Social media has slowly become just as big a part of our business lives as it is our personal lives. Practices that were once considered cutting edge, such as getting customers to follow you on Twitter and “Like” your business on Facebook, have become standard in marketing plans for businesses looking to grow their target audience. So how can an entrepreneur determine which aspects of social-media marketing they need to focus on to keep their business competitive and which aspects are just passing fads?
For small business owners just starting out, trying to understand the nuances of social media marketing can seem challenging. Does your business need a presence on all social media platforms? Which platforms offer your business the highest upside? How will you manage interaction with customers that follow or “Like” your business? There’s a lot to consider when designing your company’s social media strategy and several important questions that need answering.
Before you get started, here are three steps you should consider when developing a social media presence.
Determine Where Your Business Fits
When you first start to create your social media strategy, you may be considering which outlets to create accounts on. However, an equally important question to ask when starting out is which social media platforms should you avoid?
While you may feel tempted to include your business on every social media platform available, this can be a mistake. Not all platforms are relevant for every business and attempting to introduce your business on a platform that isn’t right can feel inauthentic and awkward.
To determine where your business fits, outline which social media platforms offer the greatest potential for your business and which offer the least. When it comes to developing a social media strategy, less can certain be more. Why?
To run a successful social media marketing campaign you need to stay active on all of your chosen platforms for the duration of your business. This means deciding whether you would rather have casual contact with a large number of individuals across multiple platforms, or would you rather develop meaningful relationships with the right handful of target consumers through relevant and personal conversations? When looked at this, it’s easy to understand which strategy has more relevant long-term value for a business.
Consistency is Critical
Once you select the best platforms for your business, you need to develop a consistent schedule for posting new content that you never deviate from. If you can’t commit to posting on your chosen social media platforms religiously, you shouldn’t even start marketing your business through social media at all. It’s that important to post consistently.
So that your posting schedule can remain consistent, you need to decide who will be in charge of the time-consuming task of vigilantly monitoring and posting content to your social media platforms. Make it clear who takes ownership of this process and develop a plan for what to post and how to stay consistent not with just posting on the same schedule but with maintaining your brand’s voice, as well.
Understanding this step can add perspective to the importance of figuring out what platforms your business fits best on in social media because if you can’t consistently post on a platform, you don’t need to market on it.
Don’t Be Risk Adverse
The ratio of risk you should be willing to take is relational to the type of industry your business falls in – but don’t become frightened to change up the conversation by taking some risks with what you post on social media. This can be as simple as showing behind-the-scenes photos of the daily operation of your business to sharing any personal struggles you may have experienced as an entrepreneur.
Just make sure whatever you post is relevant and honest, but occasionally taking risk and revealing more of your business and yourself can make a significant splash on social media. People love transparency and authenticity so let your followers see a few of the cards you typically hold closest.