Social media offers a brand many communication opportunities, but starting operations on several platforms at the same time without a properly prepared strategy can do more harm than good.
It is worth carefully analyzing individual social networks – even if setting up a profile is a matter of a few minutes and a small amount of work. So what should you keep in mind?
Find the right balance
It is good to start planning activities in social media by analyzing your own possibilities. With a good marketing strategy, small marketing budget and limited human resources, handling one or maximum two channels seems to be the most appropriate solution. As time passes, it is a natural step to expand the activities on the existing brand profiles or extend them to new social networks. But take your time!
Consider which direct marketing channel is best suited to your brand. It is assumed that a Facebook profile is a minimum, but not necessarily. Do you design interiors? Additionally, think about Instagram or Pinterest. Do you care about B2B contacts and expanding the reach of marketing messages among business customers? Consider setting up a company page on LinkedIn? Do you mainly appeal to angry young people? Be where they are – get into TikTok.
Take care of a consistent brand image
Preparing an action plan and a coherent communication strategy takes time, patience, and observation skills. Ad hoc action in social media, without a set tone of voice, messages or brand idea, will not bring long-term effects. There is a risk that in a short time the brand will fire from ideas and abandon the profile or continue to operate with unattractive, inconsistent and irregularly published content. Clearly defined communication and business goals allow you to achieve better results. Even those brands with a very limited marketing budget are able to engage their recipients thanks to the developed model of activities.
It’s always worth keeping an eye on the competition
Running your own business requires careful observation of competitors’ activities. It is no different when planning social media marketing activities. First of all, it is worth checking in which channels your competitors are present, how they communicate and what tools they use. Also pay attention to the use of the media and blogosphere, and activations on the Internet carried out by competitors. It’s up to you what you do with this information – you can be where they are or you can build a strategy around a sphere that has not been reached by the competition, and which – if properly managed – can turn out to be a bull’s eye for user adoption.
Crisis cases that are loud in social media show that you should carefully monitor your competitors’ publications. It is not uncommon for a competitive brand to benefit from a company’s image crisis.
Maintain relationship with your fans
It is common knowledge that the involvement of your website fans has an impact on website conversion, sales and other measures of success. However, the level and speed of ongoing customer service is equally important. If you only take care of engaging content, neglecting constant interaction with potential customers, e.g. not responding to their inquiries, your brand will be perceived as unprofessional.
Be prepared for crisis situations
An image crisis can happen to any brand – both a large corporation and a smaller enterprise – so it is not worth assuming that your company is not affected by this problem. It is better to be prepared for the fact that not everyone and not always will be satisfied with your product or service, and some people will be happy to share their negative opinion on the Internet. If you are already in this situation, react according to the LATTE principle (listen, acknowledge, take action, thank, encourage to return). Above all, however, do not react with hate to hate and do not perceive every manifestation of criticism in this way, which can be constructive and, as a result, very helpful. Use this information to do even better and improve your services. Treat your Facebook or Twitter account as another touchpoint with customers and a source of valuable feedback – not as a necessary evil that you “must” have nowadays, so as not to stand out from the competition.
Make sure you have the right people on your team
Even the best strategy will not be implemented in an effective way if you do not have a person or a team that is able to coordinate and optimize activities, also in terms of media support. Take care of a competent unit that will help you efficiently apply your social media strategy. It can be a person assigned to these tasks (for smaller projects) or a team within the company. It is also worth investing in training employees in the field of business use of social media.
Measure the effects of activities in social media
Remember to plan your time horizon and set yourself realistic KPIs – key performance indicators. It is easier to conduct and monitor activities with a set goal, so an integral part of your social media marketing strategy should be measurable and achievable results at a given time. Beginning entrepreneurs or start-up creators very often want to get the most out of the shortest possible time. It is completely understandable – because they devote their financial resources, free time, and heart to the project and would like to see the results of their actions as soon as possible. However, not all effects can be measured in a short time. To assess the impact of social media activities on sales and brand recognition, longer analysis and optimization are often needed.
Use the potential of social media
Unfortunately, you can still find the statement that social media is free. However, the statistics say otherwise. If you really want your brand to appear in social media, part of your marketing budget must be allocated to paid activities under the #PayToPlay principle and to the purchase of the necessary tools for effective social media service. The possibilities of Facebook, Instagram or other social networking sites are almost limitless and make it possible to reach specific target groups. Often the cost of acquiring a potential customer through turns out to be easier to measure and much lower than you might think.
If you want to improve your work, make sure that your social media team uses the right tools. Media monitoring is important, as it will provide you with constant monitoring of mentions about the company and will allow you to react quickly. Remember also to connect social media with Google Analytics and your website to have access to detailed statistics on the activation. Test all the tools – many of them are free, so you won’t expose your business to additional costs – and choose the ones that work best for your brand. Also, be interested in extending your activities to the blogosphere – thoughtful cooperation in this area will affect the image and recognition of your product or service, and, consequently, consumers’ purchasing decisions.
Over and out
Be inspired by other brands … but also by your mistakes. Try a lot of things, optimize only those that are worth it for your social media marketing strategy. Remove others unceremoniously from the strategy or leave them for better times. Most of all, however, enjoy your social media activities – they can pay off faster than you think.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community