SOCIAL MEDIA MONDAY! Social Media Strategies for Businesses

18 Nov

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As social media and technology become a more critical part of our everyday lives, stop and think about your business or organization. Are you also making social media a critical part of your business strategy? While many of you may have a social media presence, are you engaging with your customers on these platforms and meeting your goals?

With a little planning and effort, your business or organization can use social media effectively. Here are my top 10 tips for social media strategy.

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1. Be Where Your Customers Are.
Use the social media sites your audiences are using. You don’t have to be on ALL the social media sites out there. If most of your customers are on Facebook or Pinterest, explore just using those tools for your business. If you’re not sure where your audiences are, just ask! Have a conversation with your customers or patrons and see what they’re using. This is a simple question that will get you started on the right path. However, the most common social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Vine.

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2. You MUST find ways to be efficient.
Social media is not free. Social media costs you your time, energy and effort. To be as efficient as possible, pick the social media sites that will be key to communicating with your audiences, determine your goals, and define who will be responsible for the content creation and day-to-day upkeep of the sites.

3. Success cannot be measured solely by followers/fans.
Obtaining more followers can be a great goal when you first establish a presence on social media, but it is not a sustainable goal. Focus on engaging with audiences. After you grow a base of loyal followers/fans, measure success on the quality of engagement and conversation you have with them.

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4. Follow the 70-20-10 rule.
Social media does not equal self-promotion. Be an expert in your industry. When consumers trust your content, they’ll trust your products. Do not just talk at your audiences with things such as “Buy this new product!” or “Come to our event!” This general rule should help you:

  • 70%: Share content that adds value to the community.
  • 20%: Engage with your audiences.
  • 10%: Blatantly self-promote your business.

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5. Set goals and strategies.
What do you want to accomplish? What audiences are you trying to reach? Make sure these goals and strategies are specific, measurable, attainable, within reach and have a timeframe.

6. Get help.
See what similar businesses or brands are doing to get ideas for your business. Learn from the work of others while tailoring it to fit your needs and goals. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel!

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7. Advertise that you’re using social media.
A lot of times, your audiences aren’t going to search for you on their own. Put it out there and notify them which sites you’re using. You can also go a step further by giving a call to action and encouraging your supporters to join your social media networks. And advertising doesn’t always mean spending money! Print out a flyer or poster to keep in your business. Put icons on your business cards. Just flat out tell people when you talk to them!

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8. Reach out to local influencers.
Network online and offline. When you create contacts offline, they will be more likely to share or retweet your posts and help you spread the word. You also may consider getting involved with online communities related to your business.

9. Establish a culture of transparency.
Be ready to face negativity and criticism. People like to speak their mind. Don’t be evasive. Be open and honest and try to resolve the problem.

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10. Evolve.
Change your goals and strategies as social media, technology and your business change.

Does anyone have other tips to add? Or do you have examples of how your social media has been effective? Please share! We’d love to hear from you!

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