yet, link people back to your own website by posting links to blogs that your company has written. Blogging is a great way of keeping your website updated and if you have a comments facility this creates further engagement with your customers. Win win.
Did you read something funny or see a hilarious picture that you think might brighten someone’s day? Share it with your clients to make them smile?
Has your supplier given you excellent service recently? Or have you just completed a project for a client? Tell your followers and connections about it.
The thing about social media is that it isn’t meant to be formal. Yes you must approach it with a certain degree of professionalism but people look to social media to be entertained. Don’t be boring. The degree of informality does, however, vary from platform to platform so make sure you do your research first!
Try it out. . .
So there are some ideas to help you start thinking constructively about your strategy before setting sail on the rickety social media boat over turbulent and uncertain seas. You may need to adjust your sails many times during your journey but don’t be put off when things don’t go swimmingly. OK enough of the metaphors now.
Above all, be experimental and get creative. The most successful social media accounts are those that break the norms and do the unexpected so don’t be afraid to do something different.