Often small businesses who create a Facebook page, or open a Twitter account think that’s all they need to do. Build it and they will come? Not unless you are a major brand or business nationally. In order to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding, bare in mind that a small business operating locally will not attract millions of Facebook fans. Set yourself realistic objectives and ask for advice. A Social Media Audit is a great place to start but you’re budget doesn’t allow for that, here’s a few fundamentals to adhere to when growing your online presence.
1. Preparation & Research – It’s vital to know who your customers are. You would research as part of your business plan – so why not include social media as part of your digital marketing?
Ask yourself a few simple questions – What do they do online? What sites or social networks do they frequent? What are the likely demographics? Who are your competitors and what social networks do they use?
2. Listen – Vital, absolutely vital. It’s not always about distributing your content and your message – being able to monitor all the conversations around your brand will be a challenge, but it’s well worth it. There are some great tools available to do this now, and the best that springs to mind is Social Mention.
3. Engage, Engage, Engage – I absolutely cannot emphasize this enough, what is the use of having 2000 Twitter followers if you don’t engage them? Social media is not a “1-to-many” marketing channel, it is a “1-to-1″ channel. I still see huge businesses and brands making mistakes and just distributing content without looking to engage their fans or followers. it’s important to remember not all will be positive and occasionally there may be complaints, but interacting with negative publicity is as important as accepting the praise.
4. Monitor & Measure – Make sure that you have the necessary tools to monitor and measure the success of your social media campaigns. Tools such as social report provide invaluable analytics solutions to help guide your campaign and review what has been successful and what needs to be tweaked or improved.
Above all else it is essential you are flexible in your approach to change and willing to make adjustments in your campaign as and when it’s appropriate. Remember it’s not always about the cash you invest, it’s about the thought that goes into what you do. Social media is here to stay as a digital marketing channel, and getting the most out of it will only help your business long term. If you’ve experienced success with the above or are about to embark on a new campaign for your business, drop a comment below we’d love to hear from you. Alternatively contact us for more advice.