Youve decided your business should be on social media, and youre excited to get going. After all, its as simple as opening an account and just posting stuff, right?
Hang on. You wouldnt invest a large amount of money in a marketing campaign without a plan first, would you?
Like anything you do with your business that requires a significant amount of time or money, you need to do a bit of research and planning before implementing something new even if you know it will be a benefit.
The planning stages are where you work out the kinks and potential issues and find solutions.
Implementing social media as part of your marketing program is no different, so writing a plan on how your business will implement and manage it is an important first step.
Here are some points to consider when putting together your social media plan:
1. What social media platforms will best fit your business? Is your product best suited for Facebook? Would Pinterest make sense for you? Does your service lend itself well to the Twitter forum, or maybe LinkedIn?
2. Who will manage your social media? Will it be a junior staff member? Is that person familiar with social media beyond their own personal use? Will it be someone comfortable speaking online on behalf of the company? Does this person have access to the information they will need when promoting your brand and building a community for your business?
3. What kind of content will your business share and post? Remember the 80-20 rule. Only 20 per cent of what you post should be self-promotion. The remaining 80 per cent should be content that will interest your community, so you will need to think about why they are following you, what kind of content they would like to see from you, and what their other lifestyle interests are in relation to your business product or service.
4. Contests and promotions. Remember-ing the 80-20 rule, 20 per cent of content should promote your business, so use some of your posts to share photos of your new products, your staff, or office; or talk about that latest promotion and maybe some of the feedback youre getting from the community about it. Remember to tie it in to your offline promotions.
5. How will you handle negative feedback or complaints posted on your page? Many first-time social media business users are concerned about this in the beginning, but over time they realize that most people who join your page are there because they like you and are building rapport and trust with you.
Your new Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Google+ account for your business can be a great boost to your marketing program. But plan wisely; it will make the time spent on it worthwhile and youll see a greater return.
Rebecca Vaughan is a Maple Ridge communications and public relations consultant.
@ Copyright 2013