April 18, 2016

Prep work for your social media business presence

How will your social media outreach program stand out?

5 questions to answer before you design a program

Post by Megan Totka

MeganTotkaThere is a lot of pressure today to get your business on social media — preferably the whole gamut of social platforms. If you want to get the most out of running your business, social media is usually a good way to develop brand awareness and engage with customers too. Yet there is no reason to be on social media if you joined just so you can check it off of your to-do list.

You need to ensure you have the clarity, assets and strategy essential to cultivate a successful social media presence if you want to make social media work for your business. Not doing so is one of many ways that businesses fail on social media.

Here are five questions you should answer to reach that goal.

What are you hoping to achieve?

1It’s crucial to build a social media strategy that works for your brand. In order to get there, you must first develop an understanding of your reasons and goals for having a social media presence. Some companies take on social media to put their brand in the spotlight, generate leads, promote products or services, or interact directly with customers. Set clear goals and develop a plan for how you will measure your success.

Who are you hoping to reach?

2Once you know what you’re trying to achieve via social media, you can’t stop there. You also must consider whom you are hoping to access, whether they are on social media (hopefully the answer to that is yes), and what inspires them to engage with businesses on a specific social media platform. If you want to develop loyal followers — and that should definitely be a goal — you need to understand your potential customers’ needs and wishes on social media.

Does your business have the necessary resources?

3Social media cannot become an afterthought or it’s not worth your — or your readers’ — time. It’s essential to deliver content that is unswerving in voice and tone, diverse and high quality.

Ideally, you want to post on each account two to five times per day because followers visit social media sites at different times throughout the day. (Each account is different: You’ll want to post to Twitter more frequently than Facebook.) Too infrequent posts can easily go unseen. If it isn’t feasible to post that frequently on various platforms, consider automating functions. Posting too frequently can cause some customers to unfollow you; according to recent surveys by BuzzStream and Fractl, 15 percent of respondents they would unfollow a brand if it posts more than six times a day

Do you have a clear understanding of your company’s brand?

4You should know what your business stands for or it will become really obvious on social media. An identity-confused presence is certain to deter potential customers, so make sure you grasp the voice, values and branding you want to communicate across your platforms and through your posts. Sort all of this out prior to posting on social media.

Can you provide your readers value?

5Consider the reasons you decide and continue to follow brands via social media. It probably stems from what you get out of it, right? People seek education, knowledge of sales, entertainment and more. This means you must provide value through your social media presence in order to gain devoted followers of your brand. The value your provide should be so palpable that followers are able to explain exactly how they benefit from following your brand.

A strong social media presence is one big way to grow your customer base and increase profit. Take the time to develop your persona before diving into the social media world and you’ll likely reap the benefits of your presence.

How did you make social media work for your business and what lessons can you share about building a successful social media strategy?

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the Web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Reach her at [email protected].
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