Over the next few weeks, many people will fail to meet the New Year’s resolutions they set for themselves last month. It won’t be because the resolutions were bad or because we just didn’t care enough to see them through. It’s hard to get to the gym every day for 30 minutes, to say no to that second leftover holiday cookie, or spend more time with family after having spent the last month with them. We so often fail at accomplishing these goals because we lack the structure necessary to guide us toward success.
This is why so many business fail with social media.
Businesses, like individuals, need something to keep us accountable to our resolutions. Enter the social media plan; essentially a checklist that will detail the daily maintenance, recurring tasks, and milestone projects we seek to accomplish in the realm of social media.
It takes a strong social media presence and excellent web design to be successful online today. Here are three preliminary steps that will get you started on the path to a consistent, effective use of social media:
#1- Commit to the plan- Right off the bat, it needs to be decided that your business will make social media a priority. That means figuring out who will do it and what it will take to invest the necessary time, energy, and resources to stay active and engaged on the chosen social media platforms. A half-hearted attempt to deny that doughnut will lead to frustration and an eaten doughnut, not a slimmer waist. The same applies to social media use.
#2- Create a community- Social media works because it creates communities around your business’s product. As you begin to implement your social media strategy, think about your audience, what service you provide, and how you can get people excited about being a part of your community. Try to offer a range of value, including humour, access to promotions, information, news stories and direct interactions with people. Ask questions, share your network and engage people in meaningful ways.
#3- Become the expert- Once you’ve got the community, you are a step closer to being the one stop shop for all your followers needs. Be the authority. When they think about your product, your followers should be thinking about your brand before all others. If they have a question, they should be able to reach out to you and ask.
More people than ever are talking to brands through social media. Perhaps most encouraging is the fact that an estimated 70% of brand fan questions go unanswered – that’s a big gap in the market to fill by simply providing the most basic of customer service provisions. As long as the big boys keep making such a massive oversight, smaller businesses have a golden opportunity to gain market share just by being present and responsive on social media.
Want to know more about social media? Try these links:
What Can Be Achieved Through Social Networking? (Social Media, Part 1)
Measuring Success In Social Networking Campaigns (Social Media, part 2)
Which Social Networks Should You Focus On? (Social Media, part 3)
Social Networking Tips & Etiquette (Social Media, part 4)
Integrated Social Media: Integrating Social Networking Into Your Wider Marketing Strategy (Social Media, part 5)
SoLoMo: The Rise of Social-Local-Mobile Search Marketing
A Strategy for Success: Using Hootsuite to Manage your Social Media