Many businesses have jumped on the social media bandwagon in the past year or so, and while some are pleased with the results, others are not. Social media platforms are actually not very useful tools for businesses unless you have a plan that meshes your company’s values, culture and business drivers with your customers’ personalities.
We have delved deeply into how to best use social media, and believe that it plays a significant role in marketing most companies. When advising our clients, we discuss benefits, obstacles, liabilities and best practices. As you develop your marketing plan for 2016, we offer these suggestions, tips and tools.
Social media must be a part of your overall marketing strategy.
Tip: As with all marketing, know your audience and understand what they find interesting and share worthy.
Develop a specific policy including damage control – what to do when negative comments are posted.
Tip: Never delete a negative post. Once posted, the comment never really goes away.
Determine who will be managing all social media campaigns.
Tip: This should not be an intern or temp but rather someone who has an understanding of your customer and company.
Understand which platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. – will best connect with your customers. It’s okay to start with just one platform and add more later.
Tip: Research what key competitors are doing, especially larger companies that invest big dollars in social media, and learn from them.
Keep in mind that social media is just that…an interactive tool to connect with people. The rule of thumb is that 80% of posts should be of general interest to your audience and 20% specific to you and your business.
Tip: Share posts from online resources that are aligned with your company.
Take time to analyze the data collected by each platform and adjust your approach as needed.
Tip: Look for posts that garner high shares, comments and likes to identify topics that your audience prefers and measure customer engagement.