Most people think social media is another way of shouting to your potential customers about how good your product/service is and what the benefits are for them – similar to writing content for an advert or brochure. This will get them nowhere on social networks and often damages their online reputation, doing more harm than good. It’s more about listening, assisting and giving information, but without the decision makers in a business understanding content and behavior on social networks this will be very hard to achieve.
Why is it not working?
Many entrepreneurs get started on social media because they think it’s the right thing to do for their businesses, or that everyone else is doing it and it seems to work for those. When, after a while it doesn’t bring new business, they say “Social Media? I’ve tried that! It doesn’t work. It just wasted my time.” They are right of course. When you don’t know what you are trying to do, why you are doing it and how to measure success, nothing is going to work!
Have a plan!
If you want to improve your business via social media you need to have clear objectives, know who your target audience is and how to reach them, know what your message is, who is going to help you achieve your objectives, and how to measure the success of a campaign. These are the fundamental steps to social media success!
A good social media strategy will consist of several campaigns, usually starting with a campaign to increase your audience (e.g. followers, likes, connections) and then slowly spreading your message via social networks, interacting with your customers and providing good content in order to reach a point where the business objectives are achieved, e.g. increase in sales/profit or brand awareness.
Every industry and business is different and it may take a few campaigns to achieve your goals – every campaign will have a different strategy, usually leading towards achieving the business’ main goals.
While the entrepreneur or employees are in the best position to maintain their business’ social networks, it makes sense to get help in setting suitable and achievable objectives for each campaign, and know how to work towards its success. Not every social network is going to work for every business –understanding the various networks will help you see which network will work best to achieve your objectives.
Every time you sit down at your computer and open a social network site, you need to know what you are going to be doing there and what your goals are! Otherwise, you will become another disgruntled fan of the “Social Media is a waste of time” crowd, wondering what everyone else is going on about. Plan and execute to reach your objectives, from the beginning, and your chances of success are excellent!