Social media is indeed an unavoidable part of the marketing mix for businesses today. This is especially true for products and services whose target market are consumers (B2C) as it provides an opportunity not only to sell to your customer but also to connect with them and forge a valuable relationship. The two-way communication between businesses and consumers can add value to a business by being a source of consumer insights that can then be used to improve and innovate products and services. What used to cost the top dollar in terms of advertising spend can now be done with leaner budgets and more insights to ensure efforts are both effective and efficient.
The Right Social Media Channel for Your Business
Here is a cheat-sheet some insights to get you started:
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each platform is a start. How do you determine which platform is suitable for your business? There are several steps to be taken before you decide to ensure that your efforts are directly contributing to the bottom line of your business.
Asking yourself these questions will help determine which of these platforms can be used best to market your products or services and which can be used to build your brand, be it with consumers or within the industry.
What to ask yourself before starting?
- Start by asking yourself what your main OBJECTIVE is for having a social media presence.
- Then ask yourself what your GOAL to determine how you use these social media platforms.
- The next question is vital for the success of your social media channel and that is determining who your TARGET AUDIENCE is. This will be the basis of your CONTENT PLAN and AD TARGETING.
- Next, think about what MEASUREMENTS will determine the success or failure of your social media efforts and the TIME FRAME in which you will be measuring your efforts to help keep you on course.
- Lastly, but probably most importantly is determining HOW MUCH INVESTMENT your business can afford to set aside for your social media efforts. This will also determine the rate at which your products and services will be seen and your channels grow.
Once you have determined where social media fits into your business, then you can start planning for the content that will engage your audience and tell your business’s story. It is important to set a solid foundation and stick to a content plan to avoid mixed messages being sent to and received by your audience. Building anything of value takes time and effort; the same principle applies to social media. It’s recommended to allow 3 – 6 months from the start of your social media efforts to measure what is working and what is not. Any sooner and you will not be able to make a decision based on a large enough sample of data.