When the Internet first came along, many business owners were slow to see its commercial enterprise. Back then, it was easy to dismiss the web as a playground for geeks and computer nerds, but a few smart business people understood just what that playground would soon become.
Those forward-looking business owners jumped on board fast, scooping up the most valuable domain names and staking their claim to what would soon become a digital gold rush. Those business people were rewarded handsomely for their foresight, and the same thing is happening today in the world of social media.
As with the original Internet, there have been pioneers in the world of social media, companies that were able to harness sites like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their customers, reach out to their vendors and make the most of their businesses. Those early adopters were also well rewarded for their insight and willingness to take risks, but social media engagement is no longer an option.
In today’s world, no business can afford to ignore social media, and social media engagement is one of the most powerful tools business owners have at their disposal. If you are looking for your own way forward, developing a step-by-step plan for social media engagement is a good start. Here are five essential steps to effective social media engagement for your small business.
Here are five essential effective strategy steps to effective social media engagement for your small business.
Step 1 — Make a Plan
Nothing good ever happens without a plan, so think about what you want to achieve with your social media strategy.
Do you want to set up profiles on all the social media sites, from Facebook and Twitter to SnapChat and Instagram? Do you want to make how-to videos and content to post on YouTube?
Knowing what you want to do on social media is a vital first step; and one that many small business owners skip. Until you know what you want to achieve, it will be impossible to reach your goals, so lay it all out before you start. Think about how much time you have to engage on social media and try not to spread yourself too thin. It is better to have one great social media profile than io sloppy and neglected ones.
Step 2 – Schedule Your Social Media Engagement
Whether you set up a single social media profile or put up pages on every possible site, you will need to keep your content updated. That means setting time aside each day to engage with your customers, answer inquiries and learn more about your audience.
You will need to decide whether to handle the engagement yourself or allow others to handle the task. Before you outsource your social media engagement, think carefully about how vital this part of your operations really is. An ill-timed or offensive tweet or an angry Facebook post could wreck your business, so pay careful attention to who has access to your social media sites. Once you know who will be doing the posting, you can schedule a specific time each day to engage with your customers, post updates and make the most of your social media engagement.
Step 3- Create Great Content
No matter how you engage on social media, it is important to share your expertise, answer customer questions and create quality content on a regular basis. Posting top quality content and doing it consistently is one of the best things you can do to boost social media engagement, so make this a real priority.
You do not have to create your own content, but you should have the final say over what goes up on your social media pages. Whether you outsource your content creation to a third party or have it done in-house. Be sure to review each post for accuracy, spelling, and grammar before you give it your seal of approval and post it to your company’s social media sites.
Step 4- Run Contests and Promotions
Everyone loves to win a prize, and running contests and promotions are one of the best ways to boost social media engagement and encourage people to join your circle or friends and fans. A well-timed contest on your Facebook page can bring more people through the doors of your store, increase the number of purchases they make and leave you with a healthy profit.
Some businesses enjoy great success with frequent contests and promotions, even if the prizes are small ones. Others do better with less frequent but larger contests. You will need to experiment a bit to determine which approach works best for your own business.
Step 5 — Build Social Media Engagement Into Your Branding
Your social media presence is an integral part of your brand identity, so highlight your Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram and other outreach efforts throughout your other online and offline properties. From the business cards you hand out at conferences to the letterhead you use to communicate with your vendors, everything you produce should include information about your social media sites.
Creating your social media strategy is a vital part of running your small business, and what you get out of it depends on what you put in. Having a plan, creating and posting great content and engaging with your customers can all help you improve your brand, boost your profits and build a better business for the future.