What to Do, and what NOT to Do, to Grow your business through Social Media
Social media is the new big thing in marketing, with the potential to boost your business to the next level! You will be hard pressed to find a person or business that doesn’t use social media on a daily basis, so if you aren’t taking full advantage of the potential exposure it can provide, it only makes sense to start right now. But like most things, there’s a right and a wrong way to go about achieving your goals on social media. Surprisingly, most start-ups and even big businesses don’t have a clue how to use social media most effectively. This article will guide you through the key do’s and don’ts when it comes to growing your business on social media.
Develop Specific Goals
Hard work is only valuable if it is targeted at your specific goals. Write out a list of goals you want to achieve. These might include:
- Boost sales
- Generate leads
- Increase brand awareness
- Improve business reputation
- Provide efficient customer service and support
Identify your Target Market
In a world where consumers are constantly bombarded with advertisements, marketing at the generic level is very limited in effectiveness. One of the greatest benefits of social media is that it enables you to target your marketing all the way down to micro-segments. This is proven to drastically improve your engagement levels and conversion ratios. Further still, you should identify communities within these micro-segments.
Adopt a Brand Personality and Voice
Social media is most effective when it is just that – social. People tend to respond much more favourably to business marketing that has personality. If your business was a person, what qualities would he/she possess – e.g. humour, compassion, reliability, trustworthiness, class, etc. Once you have established your brand personality, be consistent with it. This will give your customers an enhanced sense of familiarity with your business.
Create an Action Plan
Develop a detailed and effective plan to achieve your desired outcomes. A good action plan will include the following:
- Listening plan
- Channel plan
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plan
- Content creation plan
Some of the activities you may engage in include blogging, building relationships and groups, running competitions, creating interesting posts and lead conversion.
Measure your Results and Respond Appropriately
Finally, you want to check whether your action plan is working to achieve your goals. Measurement should be about maximising your return on investment. This may include revenue growth, customer acquisition cost, or whatever other parameters are key to the success of your business. Take note of what works and what doesn’t work, and make adjustments accordingly.
Don’t Neglect your Profile, but Don’t Overdo It Either
Social media use is all about BALANCE! Don’t neglect your profile but don’t be too active either. Be selective with who you contact and what you share. You don’t want to verge on being viewed as a ‘spammer’, or else people may find you annoying and cut your business off completely. It is a delicate balancing act so it is best to walk on the side of caution.
Don’t Delete Negative Comments
While it can be damaging to have negative comments on your profile, the backlash from deleting such comments can often be much worse. Customers will feel more appreciated if you acknowledge and respond to their concerns. It is expected that any business will receive occasional negative feedback, so the most important thing is how you deal with it. Keep it professional, and try to resolve any issues in a way that satisfies the complainant. Be careful though – you don’t want to over-extend yourself and then have other customers expecting the same special treatment.
Don’t Rely on Automation
This links with maintaining your brand personality and voice. If you rely too much on automated or computerised responses or posts, you will lose your personal touch with customers. Instead, you want to humanise your brand and make the engagement experience for your customer more personable.
Take Action Today!
Marketing on social media is fundamentally different from conventional marketing. In turn, your action plan should take advantage of the unique opportunities it provides to get your business ahead. Implement the Do’s and steer clear of the Don’ts outlined above to ensure your business gets the most from engaging with social media.
About Your Guest Blogger: With over 20 years’ legal and business experience, Katherine Hawes is the founder and principal solicitor of Aquarius Lawyers. To find out more about her fixed rate small business packages, please see: Digital Age Lawyers