HOW TO: Build a Comprehensive Social Media Strategy

by Alessandra Ceresa

Do you want your business to engage, inspire, and achieve in the digital world? If so, a comprehensive social media strategy must be put into place. Simply creating a Facebook page is not going to cut it. Social Media, like any other facet of business, requires goals, research, critical thought, and a lot of time.

The following tips and guidelines are all part of a successful social media strategy, used to build a business and its online presence.

  • Just like the saying “rally around the flag,” rally the company around social media. Get employees involved with the trend. The more supporters a business has can be very helpful when implementing a social media strategy, and those supporters can, inspire and engage others.
  • Establish goals. Decide what it is you want social media to do for the business. Is the social media in place to increase sales, increase word of mouth, or to increase brand identity? With realistic goals, you can better track results, and better guide conversations you will have with your followers.
  • Do your homework. It is important to know with whom the business should be engaging. Who are the influential people or companies in your industry? How are they using social media? Knowledge is power. Social media is not a “let’s go in and see what sticks” strategy, it must be well thought out and maneuvered to ensure the greatest success.

     

    Don’t act clueless! With a little bit of planning, your social media strategy will win over your fans and your boss.
  • Start talking! It is time to engage and inspire. Be a source of value to your audience. As I have mentioned in a couple previous blog posts, your followers must find a reason to engage with you. Refer back to the blog post Social Media for Restaurants: Get Creative and check out some really innovative ways small businesses are engaging and inspiring their audiences. Know your customer base, and what they want to hear, not what you think they want to hear. See whom they follow and who they interact with, then talk to them, start a conversation with them, and see where it goes.
  • If it is possible, attend Tweetups or events that will allow the business to get in front of the customer base or audience. This strengthens a relationship with those that you engage with online. Create the present, physical, here and now relationship that people need. This will make for lasting relationships and a more loyal fan base. The blog post, Social Media for Retail Business: Surf Shops in San Diego highlights a couple of shops in San Diego that sponsor cool events that allow their audience to physically engage with their brand.
  • Finally, know what your social media strategy is doing for you. What are the results of the effort put into social media? How many new customers do you have? Have sales gone up? The most important piece is to measure the engagement, and the quality of it. If people are conversing with you, and conversing with others in a positive manner about your small business, then your strategy is working! The key is to get people spreading the word about a business, becoming passionate and loyal customers.

A business cannot operate without a social media strategy. If the right strategy is put into place, and the proper amount of homework has been done to develop it, social media can be the game changer for which a business has been searching.

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