Building your Business: Using Social Media Wisely

Posted on March 15, 2013

Building your Business: Using Social Media Wisely

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Just about everyone has a presence on social media.

Whether Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other, companies of every shape and size are accessible via the “it” means of information exchange. But many businesses – especially small businesses or startups – need additional training on how to best leverage the full potential of social media – and how to use these platforms wisely.

Plan

Having a plan is important to determine the direction of your company – and how social media can help it get there.

Ask yourself:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • How many people do you want to reach?
  • How will you run your social media sites?
  • Why are you using social media?

These questions are critical to develop an effective social media plan that will ultimately help drive your business, and in-essence, convert your “followers” into loyal customers – all online.

The simplest way to plan is to prioritize objectives that can help guide your outreach efforts. Consult with your team on how often you are looking to use your social media sites and intended messaging for your audience via each.

Understand differences in available social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, among others – to determine which outlet is most appropriate for your objectives. For some small businesses, reaching hundreds of potential consumers via Facebook is the perfect platform, but for others, networking with professional contacts through LinkedIn is a more appropriate direction.

By planning around your goals – and which social media platform best fits your specific objectives – you will better implement effective techniques that will digitally drive your business.

Implement

Once a plan is in place, it’s time to implement. You want to build a following and engage those followers – but patience is key to a successful social media presence.

Remember:

  • You can help grow your own audience by following other groups and companies in an effort to keep up-to-date with the competition – and in turn enhance your own social media techniques.
  • Outlets such as Facebook and Twitter can help you market to almost anyone, anywhere and at any given time. There are no publication deadlines or advertising constraints on social media. Take advantage!
  • As you begin to fall into a social media “routine” and become more comfortable with each different channel, try to consistently enhance your original social media plan, extending outreach efforts to drive “buzz” around your business and brand.
  • Don’t be afraid to veer from the original plan if you notice some social media techniques are more effective than others.
It is all about finding what works best for both your brand – and your audience.


Engage

Post, post and post! According to a recent Comscore study, business brands that post at least once every day will reach 22-percent of their fans in a given week. 

Remember, you have come this far – so don’t let your social media platforms fall under the radar.

  • Consistently release new information and find creative ways to engage your audiences. Keep an eye out for fresh content or interesting updates that will get your followers excited. After all, every follower you gain can be lost with just the click of a button.
  • Engagement is key in building a strong online following. Keep your followers – and future customers – constantly interacting to build your online community.
  • Don’t forget editorial calendars to help you along. An editorial calendar is a schedule of content that can help your team – and yourself – plan weekly or daily posts months in advance across various social media channels. This can help run a consistent schedule – making things much easier in the long run.

For any size business, effective planning, execution and engagement are the most important elements to a successful social media campaign. The capabilities are endless – especially if you utilize channels appropriately and effectively. 

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