First off let me just say that your business does not need to have a presence on all of these. You do, however, need to have think about incorporating a social media strategy into your over-arching marketing plan. Why? Because most people today are using these channels and if utilised correctly, they offer a cost effective way to connect and engage with
your target market.
1. Who is your market?
Think about who your desired target market is and start to investigate the demographics of the social media channels you feel are most appropriate for your business. Each social media platform attracts a different audience and it’s
important to learn about the expectations and preferences of these users before you dive in.
A new study from the Pew Research Center and Docstoc sheds some light on just who uses social and on what platforms. See below:
It seems Facebook is most appealing to women aged 18 – 29 years old, so if this is your target market then great! If not, you may need to have a look at some other ways to engage these potential clients.
2. Learn about the different social media platforms. So you’ve identified the channels your target market is likely to be on. Now you need to do your research and find out how these people engage and when so you can greater impact. For example, if you are using Twitter, Tweroid looks at both your tweets and those of your followers to provide the best times to tweet.
3. Get clear about your goals. What are you hoping to achieve by having a presence on this site? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Find sales leads? Drive business to your blog or website? Get clear on what the desired outcomes will be so that you can effectively measure them. This goes for all your marketing efforts: If you can’t measure it, it’s not worth doing.
4. Make sure you have the time and the resources to do it right. Many people underestimate the time and effort it takes to effectively manage their social media profiles. You start off well but then time gets in the way and before you know it you haven’t posted for a week and you start to lose all motivation to continue. There’s no point in joining the conversation if you have nothing to contribute. Plan ahead and be sure to set up a social media calendar of content and ideas so you stay on track. On the flipside some people get so engrossed in building their social profile that they lose focus on the most important aspects of their business. Our tip? Set a timer.
5. Don't be afraid to seek help. Social media is a great tool for getting your business seen and heard, increasing brand awareness and sales but you need to be prepared to do the research and put in the time. If you want to build your online presence but don’t have the means to do so, seek out a professional who can get you on your way.
We’d love to hear from you: Which social platform do you find most beneficial for your business? How much time do you dedicate to building your social profile each day?