Social media planning make social media work for your business

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Do you know what platform is right for your business? Here are some useful tools to make your social media work for your business.

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<ul><li> 1. SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNING Make Social Media Work For Your Business www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 2. Social Media Overview such as: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Social Platforms About Me (and a plethora of others) - are effectively online social spaces' where people can converse, share their profiles, news, photos, ideas and collaborate and work on projects. Then we have Blogs - online diary style' platforms where people can share their views, news, ideas and advice about something they are passionate about. Businesses have blogs, people have blogs - it's a way to communicate what's happening, how you feel about things, provide advice and share. In our view every website should have a blog enabled. Its the perfect vehicle to share content and attract people back to your site to explore further. The objective is to get people interested and engaged by providing authentic, transparent and relevant information. And hopefully, those that engage with what you are talking about - will tell others - and so they will follow' your musings, subscribe to your blog - growing brand awareness, positive word of mouth - and share of mind. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 3. Social Media Overview Those following you effectively become your advocates. And in the age of the Social Platforms recommendation generation where research tells us that over 70% of purchases are influenced by peer recommendations, online recommendations and social validation then it makes sense to work at ensuring positive things are being shared about your products and services online. Similarly, you may participate in online forums' - here you share your views and advice with others - and ask for help too. Many LinkedIn Groups operate like forums focusing on a specific area of interest. Again, the forum or Group is not a place to directly sell' - it's a place to build your reputation and share opinion. Whether you are setting out to achieve a position of authority or expert in what you do or to learn, share and generally participate social media platforms are now firmly cemented into purposeful and savvy marketing strategies. Of course, people do try to use these social networking platforms for direct sales purposes - but that tends to turn off' the social audience'. So, whilst making sales may be part of the end game, direct selling should never be your main objective for engaging. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 4. Social Media Overview The other key thing to consider is that social media activity should always focus on delivering Social Platforms the objectives of the business. Dont do social media just for the sake of doing social media. So many times we hear from businesses who have jumped straight into social networking channels simply because their competitors are on them. Be more considered than, keeping up with the Jones instead, consider what your business objectives are, understand how the social channels behave and then plan how you can leverage them to deliver on your specific business objectives. For example if your objectives are about growing your presence in a certain sector then that direction gives you a specific steer on the types of people or businesses you will need to connect with. If you are looking for lead generation then you are going to be thinking about who the key influencers are in your space and then aiming to connect and nurture them. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 5. Twitter Twitter is one of the most talked about social media resources, is a natural communication' channel for social media' activity. Social media platforms enable a conversation with people you may not have been able to reach before. It has an amazing power to enable communications to go viral - and engage audiences in conversations about services, products, issues, the company and brand - connecting a vast amount of likeminded people in an often targeted and purposeful way. The immediacy of the platform is also attractive. Take a look at the short recent case study highlighting both targeting, and immediacy. A firm of accountants has a specialism in working with artists and galleries they have set up a Twitter account @WestburyArt showcasing their relevant clients and also commenting on latest exhibitions, news in the artworld, as well as providing links back to useful resources and articles on their main corporate website and dedicated art blog. In their social media activity platform, they monitor the keyword accountants. A tweet appears Does anyone know any accountants that focus on helping artists and galleries. Literally seconds later they are able to respond. Not only do they get the opportunity to generate a new client a number of other artists then start to follow them. Outcome: New client engagement for the practice. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 6. Twitter Creating a Social Media Strategy and including social media platforms as part of mainstream marketing activity is still relatively fertile territory for many. Businesses of all shapes and sizes, as well as super brands, are only just touching the surface when it comes to understanding where they are heading with their social media activity. Theres significant fear by many as to opening the floodgates theyre uncomfortable with the transparency and reach these potentially far reaching channels enable (however, conversely its these same factors which are actually the attractive features). However, your social media activity does have to be managed effectively, just as any other marketing activity. Ideally, by people who understand what they are doing with clear objectives in mind. Weve all seen the bad news case studies reported in the papers, when things go wrong. When organisations havent thought through their activity and importantly, give the wrong people control. And because social networks are changing things all the time then keeping up with social media activity means that organisations often have to run faster than is comfortable however, effective planning, just as you would with any marketing activity, is necessary. This outline plan sets out how you can embrace Social Media platforms as part of your on-going marketing activity. