I had lunch with some friends last week who shared with me that they often get asked to just “do some social media” for their clients.
Oh, if it were only that simple.
I think a lot of businesses think this way. They believe that simply throwing some social media icons on their website is enough or that they need to have profiles on every single social media site because “everyone else does”.
Newsflash: this is not the right way to approach it.
If you simply “do” social media without understanding the WHY behind it, your organization with fail miserably on the social web.
For small businesses that want to use social media, the number one question you should ask yourself is “what do I want to accomplish?” You have to understand the WHY before you worry about the HOW.
For instance, here are some reasons why you might consider using social media:
- Enhance customer service.
- Monitor and respond to comments about your business, product or service.
- Research what your competitors are doing and how you can do it better.
- Build relationships with your clients, vendors and prospects.
- Listen for trends, feedback and potential business opportunities.
- Raise awareness about your brand.
- Communicate to your stakeholders during a crisis.
- Drive traffic to your website or blog.
As you can see from this list, there are a lot of ways you can use social media. That’s why it’s incredibly important to determine your strategy before you get started.
Without a social media strategy, it’s like getting in your car and driving without knowing the destination. While that sounds carefree and fun, it’s not going to help you get the results you’re after for your business.
Before you dive into social media, you should ask yourself these questions:
- What are my business goals?
- Will social media help me attain those goals?
- Who am I trying to reach?
- Does my target audience use social media? If so, which tools do they use most?
- What do I want to accomplish through these tools (see list above)?
- What’s my message?
- Do I have the time and budget to use social media?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a clearer sense of what you want to get out of social media. From there, you can begin focusing on the the tools and the tactics.
What’s your biggest hangup in creating a social media strategy? Let me know where you’re stuck and I’ll help you think through it.