With more than 22 million Canadians active on social media, it makes sense for any business professionals to leverage social media to connect with prospects, friends, and family.
Considering the recent developments with COVID19, social media activities has increased dramatically, and its no longer just a “nice to have” but “must adapt to” medium of communication and connection.
To help simplify the process of getting started on social media for business professionals. We have outlined 4 Simple Steps to Getting Started on Social Media:
1. Market Research
If you already have social media accounts, it is best to audit your social media accounts’ health to assess what is working and what is not working on your social media.
Start by gathering information about your customer, competitor, and industry leaders. Perform a quick audit of their profiles, think about “What is working well” and “What isn’t” as a note to self. Then move on towards defining and learning as much as you can about your audience.
No one knows your audience as well as you do. Write out a detailed description of your ideal customer, including their sex, age, geographical location, right down to their interests, hobbies, and values; This will help you find the social media channels with your audience.
Find out the demographic on each social platform and cherry-pick the ones that your customers fall under.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend that you start with two social media accounts.
Then look at the times they log in, when they are most active, what and when they post. And the frequency of their posting and engagement. This will help you tailor your efforts on social media strategically to reach your customer past all the noise.
Next, gather data on your competitors; what kind of content are they producing? Which posts are getting the most attention? What is the engagement like on their channels? And whether their efforts are successful or unsuccessful. Your competitors will give you insights into their actions and what has worked and does not work before starting your journey.
Finally, handpick your favourite brands and follow leaders in your industry. This can help you stay up to date in your industry without looking up news stories relevant to your business. Handpicking favourite brands and leaders in the industry also enables you to get a sense of different styles and develop your brand’s voice.
2.Define Your Business & Goals
Start by defining your company’s value and positioning statement. If you are a business professional working for an organization, you can easily access this information on their website.
Alignment with business values is key to setting relevant goals and communications with your audience online.
Define your position to attract likeminded audience. Think about your defined audience values and whether those values will come in conflict with the way you present your brand online.
Define your social media goals; what do you want to get out of your social media efforts? Is it a set number of clicks to a website, engagement, likes, follow, subscription, or will you measure your social media success solely based on the number of new connections and sales you make online?
Once you define your social goals, you can also define metrics for measuring social media goals for yourself.
3. Create or Curate
To build an online community, consider the value of your content to your audience. Think about Pull Marketing Strategy where you are creating content to attract your target audience instead of just posting for the sake of posting.
Tailor your communication to attract your audience. A simple checklist that you can go through to assess whether your content provides value or not is to look at the following:
- Is it educational?
- Is it entertaining?
- Is it inspirational?….to your audience?
If you answered NO to all the questions, then take a step back. Always put yourself in the shoe of the receiving end and share content that attracts your audience.
To do so, begin by creating a content calendar for the month. A content calendar is just a calendar with ideas for a post on different dates of the month.
This is where you can conceptualize content for each of the days when you will post, what you will post, and where you will be posting. And it does not always have to be original. You can also curate blogs, company posts, and content.
Facilitate engagement between your brand and members of your online community, but also within the community itself. Encourage engagement between members, foster a space for an active community.
Tip: Quality over Quantity. Plan ahead of the week and draft out what you will be posting this week. It does not have to be a full month calendar. And if you work for a company, repost or share content from their social media! The main idea is to remain consistent.
Lastly, it is essential to keep track of efforts on social media platforms. Measure your results based on the social goals you set for your business ahead of time.
Look at the posts with the highest engagement, analyze the content and the time it is posted. Lots of social media have made this part extremely easy to do. For instance, Facebook and Instagram have their own insight that measures for popular posts, engagement, impression, demographic etc.
It also does not have to be complicated, and you can also set activity goals instead. For example, if your goal is to connect with 40 new people each month. You can then measure how many connections you could make each week, how many message exchanges did you do, or how many social media posts you have engaged with.
Note: “What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get managed,” and we recommend a cycle of a month to measure success. When you are getting started, your goal for the first month can be as simple as increasing social media activities consistently. You can measure whether you consistently adhered to your posting schedule.
Easy to use tools for tracking your results:
- Facebook Insight
- Instagram Insight
- Twitter: https://analytics.twitter.com
- Buffer: management and analytics
- Hootsuite: management and analytics
Once you go through Steps 1-4, repeat the cycle over again.
Gather data from your first month, examine what works and what does not work based on the response you get from your audience on social media, then come up with a better strategy for the following month.
There is no fixed social media strategy for business; each business is unique, and so are their audience.
Adapt your strategy based on the data you continuously gather from activities on your social media each month. Always have a social media goal for your business and measure your results from your social media accounts.