This is a guest post by Jamie Teasdale of Propel Businessworks, a business development company that focuses on assisting entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their goals.
They have become part of our culture and part of our daily routines. For millions of Americans, social medias have simply become the norm. These relational tools have woven themselves into the very fabric of our society by offering places to connect online to share conversations and lifestyle activities.
But many business owners still question their need to participate.
If you could, think of Social Media engagement as your customer service department or resource library, a product launch pad, bulletin board, press tool, or a marketing platform. Using social media for any of these opportunities can generally increase consumer communication as well as brand or product awareness.
Whatever the lack of understanding may be, it is fear of engaging in the right way, and from the right platform, that keeps many from taking any action at all on social medias. As a small business strategist and educator, I’m of the belief that success will depend on activating a plan.
Although individuals can easily engage on social medias using their own personal voice, businesses should carve out their communication plan from their professional brand perspective. A company may not need to engage on every platform and when a plan is developed, the ability to execute is much less daunting.
Here are a few suggested key elements to consider before and while you begin planning:
1. Target. If you don’t know who your target market is, it’s important to define them. Think about the gender, age, social and living habits and geographic location of your target. What do they need you for? What need are you going to fill for them? This will not only help you understand who you are talking to, it will help you decide which platforms you need to be on.
2. Messaging. Messaging isn’t as tricky as you may think. Yes, you should consider what you post as virtually permanent, but remember too, you have the chance to be real, to be a resource and to show your company’s personality. Use your brand language when posting new content and responding to audience comments. If you haven’t thought of your brand speak, now is a good time to identify it. How do you verbally convey your primary business message? What words do you use? What is your business personality?
3. Policy. Just like always speaking from your brand language, it is just as important to share your brand specifics with anyone who might help you accomplish your social media engagements. Even if it’s just for your own use, a social media policy should clearly define do’s and don’ts, can’s and cant’s. Use this as a reference point when engaging your plan.
4. Consistency. No matter what your plan is, once you have it mapped out be sure to stick to it. Your business may only need a few posts per week, or it may need multiple posts per day, but maintaining your plan will create a sense of trust between you and your audience. Showing up regularly not only rewards your audience’s interest in you, it will also help you and your business stay top-of-mind.
With the increasing number of consumers searching online for businesses, products and reviews, social media platforms can provide plenty of trustworthy information, not just from you, but from people who’ve done business with you. And this information may instill the confidence they need to buy from or do business with you.
While you may consider social media as a buzzword, don’t think it’s not the right place for you to find business or be recognized. This tool is helping catapult many small businesses today into global brands. What are you waiting for?
Jamie Teasdale is the Senior Project Manager and Owner of Propel Businessworks, a small business development and growth project management company. Need a social media strategy or map? Propel Businessworks can help. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.