It’s the era of social media.
Whether you are on Facebook, or Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, you cannot deny the fact that social media has changed the way you receive and share information. In fact you don’t even need to turn on the TV or listen to the radio to be able to know what’s happening around you. All you have to do is to log on to your Facebook account, and you will be updated on the latest news.
Social media has also affected businesses in a very significant way. Gone are the days when firms have to spend tons of money advertising their products and services on traditional media (both print and broadcast). Social media has allowed even small firms, or those composed of less than 10 employees, to compete with bigger companies.
A recent social media marketing industry report showed that 92 percent of marketers working with small firms agree that social media is vital to their marketing efforts. This only gives you an idea how social media-centric marketers and communicators have become these days.
Social media has definitely leveled the playing field for small businesses. If you are part of a small company, here are some social media communication strategies you may want to adopt:
1. Develop a comprehensive social media plan
The most important step in implementing a social media campaign for a small business is developing a comprehensive social media plan first. You may have a lot of communication strategies in mind for your social media efforts but you need to think of an all-inclusive, umbrella program first to streamline your campaign.
In developing a comprehensive social media plan, identify all social media platforms where your company can get into. The ideal platform is where customers, employees, prospects, and other stakeholders converge and talk about your firm.
LinkedIn, for instance, is best suited for business networking and hiring. Instagram, meanwhile, is more suited for lifestyle brands. Your company may even consider industry-specific platforms like automotive message boards, for instance.
2. Two-way communication
One of the most common mistakes that firms make when they are on social media is just using Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform for disseminating information. But simply disseminating information on social media shouldn’t be one of your communication strategies at all. Your brand should engage its followers.
Social media platforms should be used as a two-way communication medium. There are several tactics that you can use to establish two-way communication, such as posting questions and surveys related to the company you are representing. You can also get encourage customers to share their experiences related to the brand and its products. Sharing of photos and videos is also recommended if you are to make your social media campaign more dynamic and responsive.
Successful firms on social media also use the platform to respond to their customers’ requests, inquiries, and complaints. This way, the Twitter account or Facebook page of a company won’t be seen by clients as another static communication channel where products and services of the firm are promoted.
3. Setting targets, measuring performance
Like in any communication campaign, your social media efforts should have measurable targets. Some of the important performance indicators you can track are monthly addition in the number of social media followers, positive and negative sentiment of clients, and average time taken to responds to comments by social media users. You can also look into the share of social media conversations of your company vis-à-vis its competitors.
Following these three social media communication strategies should guide your social media marketing efforts well.