It’s absolutely essential you have a strategy behind your social media activity, to steer you towards the success you want to achieve. But before you even begin to embark on that strategy, you need to consider a number of factors.
- What do you do?
This sounds like a daft question! But it’s something that many businesses struggle to answer in a way that others understand. Of course, you understand what you do. But, is it clear to others? Get very clear on what you do and try and write it succinctly in 160 characters (hey presto, you have a Twitter bio!!).
- Who do you do it for?
You need to get crystal clear on who your target market is. Having a target market of ‘everyone’ will guarantee that you win very little business on social media. The more refined you can get your target market, the more success you will have. Try and niche this as much as possible. So, rather than having a target market of SMEs, your target market might be owners of businesses with fewer than 50 employees, based in Manchester, who turnover at least £1.5million a year, who provide consultancy services. Your social media activity can then be refined to this target to allow you to see more success.
- Will your target market buy?
You then need to think deeply about whether your target market will spend money on the products or services you offer. Does it overcome their frustrations? Will it make their life easier? Will it help their business grow? Will it give them more time or money? If you can’t answer yes to one of these three questions, you need to rethink your offering, as it is unlikely your target market will buy.
- Can they buy at a low price point?
Very few businesses will spend thousands of pounds with a company or person they have never heard of. And yet so many businesses try to sell their top end products or services on social media to people they don’t know. Having a low entry point of a low cost product or service that is of value enough that people without much prior knowledge of your business are happy to buy. It is much easier to sell to existing customers, so get them onboard first.
- Do you have a method of capturing leads?
It’s great to go and connect with your target market on social media and send them in the direction of your website. But, once they are there, do you have a method of capturing those leads? Offer a free report, ebook or video series in return for a name and email address. You can then collect leads that will allow you to market to your target market via email. This builds them further in to your community and means they are much more likely to buy from you.
- Why do you want to use social media?
If you can’t answer this question, then you have nothing to base a strategy on! You need to get very clear on why you are using social media in the first place. Is it to drive traffic to your website? To look after the customers you already have? To look for service providers? Or simply to win new business? Get very clear on this as your whole strategy will be built from it.
- Which platforms are right for you?
There are so many social media platforms that you could be using, it’s very important that you understand which ones you should be using. If you target other businesses, you should definitely be on LinkedIn and Twitter. If you target general consumers, get yourself on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re in the creative industry, take a look at sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Analyse the current users on the platforms you think you need to be on, and determine whether your target market is there.
Get all this in place and you’re ready to write your strategy! It may take a bit of thinking, but the alternative is embarking on a social media strategy that will never work!