As we head towards the end of the first month of the year, all SMEs should have their social media strategy in place for 2013. If not, now is a great opportunity to think about what your core message is and how to promote this through social media activities.
Social media is fairly user friendly, however, incorporating it in business is far from straightforward. That is why having a strategy is vital to gaining the benefits and opportunities from social media.
A strategy provides the advantage of having business goals aligned with social media activities. As SMEs can no longer afford to ignore social media, planning how to interact with the platforms is essential. If you want to utilise social media more effectively, here are some quick tips to consider:
1. Clear objectives
Using social media for the sake of it will not achieve much. It will actually create more issues than benefits. Therefore, it is vital to set a few goals around what you want social media to deliver for your business. Make sure the goals are realistic but also a little outside the comfort zone. As goals provide a focus on why you are engaging with social media, it also manages expectations around what can be accomplished, and a targeted approach is more likely to yield positive results.
2. Have a detailed process
Having goals is only one step in the equation. Knowing how you are going to practically achieve these goals is also important. Social media requires consistency so knowing how many times to post content, what to post and how to get your audience involved is vital. Having a detailed process of when you will post (the day and the time), how often (how many times a day/week/month, depending on platform and audience) and what you will post (try a content schedule) are necessary ingredients to achieving the overall objectives.
As part of developing the process consider the resources available to the business. Who will be sourcing or creating the content, who will be posting, who will be interacting? With SMEs there is always limited time so consider this when setting your objectives and implementing process. If posting three times a week is going to stretch you too much consider posting twice a week in the beginning to see how it goes. Identifying these constraints is crucial and can prevent undermining the long term social media objectives.
Once these steps are in place, commit to your organisation’s social media strategy long term. Social media is a slow and sometimes fickle medium. Therefore, being clear about why you are engaging in these platforms offers incentive to keep developing and progressing forward.