What is a Social Media Strategy
The easy answer is of course a strategy for social media but the real answer is much more complex. The truth is that social media is a pain and getting to grips with a social media strategy is an even bigger pain as it makes you ask questions that usually have no answers. So you end up guessing.
You could see who you were talking to and something inside you said that this person was interesting and that person was to be avoided at all costs.
Nowadays if you don’t have a website people think your business can’t be any good and if you are not networking through Facebook etc then you have something to hide.
In February 2015 I looked at a lawyer’s website. It had a page called “Latest News”. When I went to that page it explained that there was new employment legislation coming out that would affect most businesses. It would become law in April 2013.
They had links to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ so I had a look at each. On Facebook they had 127 likes and the last entry was December 2013. The Twitter page showed that no tweets had ever been sent and they had no followers. The G+ page had 2 followers and only 1 post which was made in December 2013.
If that firm had a strategy then it looks like it had failed. If a plant does not get water then it dies. If a business is too busy to look after its internet presence then it tells people that if this firm cannot be bothered about its own business…… what will it do for you as a customer?
These days people like to check you out before they do business with you. So they look on the internet and see your site and/or then look on one of the social media sites to see if you are there and if so what people are saying about you.
I am sure you do the same when shopping on amazon by reading the reviews or when looking for some service provider like a plumber or taxi firm in your area. If you do not like what you see or read then you move on.
The question is therefore whether this is happening to your business? If you have no plan for how your business appears in social media (and by social media I mean the internet) then will you be doing more harm to your business than good by doing nothing or the wrong thing?
No Universal Strategy
What works for one business may not be right for another.
But a good starting point is to look at what the competition is doing.
Put their name into Google and see what comes up. Visit the results. Do the same in Bing. Then put the trade and the city (lawyer London) and see if the competition appears.
Search for them on YouTube, Facebook,Twitter and Google+ and see what they are doing (if anything). By doing this you learn what you can do and what you should not do.
On the home page here there is a wonderful cartoon that really sums it all up. The accounts are all open but nobody knows what to do next. Before you embark on shaping your web presence you need to decide what you are trying to achieve and then figure out how you are going to get there.
The SMARTER way to develop a Social Media Strategy
This is a nmonic and stands for
Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time Bound Evaluate Review
and can be explained as follows:
Specific goals are precise and clear, rather than overly broad or ambiguous. They answer questions like: who is involved, what do I want to accomplish, where must this be done, when should it be performed. For example, “Join a health club and workout 3 days per week,” versus, “Get in shape.”
Measurable goals are quantifiable: in other words, you can establish concrete criteria for measuring your progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. Be able to answer questions such as: how much, how many, how will I know when it is accomplished?
Achievable goals meet the common sense test that they require a change in current practices or behavior to be achievable. You figure out ways to accomplish your goals by developing the attitudes, abilities, skills and financial capacity to reach them.
Realistic goals represent objectives toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic. The test for “realistic” is a careful study of the past to know what is a “stretch” goal and what is wildly and unreasonably optimistic. You must truly believe that it can be accomplished.
Time bound goals have an end point that can be found on a calendar. Time frames tied to your goals provide a sense of urgency to help motivate you.
Evaluate goals regularly and adjust them as needed to account for changes in family or job responsibilities or availability of resources.
Review – After the evaluation process see if you are on target. If not what needs changing? Can it be changed? Are the goals too optimistic? Do what is necessary even if it means starting again.
Are You Still With Me?
I did start off by saying that social media was a pain. And all you want is to do the right thing for your business so that you get more customers.
But is Twitter the right way to go? Or perhaps Instagram suits your type of product. Do you need a Facebook page as well as a Google+ or vice versa. What about a YouTube Channel?
And is your website set up properly so that visitors have a reason to come back. Your offsite social media campaigns may succeed in sending people to your website but if they hate it then it has all been a waste of time and energy.
You will find on this site articles that (hopefully) will give you the background information that will help you start to understand the questions that you need to ask yourself as nobody knows your business as well as you do.
Which platform will you use….who will run it….what will it cost the business…..what constitutes a success. These are just the basics that you must consider.
But before you actually start anything you will also need to develop a Social Media Policy in order to protect yourself,your staff and your business. Click the link to read more.
You will also see from the menu that there are articles on the main social media sites all of which give you my thoughts and some tips on how to use them effectively…….and offers you training (at a very reasonable price) on setting up and how to use
You will have noticed that you see the above paragraph (or something similar) on just about every page of the site. It is not my intention to bore you but my reasons will be explained in a post I have to write…..but only after (or during) the process is completed.
It may be a series of posts so as to give you an insight into the social media strategy I used to get you here to read this. I do hope you agree that your time has not been wasted and if you have enjoyed this article why not share the joy by clicking the button below.