Social Media is absolutely crucial to the success of your business! The use of the internet, and more importantly, social media outlets, has become an integral tool in our society. It is the first place anyone goes to find the information that are looking for.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you went to the library to research a project or paper? When was the last time you looked through the yellow-pages to find a business or service? I bet you can’t remember.
Every company, big or small, has recognized the influence and impact of the online world on the daily processes of our lives. Let’s take a look at online shopping as an example of how much internet usage has changed. In 2002, online sales equaled 43 billion in sales (http://www.internetretailer.com/2003/05/15/online-sales-jumped-48-in-2002-shop-org-forrester-study-report). In 2011, the online world garnered 255.5 billion dollars in sales (http://www.statisticbrain.com/total-online-sales).
The possibilities presented by social media channels are endless, but how can businesses ensure that they use them in the right way, to support their business objectives, rather than wasting time and resources to no end? It is all too easy to think “we need to be on social media” and not get any further than that. Unsurprisingly, however, a successful social media platform needs a strong strategy behind it, if it’s going to generate results.
Like much communication, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are two important, basic questions that companies can ask themselves about creating relevant and engaging strategies:
What kind of content will they care about?
It’s a rare consumer who loves being constantly bombarded with marketing content, yet when you look at many corporate channels, this is exactly what you find. Think about the kind of people you’re trying to reach and what interests them. Will they be more interested in visual content? News articles? Fun facts? Have a look at companies that have been successful in engaging similar audiences and see what has worked for them. Also make sure that you get the balance right between content that talks about your company and content that engages on a broader basis.
How much time do I want to dedicate to this?
Real social media marketing takes dedication, time and resources, and there is no point having channels if you don’t use them. Radio silence probably won’t lose you followers, fans or viewers, but it won’t gain you any either, and it won’t achieve your objectives. In order to make social media work, you need to make sure that its value and importance is communicated internally and that time each day is set aside for your channels. Think about who is responsible as well. Will it be you doing the tweeting, or will it be someone else’s responsibility? If the answer is someone else’s, you need to make sure that it sits within their core objectives, rather than being seen as an additional pull on their time, which can drop off the priority list when people get busy.