The key to making the most of social media in a business context is to create a targeted social media strategy for your business. This will ensure you are focusing your efforts on the activities that will yield the best results. It will save you time and money too.
There are three key reasons to use social media in your business:
- To drive business growth online
- To cut the cost of marketing and internal communications (as social media can be used internally too)
- For real time customer engagement.
Social media tools are free to use and offer potentially high engagement. However, they can have a cost in terms of time. This is why it is so important to have a social media strategy to make sure that resources are used in the best possible way.
The strategy should say how the business will use social media to meet business objectives via strategic goals. First you need to decide which social media tools to use and prioritise them. For example, the three most often used social media tools are Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. A business targeting consumers would prioritise Facebook first, Twitter second and LinkedIn third. Whereas a business targeting other businesses would prioritise the other way round.
You then need to create strategic goals for each tool you are using that match your business objectives. For example, your business objective might be to acquire new customers in a particular location or industry. Your strategic goal for Twitter example might be that you want to acquire 50 new followers each month. Instead of randomly following Twitter profiles, you would choose to target Twitter profiles in the location or industry identified in your business objective. Following these profiles will increase the likelihood that these people will follow you back (as they have to take this action themselves). As they are profiles you have specifically targeted, they are more likely to be interested in your business. This should lead to better engagement with your market.
The final part of a social media strategy is an action plan. This will include the one-off setup tasks needed to get profiles active and customised to your business. It will also include the ongoing tasks needed to implement the strategy. These can be daily, weekly and monthly tasks. The action plan should state when and how often the tasks are to occur and who is responsible for implementing each task. This means that it is not just one person shouldering the load. It makes the best use of people’s time and expertise throughout the business. For example, a law firm could have each solicitor covering the areas of law they specialise in and engaging with their specific markets via social media.
We hope you find this useful. For more top tips on how to use social media as a marketing tool for business follow us on Twitter at @qchriswood.
(formally CW IT Services)