What to Decide Before Implementing a Social Media Campaign

What businesses need to understand is that social media, like any other marketing tactic, requires careful thought and planning.  Just because you’ve been using Facebook for personal use for years doesn’t mean that you automatically know how to leverage the medium for business purposes.  Social media may be a less formal way to market a business, but it needs to be taken just as seriously.  Due to the pressure to get involved in social media, many businesses have jumped in and taken a “we’ll learn as we go” approach.  What this results in is lots of wasted time and missed opportunities.  Social media activity (or lack thereof) reflects back on your business and brand.  If it’s obvious that you don’t know what you are doing or can’t get your act together, that’s bad.  Before implementing a social media campaign, be sure to decide on the following:

The best networks for your niche

It’s best practice to be active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.  Those are the most popular social sites and are likely to be where customers will be looking to connect with you.  However, there are so many more social networks beyond the Big 4.  Depending on your industry, there may be niche social groups to get involved in.  It’s important to consider how much time you will realistically be able to spend on social networking activities.  You need to choose the best networks and maintain an active presence on them rather than selecting too many networks and spreading yourself too thin.

Who will manage it

While every department of a business should be integrated into a social media strategy, it’s important to select one person or one team to ultimately be responsible for implementation. For a small business, the owner may be able to handle it.  For a larger business, it’s a more complex decision.  Will there be a dedicated Social Media Specialist?  Will it be handled by the marketing team or by customer service?  Or will it be outsourced to a social media management company? These decisions are largely based on how social media will be used.

Who the target audience is

Most people today are active on at least one social network so there is a misconception that the target audience for your social media is “everyone”.  The truth is, not “everyone” is going to choose to follow you in social media.  It’s important to devise a strategy that will attract a certain group of people.  Who do you want to engage with?  Potential customers or clients? Others in the industry? Professionals in related industries? All of the above?

What kinds of content will be shared

Businesses take different approaches to social media based on their target audience.  It can be used as an outlet to share informational content, promotions, company updates and to engage in a conversation with followers.  A good social media strategy includes a bit of each of these components to keep it interesting.

Frequency of posts

The key to success in social media is maintaining active profiles.  There is no reason to follow, or continue to follow, an account that never posts anything.  While some businesses may choose to post multiple times a day, once a day or a few times a week may be plenty for a smaller business.  It’s important to find the right balance that is appropriate to the needs of your followers.

About the Author:

Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing, a Boston SEO company that offers full day SEO seminars.  For more information please call 781-999-1222 or visit http://www.brickmarketing.com.

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