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Social Media Strategy Tips
These days, social media is a must-have for businesses eager to expand their customer base and develop new sales opportunities. That’s why more and more small- to-medium-sized businesses leverage social media to develop leads and succeed, according to recent studies by LinkedIn and Constant Contact.
But figuring out your business’s social media strategy can be challenging, especially given all of the platforms and apps from which to choose. Not to worry, though — we’re here to help!
Put a Solid Game Plan in Place
Here are some tried-and-true steps to create a solid social media strategy that’ll get winning results. From staying relevant, by learning about what customers are discussing to jumping in and joining the conversation, there’s many ways to hook in to your customer’s social circles and get them to notice your brand.
Pick your platform. Deciding which platform to use hinges on your content and your audience. “If your target audience is VPs of marketing, then get on LinkedIn,” says Jennifer Abernethy, president of SociallyDelivered.com, a social media agency in Ashburn, Virginia. “If they are stay-at-home crafty moms, then join Pinterest and Facebook.” Also, think about which platform is the best fit for what you’re selling to your customers. If your product is visually appealing, then Instagram and Pinterest are the way to go. LinkedIn and Google+ are smart choices for B2B products and services, while Yelp and Foursquare are great for restaurants and shops.
Take a long-term approach to content. Creating a social media content calendar keeps you on brand, on time and on target. “This allows you to marry your brand to the latest buzz and jump into the conversation,” says Jetta Bates Vasilatos, managing director of Twist Global, a media campaign and strategy firm in Chicago. “Combine that with great timing, visuals, and strategic use of hashtags, and that’s a win!”
Determine your relevancy. The space is moving quickly, so don’t spend a lot of time searching for your brand name and target words. Instead, ask your team: “Are people commenting on your social? Are they interacting? Are they sharing the info you post?” says Abernethy. To find out what topics potential customers find most interesting, use tools such as Keyhole, a real-time hashtag tracker for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Create a plan of engagement. “Companies must respond to everyone, because that’s the way that follows, shares, shout-outs, and retweets happen,” says Bates Vasilatos. Also, attract the innovators and influencers in your field by sharing their content and offering insight. Audiences want to see and hear from the companies they patronize, so be consistent and be clear about your voice. “If you’re upbeat, never go negative, for example, because your social media ladders up to your branding efforts,” says Bates Vasilatos.
Join the conversation. Listening and then responding with supportive comments or useful information reinforces your authority and attracts new customers. On Twitter, for example, Abernethy advises: “Don’t just post; listen, acknowledge, share, and give a digital ‘thumbs up’ to people so that you are a part of the conversation.” Twitter chats are a great vehicle to share your company’s vision and underscore its messaging.By investing time, effort and planning into your social media strategy, you’ll reap big rewards by advancing your business’s visibility, influence and reach. As you’re developing a social media campaign, take a look at your business insurance needs and consider adding an umbrella policy, which can help to protect your finances from expenses that extend beyond primary policy limits.