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 7. 1.Strategic Overview What is Love Social Media looking to achieve by use of Social Media? Increase awareness the new service/ brand Share authority/expert opinion Raise general brand/service awareness Join the authority voices of social media Attract people to your website(s) Decide on what you are looking to achieve before you engage, as that sets the tone of Use it as a customer service channel PR/Lead generation voice, the image and the content you create for the channel. Humanize the brand Research www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com Provide a service </li> <li> 8. 2.Researching and Understanding your Social Media Audience What are they saying? Who are the influencers? What are they sharing? With the objective secured then before we jump into engaging we need to first listen to the Whats the sentiment? conversations happening within our target audience. Talking is Silver, Listening is Gold. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com What time of day are things more active? </li> <li> 9. 3. Engaging What? Once you have an understanding of the types of conversations that are happening with the target Where? audience or relevant audience groups eg: via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn - then you are better equipped to start engaging in an effective and targeted way. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 10. 3.1 What? For example: Twitter posts would focus on: .[think about the relevant areas to your business that you will be sharing about your sector, your services, your audience] EG: Share advice / contacts Sharing articles / blog posts / expertise Features and benefits of your product or service Answer qs to user challenges / queries Share testimonials, positive product reviews Customer or product research findings Images / videos posted by customers Things you want to know about your audience, ask questions www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 11. 3.2 Where? In a fast becoming always on society, Social Media is a continuous conversation, therefore, your activity should ideally be part of daily conversations. But remember, your activity needs to be managed in a focused way. Typical social networks youll be involved with and why: Twitter great for listening, tracking, research and targeting. Blogs the perfect and flexible platform for sharing your content. Forums - if relevant, explore and become part of the community. Facebook building a community around shared interest. LinkedIn Groups great for targeting, growing authority, and becoming part of a shared community network. LinkedIn Company Page the perfect B2B PR channel. Keeping your connections and employees fully up to speed with content and news direct from your business/brand/service. YouTube channel its your own TV channel. Video can speak a thousand words. Its the most consumed media online so consider your own channel. Google+ - a must for social search. Google owns Google+ and ranks content on Google+. So be sure to share your own blogs and authentic content into this network to amplify your online visibility. Pinterest pictures tell stories and people get engrossed browsing boards in Pinterest. Can be a really great traffic generator particularly useful if you have a very visual brand/product/service. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 12. 3.2 Where? Given that there is so much going on with each of the networks and that they each contribute slightly differently to your online visibility then it may be useful to schedule all your social networking activities for the week. For example: Blog posts get created on a Monday and posted to the website weekly. Be sure they are then shared actively across your social networks throughout the week in the most relevant and purposeful way. Eg: Facebook will lead with a large image Twitter may run the same content but with a different headline 4 or 5 times throughout the week. Each morning relevant sector channels reviewed and tweets scheduled for the day. Blogs you are subscribed to when alerted to new post, review and comment if relevant. Forums you are participating in are scanned daily. LinkedIn Group participation (as required but visit at least weekly to review your contacts contacts and grow). Plus .all areas organic and active expansion. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 13. 4. Twitter I would suggest that some keyword research is done before you dive into social. Keywords are the DNA of your online visibility . Then once you know your keywords, do research on Twitter to see whats happening around them. Resources: We suggest that the Hootsuite social media dashboard solution is utilised as you can track specific keywords and watch them in real time as you are managing your networks. Also consider your Twitter handle see the difference between a) @blogsandco or b) @newbizadvice. Also consider what people will be searching on to find you. If I am an expert cat groomer should I call myself @patsmith or @catgroomer. Makes sense to use those all important keywords in your handle too. Think about relevant areas to your business that you will be sharing about your sector, your services, your audience. This activity will help you to establish relevant keywords to use in the tactic of connecting with the right type of people. www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 14. 4. Twitter Follow them : See who they are following and if relevant follow them too Watch what they are saying, understand key issues Research their Twitter Lists (Lists are so useful on Twitter see this useful post here) Join the conversation Start to engage Dont spam them with links Better to respond than push (this is our mantra with social). www.audaciousleap.com office@audaciousleap.com </li> <li> 15. 5.Blogs Blogs in our humble opinion form the backbone to most businesses social content. And in a world where content is still king and marketers, brands and businesses all have to become publishers then content really matters. That all important content needs a home. And blogs are the perfect and flexible home for your content. After all, your content is the voice of your business or brand and provide the perfect opportunity to share relevant and well optimised content to attract people to a website. Find out which blogs you too should be tuning into as they can be a great source of relevant information. Run searches on relevant blogs: It would be prudent to search these blogs for relevancy and find any that are r...</li></ul>