Marketing Tips: Introducing Social Media to your Small Business
Is your small business new to social media? You weren't quite sure what the outcome of using social platforms would be, but nevertheless you jumped right into the fray without fully thinking about what to do, or why. Don't worry. I’m going to share a few simple strategies to consider when joining the social media world!
Understand the risks & benefits of social media.
Consumers have a lot of power when it comes to their provider relationships and their opinions about products or services. Social media serves as a vehicle for consumers can to conversations with companies, and this causes companie to learn how to talk with, not at, their customers. This can be risky because customers can use the platform to “call out” companies when their services or products aren’t performing up to their expectations.
Are you up for the challenge? If so, you need to answer the following questions:
- Which department will handle customer complaints?
- Will your social media strategy focus on supervising customer complaints/questions/compliments?
Here’s an example of Nike using their Twitter account as a way to handle customer complaints/questions!
This social media strategy can improve your products and services as well as improve the way customers order, obtain and use them.
Social media provides your business an opportunity to engage and strengthen its employee base in the promotion of its brand. The Social Media Management Handbook says, “With employees already participating credibly in online conversations as part of the of the consumer population, it’s a natural extension for a company to encourage employees to use the position to serve as fans and facilitators.” When your company uses social media in the right way to engage customers, you’ll find that customers are willing to become an extension of its sales force and help spread the good word and attract other customers!
Develop a social media strategy.
The Social Media Management Handbook refers to the figure on the right as the interdependent components of social media operating strategy. This is a framework that can help create or improve your social media strategies.
Let’s break down each section of this figure, but remember that these components must be designed together, not independently. The framework contains six elements.
External considerations such as competitive dynamics and information gathered through its social media listening activities.
Understanding the habits, behaviors, ways of working and subcultures within an organization.
The process a company uses to manage social media across the organization and the business processes it intends to support or impact.
Define the metrics that your social media platforms will improve and make sure that these metrics align with your company goals.
Identify the impacts of those changes on the people involved in the process and the new roles that social media requires an organization to create.
Policies define acceptable, unacceptable, desired and undesired behaviors among internal and external audiences, employees, contractors, vendors, customers and prospects.
How to succeed with social media.
Social media is about being present and engaging with your target audience. It’s about exploring beyond a traditional marketing strategy and moving with your consumers. Social media is a process and processes build results for the future. Businesses that succeed with their social media marketing may give you ideas for your social media strategy, but your process has different inputs and should take different turns. So stay unique to your business and your customers!
Have questions or comments on how to boost your social media presence? Let me know in the comments below!