How to introduce social media to your business
- Identify what you want social media to achieve for your firm, whether it is building relationships, generating sales leads, promoting offers or reinforcing your brand.
- Understand your customers’ needs and assess how you can address them with social media — whether your customers need easier access to product information or better after-sales service.
- Work out where your customers are as there are a range of social media platforms customers are likely to use. It is no use building a Facebook presence if your customers choose to network on LinkedIn, for example.
- Evaluate whether and how your competitors are using social media to market their businesses. Consider what you can learn from their approach about what works.
- Tailor your approach to the culture of the social media platform you are using.
- Establish realistic, achievable, goal-driven objectives, and set out how you are going to measure success or return on investment.
- Research the tools available to help you measure your impact on social media platforms.
- Incorporate social media marketing into your marketing plan — use it to complement your existing marketing activities, not to replace them.
- Create a strong profile on your chosen social media platform/s — think about the essential information you want to convey and the image you want to promote of your business.
- Make sure your marketing messages are relevant to your customers, informative and engaging.
- Avoid persistently broadcasting to your audience or delivering hard sales messages; instead, share your knowledge and expertise.
- Respond to feedback and your customers’ attempts to engage with you, even if they are critical. Ignoring feedback can damage your reputation, responding gives you a chance to build your profile and your credibility.
- Monitor your social media use, measure your progress and make changes to your approach if it is not working.
- Be patient — it will take time to learn how to use social media successfully, and to build your reputation within your chosen networks.
- research the platform and your customers
- be open, approachable and relevant
- measure your effectiveness and adapt accordingly
- bombard people with sales messages
- use a platform that none of your customers are using
- ignore your customers’ comments and feedback