Getting started with social media – Do’s and Don’ts
As many businesses – in B2C as well as in B2C – try to become digital, one part of their strategy often seems to be a social media presence. Fortunately social media is public, so anyone has the ability to get a closer look on all tries, fails and success stories of companies on their journey to digital excellence. Stopping halfway on this road might be some of the reasons for neglected pages, with just a few likes and even less content. I recommend you to draw conclusions from all those examples, from the good ones and bad ones. Getting started with a social media strategy can be a time consuming process. With the following list of what – and what not to on social media, you should consider to include some of the Do’s and Don’ts mentioned in your social media strategy. This might safe you time, to spend it on other important topics.
Do – have a strategy
A lots of companies underestimate the effort of coming up with a social media Strategy or they not even think about one. Social media presences are established with a few clicks which might be an easy way to lift your business on social networks. This mindset leads to pages without any interactions, likes or follower. Just like in the classic marketing social media marketing follows several steps to ensure marketing efforts are paying off:
1. Situation Analysis
Ask yourself about the current communication efforts. What are you doing know and where you want to go. What are competitors doing? What is my target group and how do i reach them? You should identify several internal and external factors.The Swot-Analysis is a great way to conclude what you found out.
The conclusions of your situation analysis should allow you to point out objectives which are derived from combinations of internal strengths/weaknesses and external opportunities/threats. Objectives are always smart. They will lead you to your Strategy.
Often way more complex than I want to outline at this point, the stragey should answer the questions: „How can I reach my objectives“?. One of the most important strategic descision to make is to figure out on which social networks you will meet you target group. Otherwise your social media efforts will be useless.
Define actions which are following your strategy and which meet your objectives. One of you objective could be: „achieve 200 interactions with a recent post within two weeks“. Which platforms could help you to meet this objective? Which content is relevant for your target group?
A well performing monitoring system is essential for your social media presence. It is a big opportunity to listen to your customers to find out what they really need.
Don’t – expose your audience to boring content
Publishing irrelevant content equals to telling boring stories to your friends. They won’t cause any interaction. Listen to your audience to figure out which topics are important for them. Use the content to build an image that refers to your brand and your vision. Don’t publish too much commercials and sale offers, depending on which channel you are posting your audience will not accept any direct efforts to sell something. Using relevant content for branding will pay off later, leading to an increase of the conversion rate.
Do – monitor your activities
An effective monitoring system is as worth as the social media presence itself. Define KPIs that are relevant for your business and build a tracking system which is capable to collect the necessary data. While using several social networks at a time, it seems useful to use independent tools like Hootsuite Analytics or Google Analytics to monitor all networks at once. Use the gained data to conclude which posts or which content led to conversions. Independent Analytic Tools are usally good for gaining deeper insights to compare it with the aggregated data you get from the out-of-the-box analytic tools of the social networks.
Don’t – underestimate budgets
Since social media is content driven, that’s what your audience is expecting: relevant content in regularly time periods. Obviously, getting started with social media is free of charge, but if you want to stay relevant you have to follow the rule „Content is king“. According to your business size and your objectives you have to hire content managers which will ongoing produce content for your social networks.
Do – interact
Listen, understand, interact. These are just a few possibilities of social media but might be the best for deep insights. Social networks are a great way to interact with your audience. Do they comment in a positive manner – say thanks! Do they complain about something – do everything to solve their problem! Listen to your customers and find out what is really meaningful for them. Interact with them, using social networks as a support community. Don’t ever ignore upset customers!
Don’t– give access to anyone
Your social media accounts should be run from a dedicated number of people. Those social media managers are trained in communications especially they know, in which niche the company wants to position itself. Considering that, every communication effort has to be planned and every word said in any post has to follow communication guidelines which ensure the correct brand image will be transfered to the customers.
We hope this blog post will provide you with a little assistance for your intended entry into social media or just helps you to categorize social media and its importance for your business. In case of further questions on social media or Hootsuite don’t hesitate to contact us.