Today, around 70% of people use social media to share, shop, connect and stay informed. With so much of the population engaged with their screens it is easy to understand why businesses want to develop a social presence to get in front of all of those scrolling fingers. Businesses turn to the web for guidance on how to get started with social media marketing, but are often overwhelmed with rules on what social platforms they should be on, to what and how often they need to post to be successful online.
And while the information can be helpful, there are strategic steps to take before signing up for your first account to help ensure your social media efforts provide you with the ROI that makes sense for your business.
DEFINE YOUR GOALS FOR YOUR SOCIAL ACCOUNT
This may seem basic and obvious, but it can often be overlooked. Define what you want to get out of putting your business on social media. For example, are you a B2C company and want people to purchase your product? Or are you B2B and just looking for brand awareness?
Your goal will guide your decisions on what social platform to join, what content to create, and how you share that content and measure success.
DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME AND INFORMATION TO SHARE CONTENT?
Being on social media is more than just sharing a funny anecdote or plugging a product. You need content that people want to share, follow, like and comment. And creating enough content so that you gain new followers and keep followers interested in what you have to say takes time. On average, 63% of marketers commit more than 6 hours a week to social media marketing alone.
Understanding how much time you have will help you prioritize which social media platforms you want to be active in. It is better for you to have an active, relevant social presence on one social media outlet, than to have a stagnant or unfocused presence on multiple outlets.
UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Understanding your audience goes beyond knowing demographics, it is about how that audience interacts within different social media platforms. For example, the Gen X population is brand loyal, has a great deal of spending power, and will read and re-share brand content on Facebook and Twitter regularly. On the other hand, millennials will follow news about their brands, but don’t use Facebook or Twitter and won’t directly follow branded social media accounts or re-share their content.
Your audience will help determine the type of content that will be most meaningful for them and on what channel to share content.