Social media isn’t “hard work.” It isn’t “complex technology.” It’s communication. It’s networking. If you deal in any way with people in your business (and likely you wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t), then social media is just another way to connect with the people you already are reaching or want to reach.
However, if you approach social media willy-nilly without a plan, you’ll complain that it is, indeed, “hard work” and that you don’t see any purpose in it for business.
That’s why you need a plan, just as you do with any other part of your business. You likely have a plan for your financial management, your traditional marketing strategy, your business development. Likewise you need a plan for your social media engagement.
All it really takes is 7 simple steps.
Step 1: Define your social media goals.
As with any other area of business, your goals will determine everything that follows. It’s absolutely essential that you define how you want to use social media to benefit your audience and then, in turn, how you want it to benefit you.
Step 2: Identify what social media platforms you should use and set them up.
Understand this: you do NOT have to be everywhere. Ask this primary question: Is my audience active on this platform and are they talking about my industry? If yes, you should give it a closer look.
When you set them up, remember that branding should be consistent with your website and always professional. This is like another front lobby to your business, so treat it as such.
Step 3: Connect with your current audience.
Start building up your fan-base by connecting with supporters and current clients.
Step 4: Create your content marketing strategy.
Consider what type of content you are going to post (like articles, infographics, images, and videos), when you will post it and where it will go. Be very specific – what content goes to which platforms on what days at what time.
Step 5: Distribute content consistently.
Consistently means daily at minimum and on a regular basis. Using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite can help.
Step 6: Engage with your audience.
You can’t just post content and forget it. You have to be present and monitor what’s going on. Respond to notifications. Proactively engage with your audience. (This does not have to take a lot of time. Set a timer so you can get in and get out.)
Step 7: Measure. Adapt. Repeat.
If you’re not measuring your results, you have no way to determine what’s working and what you might need to change. Look at your insights, change what you need to, and go through the process again.
That’s it. Think you can handle it? The hardest part for most organizations is sticking with it once the plan is in place. Consider this a challenge. Don’t just plan it. Execute…and let us know how it goes.