Social media: Establishing a presence

New kid on the block

 

Social media is now a vital part of any businesses marketing strategy; however, those new to social platforms could quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer scope of opportunities available to them.

When marketing your product, whether it’s a physical item or services, you will first need to ask yourself some important questions in order to identify the clear objectives and avoid wasting time.

Ask yourself, what do you wish to achieve?

Many fall into the trap of establishing a presence on social platforms before addressing this question and, in order to begin laying foundations for a successful campaign, you will need to set specific goals. Avoid broad aims which are unlikely to yield firm, measurable results.

Many social media strategists implement the SMART goals method:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound

Ensuring that your plan relates to each of these five points should help you and your team to structure a strong campaign which is easily quantifiable in terms of its success.

 

Building a community

 

For any company with a presence on social media the overall aim is to sell your product/services and convert followers into customers, but in the world of ‘social’ there are far more ways to do that than a simple, direct sales approach.

Developing an online community is key. Once you have identified who your clientele is (or who you want to extend your reach to) you will need to then answer the following:

  • Why does the product appeal to customers?
  • What social networks do customers use most frequently?
  • What content do our customers like and share when using social media?
  • How can I bring my customers together?

Don’t be afraid to look at the online presence of your competitors or other companies with similar objectives who have developed a strong, loyal following. Use others as case studies on what does and does not work within your field.

Focus on engaging social users. Pose questions and create campaigns which involve audience participation. You could create a competition and offer a prize, develop a fun quiz, or share information and invite debate. The type of activity you choose will, in part, come down to budget and how much time you can allocate to developing content of this kind.

Are you on Twitter? Try developing a unique hashtag to promote your product or service. Invite followers to ask questions and connect with your brand in real-time. Better still, piggy-back on to a hashtag which is already widely used and expose yourself to a wider audience in the process.

If you’re a small fish in a big pond then reaching out to others is vital. Identify social influencers within your field and start following them. Over time, begin to share relevant posts which you feel would entertain your audience and comment or participate on the output of these accounts – get yourself noticed! If you show appreciation for others then they are far more likely to return the compliment.

Once you and your team have analysed the data and set clear goals as to what you wish to achieve, you will find that being the new kid on the virtual block becomes a lot less intimidating.

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