Top tips for a social media business planBy Melanie Lindquist | Nov 18, 11 11:30 AM
We need to do that social media stuff, you know the Facebooking thingy...
That was a half serious comment from a much-loved client today. He has heard that social media is the latest, greatest, business solution from EVERYONE he has spoken to including his sister, brother, cousin and friends mate from the mechanics down the road.
If this is the case - he must do it, right? …ah um NO!
Social Media is an opportunity that must be weighed in line with business, product, marketing and communications strategies. The web has given the world many communications channels for people to share, interact, engage and respond.
It should not be treated with contempt or whimsy nor should it be treated as the sole solution to a business challenge.
Here is a few simple tips on what you should consider when planning and implementing social media in the mix of tactics for a business strategy.
Tip 1 – It’s NOT one size fits all
Facebook is your friend. Twitter is your acquaintance. LinkedIn is your business partner.
Do you communicate and share information in the same way to all these people in the real world? Then why would you communicate the same way in the virtual world?
Choose the social media mix that suits your business.
Tip 2 – Narrow your focus and do it well.
Spreading yourself thin across every social medium will not only cause a large resourcing issue with your business, but it won’t do you any favours. You will end up posting the same generic information across every channel for a boringly beige user experience.
Like with most business strategies, start with a narrow focus and do it well. When it shows ROI, you can look at broadening the focus and improving the social media spread.
Tip 3 – Beware the FRIENDly “experts”
Everyone has an opinion when they have no responsibility nor accountability for the outcome of said “expertise”. Beware the friends and family who do not have a speck of experience using social media for business. Would you base other business decisions on this?
Tip 4 – You will do something stupid
Social Media is trial and error when trying to work through the best mix for your business. Spelling mistakes, incorrect photos, wrong dates…it will happen. Like with any communications plan, you must ensure you have contingencies in place to handle incorrect information in the public domain and take steps to rectify. Which leads to the next tip.
Tip 5 – Be Responsive
Social Media is a two way channel. Your audience and potential audience will want to engage with you if you are using the medium well. Responsive communication is essential to keeping your audience interested, engaged and supportive. So many times you see a customer question appear on a social media page that is let hanging because no one bothers to respond or acknowledge.
It’s just like letting the phone ring out on a customer complaint hotline.
Tip 6 – It’s not just another sales channel
We follow many pages, accounts, channels out of interest but there is nothing worse than every post starting with “Special Offer Today only” or “Buy 1 now and get 50% off”. Content is not about the latest greatest offer.
BUY! BUY! BUY! SALE! SALE! SALE! will have them clicking the 'unlike' button very quickly.
Tip 7 – Use Spell Check (please)
Does it need explaining? Bad spelling = poor user opinion = upside down smiley face :(
Tip 8 – Ask for help
If you are struggling with the skill set in your business to undertake social media, always consider looking to businesses that specialise in it. Start with a strategic plan which includes an implementation plan. You do not have to go to the expense of full time social media strategists, but buying time from knowledgeable, reputable people in the field may just be wise investment.
Tip 9 – Beware the Urban Myth
“I know this guy who like tweeted a few times and made a million dollars.” Our eyes glaze over and sound is muted when someone starts to explain another Urban Myth with social media. Reality check …
It’s not easy …
It is hard work …
It isn’t a quick fix …
It can be however be very rewarding.
Melanie is the Managing Director of Avalde Digital, an independent digital design and development agency with offices in Sydney and Brisbane. She is also a highly awarded media and marketing Director and worked with brands including Austereo (Triple M Today Network brands), Monster.com (Asia Pacific), ABC Radio and the Nine Network Australia. She is currently Treasurer for the Brisbane Advertising Association and board member of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association.
Melanie is a Premium member of Business Chicks, you can connect with her here.