Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing the importance of social media for businesses. From its significance in the consumer world to the benefits that social-savvy companies experience, it’s clear that social media can play a huge role in the success of your company. In the third and final segment of our Social Media: Why Bother? series, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to follow in order to make social media work for your business.
Step 1: Do your homework
Before you begin posting, it’s important to have a clear understanding of whom you’re trying to reach. Research both current and prospective customers to gain insights into which social networks they use, their interests and their pain points, and use this to tailor your messaging. Your social media efforts are much more likely to be effective with a well-defined strategy in place.
Step 2: Coordinate your social channels
Use your social media presence as an opportunity to drive traffic back to your website. Posting company blogs is a great starting point for this – not only do they establish your brand’s voice, they’re also shareable across multiple social platforms. In the same regard, your website should be used to promote your social networks. Display your social icons in a prominent spot on your website to let people know where to reach you. As we mentioned in Part 2, clear coordination across social channels and websites is one of the most effective ways to drive sales.
Step 3: Listen & share
Once you’ve set up your profiles, monitor what people are saying about your brand and industry. Respond to any comments, mentions or feedback you see in real time – even if they’re negative. This demonstrates that your company is actively listening to consumer needs and concerns. In addition to consumer interaction, social media presents an opportunity to engage with influencers and thought leaders in your industry. Respond to their posts and share their content from time to time – this will establish your company as a relevant voice in the industry.
Step 4: Boost results with social advertising
If you want to boost exposure once your social platforms have been established, social advertising is an effective option, especially as Facebook’s algorithm caters less and less to non-paid business posts. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all offer a robust number of advertising solutions to both increase your audience and your post or tweet views, depending on your specific budget. Don’t consider this until you’ve been actively posting for a while – you don’t want to have new fans visiting an empty page!
Step 5: Measure & analyze your results
Tracking performance data is one of the best ways to identify which of your social tactics are working and which aren’t. Each individual outlet has its own analytics reports for admins, which you should take full advantage of. We also recommend checking into your Google Analytics account monthly to monitor which social media channels are driving the most traffic to your site, and using your favorite social platforms (Hootsuite, Sprout Social, etc) to measure which types of posts are performing best and at what times. Taking a quick look at these stats will help you tailor your strategy to ensure it meets its full potential.
As we close out our Social Media, Why Bother? series, you can see how influential social media can be for you and your brand. We want you to be well prepared with the most useful tools to unleash your business potential – let us know if you have any questions or comments below.
Be sure to read our full 3 part series on Social Media, Why Bother?