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Social media has come a long way the past few years. Companies and organisations are having to react to the demand for their presence on social media. If you told me a few years ago that Exeter police would be tweeting, I probably wouldn’t have believed you!
Well folks, it’s here, and it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future!
Whether you’re a small or large organisation, you need to start thinking about the benefits that social media can have on your business.
However, as much as I think it’s important to participate in social media, I have always believed that it’s better NOT be on social media, than to be on it and get it wrong!
Recently, I have been in contact with many companies that don’t use social media, not because they don’t think it will benefit them, but more because they don’t understand it and therefore are afraid of getting it wrong. I think that this is the right approach, if you don’t understand it, then ask for advice rather than going head first into something you don’t understand.
I’m going to quickly talk about some of the first things to think about before building your social media presence.
When it comes to social media for business, it’s about understanding, planning and strategy. Before you participate in social media, think about what you want to achieve from it and how you are going to get there.
One of the first things to do is to LISTEN and RESEARCH! What are your customers doing on social media? What are their social activities? What industry conversations are going on? What are your competitors talking about? Listen to what they are saying and think about how your business can contribute towards this.
WHO do you want to target on social media? Are they customers, key influencers? How will you target them?
After you have thought about these questions you need to think about your aims and objectives of social media. What are your aims and what objectives will you use to reach these aims? For example, if one of your aims is to drive website traffic or raise brand awareness, what objectives have you got in place to reach these aims?
After defining your aims and objectives comes the question of resources, time and the social media mix. Twitter and Facebook may be free, but TIME is not!
There are plenty of social media platforms out there, however, this doesn’t mean that you have to use them all! Lets face it; you could spend all day on social media posting to every single platform. However, you might not have time, and more importantly, it might not be WORTH your time.
Look back at your research, your aims and objectives and the people you want to target. Have a think of what platforms will work best for you. Sometimes it’s a matter of testing platforms and analysing which ones work best.
To analyse and measure your results on social media, there are plenty of tools available. One of the most important aspects of social media participation is your ROI. What are you getting back for the hours you have spent on social media? These are vital questions and are going to be the subject of my next blog post. I will be talking about time management, social media analytics and social media management tools.
If you need some advice on social media do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call! We’re a friendly team and here to help!