Without a doubt if you are running some sort of business, that includes an online presence, then you need to be on Social Media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and more. No problem I hear you say lets sign up. STOP!!!
Ask yourself a few things first.
What do we want to achieve from my online presence?
What is the objective of the online presence?
How will we manage this presence?
Who is the target customer?
How do you want them to respond?
What content are we going to share?
How can we best manage the online content?
So many questions that need answering as part of your strategy. You need a strategy, and a damn good one. Having a Social Media strategy far out ways signing up to a social media platform that is not right for the audience you want to target. Lets say you are selling high-end consultancy to board room members, LinkedIn may be a better platform than Facebook. If you are selling jewellery and beauty products, then Pinterest with its visual presence may be best. If you want to get maximum numbers to your webinar or conference call, then Twitter and Facebook could be best for this. It just depends what you want to achieve.
One of the first things I suggest you do is read up on the Deming Cycle (Covered in many books and in ITIL), known as the PDCA.(Sometimes refered to as the PDSA). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDCA
- PLAN: Design or revise business process components to improve results
- DO: Implement the plan and measure its performance
- CHECK: Assess the measurements and report the results to decision makers
- ACT: Decide on changes needed to improve the process
So lets look into this in a little more detail.
PLAN – Identify what you are trying to achieve. Write down the objectives, outline any disadvantages you see e.g (If we use Pinterest we miss a large male portion of the audience, if we are trying to target gender equally.). Do diagrams. (Pictures always help) USe tool such as Cause and Effect Analysis from Mond Tools (http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_03.htm)
DO – Once you have devised the PLAN implement it and start to measure its effectiveness, the level of data to be analysed will drive how you respond. Facebook and Pinterest have great Analytic tools for the business user.
CHECK – Look at the statistics, what is working what is not, discuss ways which may add improvement if needed. Dont forget to check and analyse the success as well. Find out why it did so well. What did you do right, that could be used again.
ACT - If you need to make changes act on them now , the issue may not always be the wrong platform, just the implementation.
If you notice when you look up PDCA 90% of all infographics show this as circle, a continuous cycle (hence the name), so just because it works for you now, keep planning, keep doing, keep checking and most of all keep acting, adapt to change. Do not be lulled into a sense that as it works we have done it right, lets just leave it. You need to keep measuring the performance.
So how do you devise this strategy. If you search through a search engine you will see lots of template offerings. But to be honest and this is what I did, create your own! Your business is somewhat unique. Do some research build up a list of 10 questions to head up your plan and then answer each one of them. Once they are satisfactorily answered start to implement and continually measure. If something is drastically wrong, maybe you need to address the questions within the plan, maybe you are not addressing the purpose correctly. If things are going correctly you still need to keep continually checking, if there is a lull in response why, do you need to refresh, or was there other actions going on that day in the world that day?
Next up I will go into LinkedIn and highlight a few essentials that need to be correct. LinkedIn is just great. Such a powerful tool. The post after that will look at Pinterest, a totally misunderstood platform.