The employment of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and Google+ is considered to be an essential tool in assisting with the marketing of a business and many large organisations now have one or more members of their team who are employed solely to manage their social media presence. Of course, owners of smaller businesses are unlikely to be in a position to employ social media managers and have to rely on their own endeavours, often during the course of an already busy day. In this article, therefore, we provide a few suggestions as to how best to use your 30 minutes a day on your organisation’s social media.
Probably the most important stage in the management of your social media presence is the planning phase. You will need to decide which of the platforms is/are most suited to your business and how many of them you wish to engage with. Some, like Twitter, which is probably the most interactive, require more work than the others. It will also demand increasingly more of your time as your followers and their contributions increase. The more static platforms, such as YouTube and Linkedin, do not require the same frequency of attention and the time you allocate to them is driven more by you rather than by your external contributors. If you are going to develop a social media profile it will suffer if it does not receive the required time and this may have a detrimental impact on the perception of your business. It is essential, therefore, that you choose your social media platforms by close reference to the time that you are willing and able to spend on it.
Choose Your Relationships Carefully
Whichever social media platform(s) you decide on, you will want to develop a network of associates that complements your organisation and its products and services and has the potential to lead to new business. You should research potential customers to ascertain whether they have a social media presence. If they do, you should make the necessary connection by following, liking, subscribing, joining their network etc. Once you have done this, you should respond to their contributions in a constructive way in the hope that this will encourage them to make the required reciprocal connection with you. In this way, you will build an audience that will be relevant to and, hopefully, interested in your product. You should always remember, when building an audience, that quality, rather than quantity, is what counts.
Influencers are social media users who share information, guidance, product reviews and recommendations to their followers. The more influential the influencer is considered to be the more valuable their interactions are to their followers and the more likely it is that their recommendations will be relied upon. If you identify and connect with an influencer who has a specific interest in your type of business or product it will create the potential for building an increased audience that can access your website through your social media profile.
Control Your Content
The biggest mistake that many social media users make is to limit their contributions to self-serving links to their own websites, services and products without making any contribution to the overall benefit of their network. This is likely to antagonise your audience and result in them ignoring you. Instead of concentrating solely on plugging your business you should contribute positively to your network. Keep abreast of recent developments and add comments and links to industry-related news items, share your personal knowledge and experiences, provide tips and tricks, pose questions to your audience and, generally, try to ensure that your contributions are perceived, by your network, as being useful, focused and informative.
The need to relate positively to your audience is not to say, of course, that you should not devote some of your time to promoting your products and services. However, the time that you spend for the benefit of other members of your network in the way described above will, undoubtedly, make your promotional activities more likely to receive the required response. In this way, you can enhance the marketing possibilities that your social media presence creates. If your audience enjoys and values your social media contributions they are far more likely to visit your site and look at what it has to offer!
If you receive comments on your social media platform(s) you should take the necessary time to respond, especially if the comment is negative. Resist at all costs, the temptation to ignore or delete adverse comments. It is far better for your social media profile to deal with criticism honestly and directly. It is also likely to reflect adversely on your business if you simply sidestep any critical comments about it.
This is not an exhaustive list of tips on how to set up and manage your social media campaign. However, it contains some useful guidelines, which are likely to assist in ensuring that you create and maintain the social media profile that is best equipped to advance your business, its products and services. MakeUsAWebsite provide social media management services, feel free to contact us for a quote.
Image Credit: By Derzsi Elekes Andor