It is finally time to act. You know that you need to get on board the social media wagon. Recently you decided to launch a social media campaign to increase brand recognition for your business. However, you have lots of questions to answer. Where do you begin? What steps should you take? Who should be involved? The following steps will help you work your way through the process.
Put together a Team
The first step should be to put together a team that can spearhead the initiative. The team may be as few as two or three individuals if your business is small. A larger business may be in a position to put a sizeable team together. If you are a small business and new to social media, choose individuals who, at the very least, are familiar with some of the tools to be used. Ensure that the members of the team are familiar with the risks involved and are understand the need to be aware of their own personal branding.
Decide what you are hoping to accomplish. For example; are you hoping to increase the number of Facebook likes? Are you hoping to demonstrate a new product successfully? Do you plan to run a contest to reward and engage your customers. Establishing realistic goals will help you to successfully evaluate your results at the end of the campaign.
An example of total page views
Choose your preferred social media tools
Presumably you already have accounts with Facebook and Twitter and have some understanding of how to use them. Launching a goal specific campaign may require you to open accounts with other social media sites. If you plan to use video to demonstrate how to use a new product, then a YouTube account is probably a necessity. If you are planning to model a new line of clothing, then Pinterest might offer you some unique modeling opportunities while Instagram may provide you with a lot of product views.
Anticipate Two-way Traffic
Two-way traffic is not the enemy, it is your friend. Learn how to use the “pull” method as opposed to the “push” method and use your social media tools for maximum customer engagement and exposure. For example, if you are using Facebook, respond to every comment as quickly as possible, nurturing and developing the conversation. Encourage your team to participate, and involve the remainder of your staff, if appropriate. Remember to have a suitable social media policy in place that your staff understand and buy into. Determine who will respond to negative comments from customers and what their approach should be.
Get Closer to Your Customers
Use social media to engage consumers and gain a greater understanding of what they are thinking and what kinds of products they are looking for. A survey is an excellent way to do this. Survey Monkey is an excellent tool to use to develop strong surveys. Evaluate the information you glean online and use it to improve existing products and develop new ones.
Make a Memory
Get the creative juices flowing. A memorable campaign can bring very positive results if you are hoping to raise brand awareness in a positive way. However, a dull, boring campaign can be ineffective and end up wasting a lot of time and effort. If you don’t have creative people on your team, or your team is too small, perhaps you can look outside to bring in a freelancer or a small business marketing support team.
Building a strong social media presence takes time and patience. Done well, the results can be easily measured and analyzed. As Melanie Haselmayr says; “social media allows a company to receive feedback on any campaign.” Use the analytics tools provided by social media management experts like Hootsuite to determine what you are doing well and where you need to improve.
A well run social media campaign can significantly improve your business results. However, learning how to use social media tools to your advantage usually takes time and effort. Don’t give up if your initial results are unsatisfactory. Learn from your experiences and apply the lessons to your next campaign for improved results. On the other hand, don’t get too carried away if you have great results; as Rebecca Murtagh says “One successful campaign rarely makes or breaks a brand.” Build on the success and build your brand.