Businesses have begun to embrace social media, few are reaching their full potential and many are giving up afterfailing to see any results with a couple of weeks of trying, like with any other campaign a solid strategy must be in place.
Developing your Social Media Campaign
The first step is to conduct some research on your business, what if anything are people saying about your business? A simple search in Google for your brand may show you conversations taking place between your customers about you that you never knew even knew about. You could also try searching directly in the social media site, for example Twitter Search. Try searching your brand to see if anyone is tweeting about you. Note what they are saying and where these conversations are taking place.
Having a strong set of objectives sets the basis for the entire campaign. Start by defining 3 or 4 objectives you want the campaign to achieve.
Do you want to;
- Increase/generate sales?
- Increase/generate traffic to your website?
- Increase/generate brand presence?
These are some of the common ones on a basic level, make sure yours reflect exactly what you want to achieve from your social media campaign and that they are SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluate, Review) .
3 Decide what social media tools to use
Once you have your objectives you will need to decide what tools you need can use to achieve them. There are many out there and more continuing to be created. I have highlighted some of the most common ones below, they should be enough to get your campaign started.
Twitter was the biggest tool of 2009 and will continue to sustain its success over the coming years. It allows you to send 140 character messages called tweets to everyone who has chosen to follow you. Do not underestimate the power of these short messages.
LinkedIn is a useful social network to build contacts in your industry. It is the social network for professionals and can prove valuable for networking. LinkedIn can be used to find potential employees if you need one. It can also aid in creating warm sales leads.
Social media has re-introduced the human side to business. A Blog is a content management tool which allows you to easily create content and encourage your customers, friends to interact with you. It is a two way communication process and the general tone of the content tends to be more on the personal side than the commercial. If your website does not have one already, there are many freely available blogs which you can easily set up.
Facebook is the worlds most popular social networking site. Facebook is more commonly used for personal profiles, however there is a rapid rise of commercial entities establishing fan pages for their business. These pages can be used to engage by sending updates, adding photos and videos, creating events to the ‘fans’ of your page.
I recommend further researching each one of these individually to understand how they work and remember each one should have a unique approach, do not adopt a ‘one fits all’ thinking approach.
4 How will you measure the success campaign?
Measuring the campaign will ultimately depend on your chosen objectives.
Some of the questions you can ask yourself:
- What have we learnt about our company?
- What have we learnt about our audience?
- Did we generate an sales/leads from theses social media sites?
- Is there incoming traffic from these social media sites?
Also record the number of ‘followers’ or ‘fans’ you have on your chosen social media platforms.
5 Review and Evaluate
Once you have implemented your campaign it is important to monitor it on a regular basis and review it. Have a review every week or fortnight if you are short on time, as many businesses are. If you feel a certain social media platform is working well increase your efforts there in the same respect disregard or try an alternative platform for any social media activities which are not working at all. Remember it is a learning curve, do not be disillusioned if you do not seeing immediate results and perhaps re-evaluate your campaign and try again, social media marketing should be a long term commitment and can prove to be a major asset to your business when successful.
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