It can sometimes feel like we spend all our time updating our social media sites, and not enough on actually doing the work we earn an income from.
So, how do we take back control from the overlord of social media? Put a strategy in place! Here’s a very brief guide to what you should be considering when addressing social media:
1. Why am I doing this? If your answer is: ‘To enable two way conversations with customers and prospects, and encourage reference marketing’, then hurrah, you’ve got it. If your answer is: “Because everybody does”, then we need to chat!
2. What social media sites will be the best to spread the word and effectively deliver my message to my target audience? There are so many options it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Start with the basics; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are easy to establish and a doddle to manage. Then have a look at what your competitors are up to as well; they may have hit on something useful!
3. How do I know what to say on each one? Each site should support and reflect a common basic message, but each can also lend its own tone of voice to your posts. Facebook for example is friendly, fun and very easy to use for two-way communications. Their ad facility is also a great way to build a fan base. In terms of customer reference marketing, Facebook and LinkedIn are your best bet. On LinkedIn you can collect Recommendations from clients that carry significant weight. Be proactive – ask clients to use the facility! Twitter is less useful for this – you can Tweet 20 times a day and not have one seen by your followers. It’s great for developing a ‘personality’ however; use it wisely though. Remember, it’s not YOU talking, it’s your business. Google+ is perfect for enhancing rankings; over 50% of Google searches are location driven now, get yourself on there and keep it fresh with regular posts and you’ll pop up in local searches.
4. How much time should I commit? When you first start you’ll need to give it some effort – setting up, posting, uploading images, it all takes time. You need to invest in building your contacts too. After this, then really it’s entirely up to you…but don’t let it drift, or you’ve wasted all that start up time. And don’t get hooked – or you’ll lose your life to it!
5. What if I’m still concerned? Ask for help. There are many independent, freelance specialists out there who can get you started and even run your social media marketing for you. Simply decide what it would cost you in your own time and work out if it’s cheaper to use an expert. You call in a plumber for a leaky boiler, so why not a social media expert for this all important element of your communications strategy (and the latter doesn’t charge a call out fee!)