The Year-End Is Near: Is Your Social Media Strategy In Place?
No social media strategy in place? Do not panic…yet!
Hopefully you are prepared for the year to come, but you still have time if not. Although many small businesses start planning their marketing budgets much earlier in the year for the upcoming year, they may or may not have decided whether they should add social media to the mix. According to a recent small business sentiment survey cited in Search Engine Land, 42% of the small business owners said they worried most about lead generation and acquiring new customers. This is yet another good reason for small businesses to have a social media strategy as part of their current marketing plan as they go into the new year. With some planning, social media can be a very effective part of your small business’ overall marketing success.
These three ideas can help you put together a quick and feasible social media strategy for your small business – while still giving you time to relax and enjoy these last few days of this year.
Include the ways you plan to build or improve your online presence as part of your social media strategy
With all the social media and blogging platforms out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. Most businesses find starting out with a presence on the most popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter works well. Depending on your industry, your audience probably hangs out on these sites as well.
Businesses who want to be found online need to ensure they include blogging/content creation as part of their marketing plans. Your social media strategy should incorporate a plan for using social media as a means of content distribution. Pushing your content through social media proves to be one of the easiest and effective (and free) ways to share your message online so the right people see your content at the right time.
Decide how you will connect, engage and communicate with your audience through social media
The term, “social listening” gets thrown around a lot these days. The concept behind it rings true though – people expect you to “hear” them when they have comments and questions and anticipate your prompt replies. Social media provides small businesses with an excellent way to connect with people and/or to participate in two-way conversations with them. Social media management tools make communicating even more efficient and organized. The costs of these tools vary from free to pricey. The best system for your business depends on factors such as the size of your company, the number of accounts you manage and your social media needs. As part of your social media strategy planning, resolve to do some research, ask your colleagues for recommendations and take advantage of free trials to determine which solution works best for your business and/or clients.
Choose how you plan to measure your social media marketing effectiveness and success
One of the most important components for your social media strategy should include a plan to track and measure your results. A business that fails to measure at least some aspect of its social media activity may face challenges down the road. Measuring simple activities such as the number of “likes” your Facebook posts receives or the number of “retweets” your posts get on Twitter will help you understand the posts your audience prefer. If you wish to obtain more detailed results, there are plenty of tools available to help businesses measure analytics and metrics.
So, do you feel better about going into the new year? What social media strategy suggestions would you add?
American Express Open Forum http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-low-cost-social-media-marketing-strategies-for-authors/
Convince & Convert/Jay Baer http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-strategy/social-media-strategy-in-8-steps/
Social Media Examiner http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-setup-a-social-media-business-strategy/