How to Plan an Effective Social Media Strategy for Business
This post gives advice to businesses on planning an effective social media strategy.
Both Feet First
Why do many businesses fail when it comes to social media? The answer is simple, really, it is because they just sign up to various social networking sites without putting any thought or logic into it. In short, they fail to plan effectively.
It does sound somewhat ludicrous that some of the most successful businesses on the planet have proven ineffective at planning a basic social media strategy, but such is the quirkiness of the world we live in that it should not really be that much of a surprise.
Unlike many things in business, social media should not be approached with a pragmatic attitude, as by the time you have worked out what to do your ship may well have already sailed. How a business approaches social media will depend on many things, including the brand message and how they are viewed globally, however there a number of points that should be common factors within any social media plan.
Who Does It?
Of course, you could just let every employee in the company have access to the company’s feed, and then watch as all hell breaks loose over who does the best tweets, not to mention the investigation you have to carry out when someone makes an ill-judged comment. For small businesses, it is often best to have one person in charge of social media output so that the message is consistent at all times.
Larger companies might have several accounts across each department, or individual accounts for executives or notable individuals.
It is vital that you know what you are going to post on your social media feeds. Are you just going to post links back to the company website, or are you going to produce independent but relevant content to spark debate? Will you use one social media site or another, which ones will be most important to you?
Along with all of this it is important that social media forms a key component of your overall business plan. This way you can have specific and measurable objectives in place to gauge whether social media is proving a success. Say your strategy is to make X amount of money based on every 50 new followers. That is simple to measure and allows you a degree of flexibility and a pro-active approach to managing social media.
Ah, the elephant in the room, but also the most important aspect. While you may have decided that one person is responsible for the output, what is everyone else doing on their social sites? While your company content may be well moderated, one drunken rant from Jimmy in Logistics, whose bio states quite clearly where he works, could spell trouble for your company.
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