Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TicTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, and on and on.
In today’s business environment you MUST have some social media presence. Your organization leader(s) are open and primed for social media, and they understand the need to stand out, and to be competitive you must have a presence on social media. Now, you’re ready to dive into the social media scene … but, into which pool?
Navigating the online social media waters can be tricky. With choices galore, it can be difficult to distinguish where your organization should have a presence. Do you become the industry Facebook king or the region’s Twitter authority? Or maybe LinkedIn is the way to go, mixed in with some notable blog posts? Rather than playing guess-and-click with valuable resources, we’ve outlined five easy-to-follow steps to streamline your social media prioritization efforts!
Step 1: Consider the Time Investment
First, take stock of soft resources. How much time do you or your staff have to devote to social media activities? This number of hours will delineate how many tools your team can strategically take on without running the risk of being spread too thin and not making an impact.
Take a close look at the hours worked each day by individuals whom you plan on being social strategists or implementers. Is there time available in their schedules, or can some things be shifted around? Also, gather their feedback on the commitment they would like to give to the effort. You may be surprised by their feedback.
Step 2: Compare the Platforms to Match your Goals
Now that you know how much time you’re working with, compare each platform to align with your company’s marketing goals. Does the one or two social media platforms you select accomplish the goals in your annual & monthly strategic plans. If “Yes” get posting. If “No” move on and don’t waste your time on that platform.
If you are in a creative industry (bakery for example), Pinterest and Instagram may be your primary platforms and Facebook your secondary. B2B organizations may be on LinkedIn and Twitter as their primary, with Facebook as their secondary. Every organization must find out which platform serves their purpose the best.
Step 3: Go Where Your Target Audience Hangs Out
Many businesses think if they build it everyone will come. Not in social media. The platforms have been built and each platform attracts certain audiences. Now, can your business be on all the social media platforms available? Yes, but why would you do that to yourself? If you have a large organization and a large social media team that is a different story.
However (as you likely know from personal experience), you need to be on the social media platforms where your target market is already congregating.
Hop online, do some research to find out where your target market resides. The best research you can do to find out where your target market hangs out is to just simply ask your current and prospective clients.
Step 4: Get a Feel for the Community
Once you’ve determined which platform has the greatest potential for your business, it’s time to “lurk.” Lurking is a common term in the social sphere, used to describe the online behavior of feeling out a community’s inner workings before actively participating and engaging with its members. Observing a community and its influential members will give your organization an even more solidified idea of where its social media priorities should stand. This step is all about finding your perfect fit. Think of this as doing detailed research within the platform.
Step 5: Create and Execute a Solid Marketing Plan
Now’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – setting your business’s social media priorities! You have done your research; know which platform you are going to start on then which platform you are going to go to next. Take it in steps unless you have a team or dedicated staff members to handle all the social media efforts. Remember, this IS marketing. You need to have a solid plan in place on the platforms. Don’t post just to be posting. Post items that capture your audience’s attention, engages them to act and connect with you. Create a detailed social medial marketing plan that states what you are going to post, on which platform, on what date, at a specific time. Provided great content. Define who create the graphics and text for the post. Who will actually post it? Who will stay engages with others when they respond to your post?
If you have staff, then you need to share your strategy with them and have them engaged on the platform you are on. One business has their staff take turns for 1 hour a day to post and respond on social media. The staff loves it and it keeps their social media presence fresh and alive.
Once you’ve set your social media priorities, it’s time to dive in. Consistently keep your long-term goals in mind, while setting and reaching short-term goals to get there. Keep gauging success along the way, and never stop spreading the word. Before you know it, your organization will be the master of its online domains (pun intended)!