Posted by : Amanda Stein Saturday, April 20, 2013
Social media has become an essential tool for businesses of any size wanting to reach their target audiences, and while it is undoubtedly easy to set-up social pages, it is somewhat more difficult to successfully utilise social media as a marketing tool.
While many small businesses may not have the resources available to be able to utilise the expertise of a social media agency, there are some considerations that may get you on the track to social media success.
Content is King
You may have heard the phrase ‘content is king’ before and rightly so. Content will form the basis of all of your brand’s social communications and therefore it is important that it is effective and well -thought out, as it will essentially be the social voice of your brand.
As with traditional marketing channels, one of the key social media objectives of any SME is to increase brand recognition. This is done by increasing the reach of posts and in turn your page. This is achieved when users interact with your post and share content with their friends, who then may share further. To put it bluntly, people aren’t going to share content which isn’t interesting and engaging. Therefore, poor content can significantly hinder social media success.
Create a community
Many brands are still using social networks only to broadcast marketing messages. However, the very nature of social media is that it allows for two-way interactions. Therefore it is essential for your brand to take advantage of this attribute in order to form relationships with consumers. With this in mind, it is important for you to respond to your community members on a regular basis, as not only do these practices let users know that they are being listened to, it also encourages conversations which can lead to gaining deeper insights about the consumers engaging with your brand’s social pages.
So you have some really good content and you are having some really positive conversations within the community; the next step is to measure your progress and assess how best to move forward. Due to advancements in social media analytics, it is now quite easy to see topline statistics about how your page and content is performing. However, the real value lies in extracting meaning from those stats in order to plan ahead with future communications, specifically in regards to what content works and what does not. Paying attention to these insights allows you to concentrate your valuable resources and efforts on content that you know resonates well.
Additionally, it can be a good idea for you to develop a content plan or calendar so that you have a clear idea of what is going to be published and the themes and content that you are using as part of your outreach. Not only does this help with organisation and posting, but it can also be a useful exercise that helps to plan ahead and ensure that you are communicating with your audience effectively as possible.
Another best practice tip is to signpost from within your social page’s about or bio information and also the social content. Simply put, signposting is when you link back to other owned or managed online assets or channels in order to drive traffic to websites, blogs and additional social channels and the content placed on them. This should be considered as a necessary part of your online strategy as not only will it help improve your success on social media channels but it will also reinforce your brand and increase online visibility.
Author Bio: Rob Alcock is an account executive at integrated PR and SEO agency Punch Communications. Rob holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management from DeMontfort University and has developed a knowledge and understanding of social media and online PR, whilst working for a range of global clients, from start-ups to internationally known brands.