I’m often asked questions like: “should I be on Facebook or is Twitter better for my business… or should I do both?” My answer is always the same – “it depends”.
Making informed decisions about social media will save you time and money, two things that are important to any business owner. A well thought out plan will help you do both. Here are the top 5 things you need to know before you make any marketing decisions:
1. What are your business goals?
Write your business goals down and be sure they are timed and measurable. Before you even think about social media, you need to know your overall objectives for your business.
2. Who do you need to reach?
For each of your business goals, there are people you need to connect with in order to achieve your objectives. The more specifically you can define your ideal audience, the more likely you are to achieve your goals – think niche.
3. What is the problem you are solving or pain you are relieving?
Search and social marketing is all about attracting people who are already looking for an answer to a problem – a problem that your business or product can solve. When your ideal customer buys your product, what psychological need does your business fulfill for that customer? This is your positioning. Create content for your website and social media that reinforces that position.
4. What do you want your niche audience to do?
Do you want them to come into the store? Do you want them to “buy now”? Think about the action you want the user to take and write it down. Your target user actions are important for writing your key messages and deciding on marketing tactics.
5. Where is your audience and what can you do to get their attention?
Here’s where you have to get a little creative and do some research. With the information from the 4 questions above, figure out which social networks will best reach your niche audience – brainstorm ways of attracting their attention. Knowing your positioning will help you create strategic posts that lure your target audience into following you. Your fans/followers become ambassadors for your brand and will refer your business to like-minded people.
Tip: Pay attention to how many website visitors you need to make a sale – this can be determined by watching your website traffic for a period of time and compare it to the amount of sales you get. Use an online coupon or featured product to better track site-to-store conversions.
Coming up with on-going tactics for social media can be challenging but the common characteristic that unites all social networks is that their main purpose is to build community.
People love to interact with and share content that is:
- Helpful – particularly if it helps their friends in some way. Amazing tips to make life easier or even great promotional offers.
- Emotional – pulls on heart strings. This is why cute kittens and puppy dogs rule the Internet. Also, anything funny is an emotional trigger that reaches far on the web, uniting people with a common sense of humour.
- Inclusive but feels exclusive – makes people feel they belong to something. The Internet has enabled groups of people with obscure interests from all over the world to find each other and form communities, from Foodies to people who love “Saved by the Bell”.
- Awe inspiring– brings a sense of wonder to their day. People love to share bizarre and quirky items.
After going through the questions above you’ll have: outlined your objectives, described your niche audience, figured out your position, determined your target user actions – all of those will help you determine your social media tactics. Congratulations, you no longer have social media wishes, you have social media plans!