Most companies fail to make social media platforms work for their business and so we've complied 5 questions that you should ask yourself before getting started.
1. What goals do I want my social media activities to achieve?
Before you even begin, you must be clear on exactly what you want your social media campaign to actually do:
- Increase traffic to your website?
- Increase your reach with your target market?
- Communicate better with your existing and potential customers?
- Connect with you company stakeholders?
- Recruit for new staff? (Social media can be a great way to find new staff)
Social media can be an effective way to hit all these goals and more. List your social media objectives and make sure everything you do moves you closer to hitting them.
2. Does my social media campaign fit with the rest of my marketing plan?
Your social media activity should be closely integrated with your marketing plan and never operate in a void. With good planning and a solid strategy, social media will be a key part of your marketing success. A good digital marketing company will create a social media strategy that will ensure synergy with the rest of your marketing efforts….and will amplify the effectiveness of all your marketing channels. Consistently reviewing and aligning your marketing messages across every media will accelerate your brand growth. If you do this, social media will become one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal.
3. Do I have a social media policy in place?
Social media has the leverage to act as the voice and face of your company with your target audience. Carefully consider the nature of your social media content and how it relates to your target audience. This will form the basis of your social media policy….then make sure everyone involved in your social media efforts is aware of it. Your policy should include:
- Tone of voice
- Frequency of updates
- Timing of updates
- Communities where your target audience is active
- Topics to avoid
By following these guidelines in your policy will ensure your messages are consistent and relevant to the audience you want to reach.
4. What platform should I use?
From Facebook, to Twitter, to Snapchat, to LinkedIn to Instagram there are dozens of social networks available, each with their own advantages. Once you know who you want to reach you can then focus on the platform most likely to reach them.
For visual products and services Pinterest and Instagram can work very well for eye-catching showcases, whilst for B2B companies that want to reach company decision makers directly, LinkedIn would yield the best results. Research each platform to ensure you can focus your time and effort to maximum effect.
5. Are my social media activities having an impact?
The big advantage of social media platforms are the host of analytics tools available...most of which are free. By setting measurable objectives for your social media campaign you can track your progress precisely using tools like Google Analytics (each social media platform will also provide data for you to track your efforts). Reviewing your analytics data on a weekly basis will give you a clear understanding whether your activities are having the desired impact. From here you can identify what is working and, as importantly, what isn't. A word of warning: do not jump to conclusions too early. Some of the most effective social media campaigns can take several weeks to start building momentum.
Even if you decide to use a digital marketing company for your social media campaigns, they should be able to answer these 5 questions comfortably.