Social media has opened a whole new world of how we engage with others on the Internet. Social media can be a quick, direct and effective method of answering customer questions, delivering great customer service and sharing your knowledge and expertise. The idea behind social media is to get involved with like-minded people in a virtual community to share and exchange ideas, information and advice.
The whole point is to be social. If you create great content – share it with your network. If you see great content created by others – share it with your network. It’s the old-school networking idea but in an online world.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you on social media?
- Do you use it regularly and consistently?
- Do you engage with your customers and clients via Twitter or Facebook?
- Do you share your product images via Pinterest?
- Do you network on LinkedIn?
- Or do you push messages that are mainly sales focused?
In order to make social media effective for your business, you need to be engaging with your followers and target audience on a regular and consistent basis. To do this you need to develop a social media plan that will work for you and your business and that will help you reach your target audience. To develop a plan, you need to take action and set goals.
- Research which of the social media platforms are being successfully used by your customers and clients. To engage with similar customers, you need to be using the same social media platforms that they use.
- Once you’ve researched the social media platforms used by your clients, set up your own accounts on the appropriate platform(s).
- Discover the type of content that your target audience finds engaging and start creating it. Providing information that your customers / clients find useful will help you interact with them.
- For example, you could:
- Share your blog posts
- Share your hints and tips
- Share information that helps solve a problem.
- Set aside time in your week where you work on your social media content. Spend the time creating content that you can share on social media – you don’t need to share this information immediately. You could store it up and use it over the course of the week.
- Set aside time in your day to engage in social media. Share the content you have created with your followers, study what topics are currently popular amongst your target audience, join in on discussions, show that you are a human being and not just a robot churning out content.
- Consider how much time you can set aside for using social media. Aim to use it a set number of times per week. Start small and increase this as you are able.
- Aim to grow your number of followers per month. Ensure these are quality followers and that they form part of your target audience. Engage with them and provide content that is relevant and trustworthy.
The above are just ideas to help you get started with a social media plan. Perhaps you have some more of your own. Use all ideas that are appropriate for your business and those that resonate with your customers and clients. Start small with your plan in order to ensure that you implement it into your everyday work routine. Ensure that you continue to develop it as your confidence with social media grows. Your social media plan is never fully completed – it continuously changes as the needs of your target audience constantly evolve.