ENSURING SUCCESS WHEN MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Recently I facilitated a social media training session for a small business owner who had given social media ‘a go’, yet come up short on results. I do however admire people that set up ‘business social media channels’ and attempt to connect with others in these social networks. But, before any business starts this journey, they need to take a step back and build a ‘social media plan’ for their business. Below are a few key points that I want to share with you.
So what do you need to consider and factor into your plan?
Strategy Development: Just like having a strategy for your business you need to develop a ‘social media strategy’ and consider your key objectives and what you want your social media activity to achieve. Following from your objectives you then need to identify various key criteria: your target audience, their preferred social networking channels and importantly, who the key influencers are within the targeted community. We use specific research tools and listening tactics to identify these criteria.
Content Planning: Developing a ‘content plan’ that aligns with your strategy will help keep your social media efforts on track and make you become more efficient and targeted with your community management activity. Identifying your internal content is crucial to social media success, so list your various content pieces that you believe will provide value and interest to your target audience.
You need to also plan posting frequency i.e. how often and when you will be sharing content across your social channels. The objective is to hit the peak times your audience are online to ensure as many eyes see your content as possible.
Community Management: This is where most people usually begin their social media activity and as a result, often fail. Community management is only as good as the plan that you have put in place. Without careful planning and thought developing the first two steps (a SM Strategy and a Content plan) you risk doing more harm than good for the reputation of your business. This is the reason having someone on your team or a trusted resource with social media experience is very beneficial.
An individual or a team need to be responsible for actioning the SM content with your targeted community, including connecting and engaging with this target audience. It is essential that time is allocated for ‘community management’ as social media is not a ‘set and forget’ process. There is a direct relationship between community management effort and SM success. The more hours you can pour into the community management the better your results will be. In order to get any traction from your efforts, our experience indicates that as a minimum 4 – 8 hours p/week is required.
For many businesses the big barriers to social media success are time, knowledge and resources. This is why expert external agencies and contractors are in demand, to help business solve the time and resource constraints and also develop the SM process structures required for success.
In addition, keeping up with social media trends, technology advances and changes to existing channels such as the Facebook Timeline are further reasons why outsourcing your social media may ultimately be a better solution for your business.
Written by Social Media Temps (SMT) Head of Strategy & Development Gareth Lloyd. For an initial free consultation on your social media marketing contact SMT on 02 9386 0011 or via email at email@example.com