To get the most from social media and your efforts managing it, be sure to plan and plan well. With purpose, direction and persistence you can make your business stand out in a big way.
On the World Wide Web, you face competition from every other user publishing content. To carve out your community you must provide value with a defined voice. Do this over time and you will succeed.
Check out the tips below to begin your planning of successful social media.
Know your target market
You need to know who your content is being created for and make sure it provides value.
Knowing your target market on social media is a process of defining its purpose. Good social media is the marketing process. Ask yourself:
- Are you going to use your digital profiles to generate new leads?
- Do you wish to inform current clients?
- Is the aim of your social media to generate publicity for your business?
Define the above and straight away your marketing efforts on social media have a direction and a purpose.
Choose your platform
Once you know who you are targeting and why you then need to choose the right platform to find your target. Certain platforms are better than others for certain audience types. In general, the following rules apply:
Facebook – Great for just about anyone but expect to pay a premium when targeting your audience with adverts as everyone is already doing this. And yes, on Facebook you will need to use adverts to hit your target market.
Twitter – A great place for over 25’s and small businesses. Get straight to the decision makers of local SME’s.
LinkedIn – Target the professionals and those that work at larger corporations including medium-size businesses as well as blue-chip organisations.
Instagram – For the young and aspirational audience that are looking to be inspired with creative visual content. The backbone to anything visual or food related.
Pinterest – The heart of any retail business on social media. If you sell domestic products or offer DIY led products this is a must. The only social platform made up by a majority of women.
Experiment with the above platforms to get a feel for what works best and then consolidate and optimize your efforts on the most effective platform for your business.
Know your brand
Knowing your brand is critical! This is the backbone of your entire social media strategy and, in fact, all your marketing in general. It is far more than just a logo or colour choices. It is a professional personality applied to your business. Think about the following:
- What does your brand believe in?
- What sets you apart from other competitors and why should customers buy from you?
- If your business was a person what would they look like, dress like and sound like when they talk?
Spend significant time to develop the above points and flesh out your brand and its core personality trait. Once you have this defined your social media will be so much easier to manage.
Develop your message
So now you know your target market, you know where you will find them and you know who and what your brand is all about. Now you need to develop your message. It’s time to communicate all the above and stand out online.
This is when social media becomes real. It is a skill and takes time. It is a task that will need doing EVERY single day of the week. Consider the following:
- What are you going to say that is of value to your target market?
- What value can you communicate that your competitors don’t?
- How can you stand out from all the noise online?
This stage of your social media planning may sound like hard work and it is hard work. It requires consistent effort over time but get it right and you will establish your brand and stand out from your competitors.
Schedule your publishing
Publishing content online every day is like running a marathon. You must apply consistent effort over time even when you are tired and lagging. Do the smart thing and schedule your content. This will allow you to:
- Plan your content and messages on a medium term
- Analyse what does and doesn’t work
- Lift just a little of the pressure you will feel when you have an off-day
A good content schedule will give you a framework to work with and a structure to your efforts. Skip this step at your own peril is like entering a marathon without training or planning.
Putting it all together – long term
This is where the magic happens. This is where all your planning, creativity and structure mix together to define who and what your business is online. Get it right and you will inspire, educate and develop your market.
It is the stage where you become a juggler: throwing and catching many balls all at once. It is a skill and will take time to develop but a skill that will be needed for years to come. Invest in your social media and it is an investment in your business.
The Alternative (Shameless Sales Pitch)
Firstly, thank you so much for reading this blog post. I really hope it has been helpful to you. If so, please share to anyone and everyone that you may think it will also help.
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