"Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. We do this by giving people the power to share whatever they want and be connected to whoever they want, no matter where they are." Mark Zuckerberg
Consider these statistics:
That is an eye opener for me and should be for you and your business also that is why todays episode we will talk about the importance of having a social media strategy. The positive impact it has had on a successful company in Brisbane. We will share some awesome free resources from one of the best social media Social Media Strategist who has a passion for helping businesses grow using the power of social media in conjunction with lifecycle marketing automation.
This episode was inspired by an amazing lady Sue-Ellen Watts who I interviewed earlier this week. She explains how a social media strategy for her company that included Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for all her employees in the company has made a huge increase in sales. Listen to her explain how Watt Next has increased sales by 35% from their social media strategy this past year!
Small businesses can easily implement social media strategies to reach and engage existing and potential clients. You can get your entire team on board so everyone is spreading the word about your products and services. It’s so important in today’s connected world, where customers research purchases online and seek recommendations from friends and family, to have a vibrant and interactive social media presence. You must first start with a social media strategy which may seem a bit overwhelming if you are new to social media. However, on our show notes page compliments of Loren from Impactive8 we have links to her free workbook and strategy planning guide to walk you thru this step by step.
Let’s talks briefly what’s included or components of a social media strategy.
The Strategy starts with setting goals, identifying your customer, and deciding which social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn work best for your business.
Then develop your branding, determine your target audience, develop engaging content relevant and helpful for your customers & clients. Your strategy needs meaningful KPI’s for your team members and for tracking overall success for the company.
When those components are complete it's time to automate as much as possible using online applications like Buffer as mentioned in the interview with Sue-Ellen. Buffer is a free online service that allows you to schedule in your social media posts to multiple platforms at the same time. Check out buffer at www.buffer.com
Lastly, your Social Media plan needs to be monitored which can be achieved using free apps such as SocialMention and Google Alerts. Make sure you track conversations what’s working and what not so you can continually improve your success. That’s the components in the Strategy.
With regards to various social media platforms you can choose from many but sometimes more is not always better. So I suggest you carefully consider which ones are best for business.
Facebook is used by businesses to connect with existing clients and to cultivate new relationships and you can customize action buttons such as shop now that link back to your website. In addition to business pages, small (and large) businesses can advertise within the Facebook platform they are targeted to specific Facebook users.
LinkedIn is generally perceived to be the place for business professionals to hang out, providing a platform for entrepreneurs and business people to connect, interact and network. Each LinkedIn profile is similar to a resume, listing your current employment, work history, education, skills, received recommendations and other relevant information. It is also excellent for posting blog style content with your professional contacts
Twitter enables users to send and read text-based messages known as tweets; each tweet is limited to 140 characters. As a small business, you can tweet your own messages, retweet interesting and relevant tweets and comment on others’ tweets. Other users can follow you, and your tweets will automatically be shown to them.
Aside from the Big Three, other noteworthy social media platforms include:
Google+ launched in mid-2011 has a +1 button that is similar to Facebook’s “Like” button. The +1 button allows users to start conversations and publicly recommend pages across the web.
Instagram is an online photo-sharing service that enables users to filter photos and share them through Instagram and other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Research shows that 13% of all Internet users use Instagram, and that it is especially appealing to the 18 to 29 age group. As a small business, you can post compelling images, including links to your Web site and content in the comment section so users can instantly connect with you.
Pinterest is a visual content sharing service where users “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pinboards. Pinterest is especially popular among women who are between 18 and 49 years old. In addition to individual profiles, Pinterest supports boards for small businesses. Pinterest can be used to build brand awareness through visual content and to help drive Web site traffic.
YouTube is a video sharing site. you can use the platform to tell viewers about your products and services while conveying your brand to your audience.
Some lessons I have learned are - if you have a well-planned strategy, that provides engaging content - your social media strategy can mean the difference between engaging with your audience and simply adding to the noise. Just adding noise is a waste of time and money!
I have also engaged social media specialists to connect with and engage existing and potential clients, providing
intriguing content while spreading the word about their products and services. I have been using Beepo to manage my social media strategy and could not be happier with the results! It is my opinion that most small businesses will benefit from developing and maintaining a vibrant and engaging social media presence.
Loren Bartley, Social Media Strategist at Impactiv8, has been assisting businesses to achieve social media success since 2006.
A social media expert with global experience with many of the world's biggest brands - including Nike, Toyota and Motorola - Simon Mainwaring offers a visionary new practice in which brands leverage social media to earn consumer goodwill, loyalty and profit, while creating a third pillar of sustainable social change through conscious contributions from customer purchases.