The hardest thing about social media for business isn’t learning the functionality of a social media site. It isn’t how to use a Facebook Business Page, or how to switch to an Instagram Business Profile, or figuring out hashtags. Those are all learnable things. Those are all things you can Google.
The hardest thing about social media for business is figuring out your strategy. That’s where most businesses fail. It’s not because they didn’t know how to tag someone on Facebook, or because they don’t know how to Retweet influencers on Twitter. It’s that they don’t know whether or not they should do those things.
Having a social media strategy is the difference between success and failure. Here are a few key components of a social media strategy.
This is easy… maybe. Who are you trying to reach using social media? What sections of your target customers are on social media?
Flowing from the WHO, you should be thinking about WHY you are using social media. Is it to engage your target customer, is it to sell them something, is it for customer service? Dig deep here. Knowing your goal on social media will help drive success.
What channels will you use? Again, the who should dictate this. If you find that 80% of your customers use Twitter daily, but less than a third of them use LinkedIn daily, you should probably focus your efforts on Twitter.
Next step is to consider what channels you will pursue in the future. Not all companies have neat and clean target customer groups. Meaning, your company probably doesn’t reach only hipsters aged 25-34 who live in urban areas and own a pet. There are usually nuances within your customer groups. Consider that as you determine which social sites you use. Some sites may reach different segments of your audience.
How often will you post? What time of day will you post? These are important pieces if only to help you set and keep a schedule. Remember, when it comes to social media, it’s use or lose it. If you don’t post regularly, you might as well not have the site.
WHAT PART II
The last step is to consider what you will post. There are great content idea maps out there (here’s one from Hubspot). Make sure you use content pieces that help you craft a solid narrative that connects with your audience. Here’s a great quote from Guy Kawasaki that brings this point home:
“Every social media post should have a beautiful graphic. If there are two identical stories, the one with the beautiful graphic will always win.”