In the last decade, it has become crucial for businesses to have a social media presence. In a world where conventional advertising is no longer as relevant, social is now in the spotlight. Businesses hoping to be successful need to get in the social game! Here’s how.
1. Make sure your branding is in place.
Before you even begin to think about creating profiles on various social media platforms, you’ll want to make sure you establish a well thought-out brand. Creating a logo is the first step. Your logo will set the tone for your visual content and will be integrated into your website and other social media profiles. First up, ensure you have a profile pic (don’t be an “egghead”). You can use your logo, or, if your business is a one person show or you work as a consultant, use a high quality photo of your face.
Now that you have the visual part of your brand down you will want to start to think about what you want your brand to sound like. Create a voice for your brand and keep this voice consistent. Your voice will shape the way you write your written content on your website and social platforms, for example: Are you formal or informal? If you have a clear voice, your customers will know what to expect from your service or product and will consider you reliable.
2. Complete your social media profiles--completely!
Now that you have your branding in place, you are ready to dive into social! First, determine the demographic your brand is trying to reach. This will help you choose which social networks are a good fit for you. When you are ready to set up your account see if the social networks you choose have business accounts. These type of accounts (Facebook pages, Instagram business accounts) have extra features for business like additional insights through analytics.
Make sure to fully complete your profiles on social networks. This means filling out all of the information the network is asking for. Include a bio that is quick and concise that tells your story and explains what you do. This is a great place to show what the voice of your company will sound like. Include a link to your website or your email in your social profiles so that interested customers can find out more.
If you decide to set up a Twitter account (which you probably should!) secure a Twitter handle that resembles your business name. Searchability is also important here. Your handle should not be too different from your brand's name. You should also refrain from using symbols if possible to increase searchability if possible. And beware, Twitter still considers every character in a handle as part of their character count. If your business name is long consider shortening your handle.
3. Create a social media strategy.
A social media strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a major or overall aim. A good strategy dives into what your brand sounds like and who it is trying to reach. It also looks at what competitors are up to and which platforms will work best for your brand. Finally, a social media strategy lays out which content will work best for your brand, and how you will determine if this content is working.
Start by defining your strategy; the outline may be similar to other brands but the content should be uniquely your own. Observe and learn from your competitors - and then take it one step further to stand out.
Once you decide to invest in social it is important to let your audience know. Include links to your social profiles in your email signature, in your email marketing, and on your website.
4. Measure what matters.
Analytics are very important to any business. Keeping track of who likes what, who shares what and who clicks on what will help you identify which content works best! You want to start by figuring out what metrics matter to you. You can easily track audience growth (numbers or percent), engagement rates, top performing content, website referrals, conversions (if they’re set up), user-generated content, product placements, competitive comparisons… the list goes on. And tracking it all isn’t a bad thing! But especially when you’re just getting started, be sure you monitor how detailed you go in pulling this data - and only pull data you’re going to use in decision making.
Whatever you track - be sure you do it regularly (we recommend monthly to start with) and use it wisely to guide your efforts. Remember - having a strategy is great, but be prepared to change it! Social media changes constantly, forcing brands to stay agile and never get too comfortable. The metrics will help you know when.
5. Hire an agency
If you’re a team of one and need to keep costs low, perhaps you’re up for handling your social efforts yourself. Or if you’re a big company with a big budget and a lot of departments with a lot of content, you might want to dedicate 2-3 FTE’s and build out a “social team”. But if neither of these quite fit for you, outsourcing to an agency could be the right move for you. We know you have a lot on your plate, so why not let the social experts handle what they’re great at? We can take care of Steps 1-4 for you. With our help you won’t get left in the dark ages! Contact us today to learn more.