After many years of the Social Media Hype the vast majority of businesses are still failing to realise the potential benefits from it. Many businesses will create profiles, maybe have someone in the office manage it and even invest in Facebook or twitter advertising. However they become completely disillusioned with social media and many think it was a complete waste of their time and money due to the fact they never see any concrete evidence of ROI.
This may be because they aren’t planning the social media campaign correctly or not understanding what the goals of Social Media could be.
Social Media can be one of the best tools that you have at your disposal to reach out to your potential or existing customers and turn them into customers and brand advocates. Because it is.
These are the very basic steps to making the most from your social media efforts.
1. Create your Buyer Persona’s
In other words understand who your ideal customers are and put them down on paper/file. Once you understand who it is you’re trying to attract and communicate with, you can really start creating the right content on the right platforms at the right time.
For more information on creating your Buyer Persona’s you can read our more in depth Buyer Persona article .
2. Set Clear Goals & Objectives
Next you need to decide what specific goals and objectives you have for using social media. When determining your goals and objectives ask yourself these questions:
- Are you planning to find and connect with potential prospects?
- Do you want to nurture new and existing relationships?
- Do you have a sales team that you would like to incorporate a social selling strategy with to reach more leads, prospects and clients?
- Increase Brand awareness and Brand Value?
Once you have an idea of the various ways in which you can benefit from Social Media you can then look to setting clear goals. For example here is a list of targets for a recruitment company:
- Post content twice per day
- 100 Facebook likes per month
- increase Facebook reach by 20% month by month by encouraging engagement
- share 5 of your clients content per month
- Connect with 20 HR mangers on LinkedIn
- Find and message 5 companies tweeting #jobs per month
- increase click through’s to your job board by an extra 100 per month
You can then input these in to a very simple table and keep a record at the end of each month to see your progress. When setting goals most people will have heard of the Specific Measurable Actionable Realistic Time-based school of thought. However we like to set our goals a little less realistic and far more adventurous. If you set a target of 100 because you know its realistic you might reach 100, however if you set it as 1000 then you will really have to think outside the box to think of ways to reach that total. Now you may never reach 1000 but its more likely you will beat the previous target of 100.
3. Which Social Media Platforms to use?
Which social media platforms do your Buyer Persona’s spend most of their time on? Blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, You Tube etc? There is no point in spending your time or money on a social media platform that is not regularly used by your ideal clients or one that makes it hard for you to reach them and connect with them.
Also which platform best suits your business? e.g. accountants may be hard pushed to engage users on Facebook but will get great response on LinkedIn.
Once you know the answers to these two questions, you need to combine this information with your goals and objectives and decide which of the platforms will be the most effective.
For example, if you want to connect and build relationship with executive level professionals, LinkedIn would be your best choice. But if you are a bar and want develop a local following, you want a platform which will allow you to share content in a fun and engaging way with people in your area. such as Facebook.
4. Brand Your Presence
Once you have decided which social media platform(s) will be of most use to you, you will want to create a branded presence on each of them, which should look similar to your website. and other branded materials
Uniform branding across all of your social media sites not only looks more professional but also helps your prospects or ideal clients to easily identify you from one platform to another.
5. Create A Weekly Plan
Having a weekly plan or check-list to follow is absolutely essential to implementing everything you have planned for. Without this all your best intentions will eventually go out the window. The weekly plan can be helped by using social media management tools such as Hootsuite. Hootsuite will save you time by managing all your profiles in one place. You can also create all your weekly posts and schedule them throughout the week ensuring the posts are published at the best times. Its not good doing your posts when you get time late at night because that probably isn’t the time your buyer personas are accessing the platform.
When making the weekly plan you should be relating them to your targets and how each activity helps achieving those targets. For example if you are trying to increase click through’s to your website you need to ensure a certain percentage of your posts link back to your site.
Or if you’re trying to increase brand value with your followers, remember to schedule 2 useful articles each week.
Or if its to increase awareness, ensure you schedule a post which encourage a response (engagement) from people.
6. Measure and Refine
Every month you should enter the statistics relating to your targets. This way you can see what elements of your Social Media campaign needs more work or whether your targets need increasing. Only with this monthly review can you ensure your time and effort is worthwhile.
Last little tip is to have a look at your competition as see what types of posts are getting the most interaction, this may give you a few ideas if you;re ever stuck for content.