These days having a presence on social media is a must. Social networks are the place to interact with your audience and building meaningful connections. But there are lots of social networks from which to choose and you have limited time and resources. So how do you identify which network you absolutely can’t ignore and which you can? When it really comes down to it, not every social network is right for every organization. Even Facebook. Here are four things to consider when drawing up your social media strategy.
Who do you want to engage?
If you’re a B2C, you’ll want to invest your time and energy in a social network full of consumers who expect and are open to interaction with brands. For brands that represent a special interest or niche, a social network that offers segmented groups of like-minded individuals could help you reach your target audience directly. Make sure you do your research to determine if a particular social network is right for you. Use the search feature to dig around (search on keywords that are a good representation of your offering) and get a sense of whether the people on the site are the people you want to reach.
How much time can you devote?
The whole point of social networking is to have consistent engagement, however some social networks require more time an attention than others. You’ll want to factor that into your decision to build a presence on a particular site. Think realistically about the sustainability of your effort. There’s nothing less social than getting to a page and seeing that it hasn’t been updated for months or that it has been abandoned
. Also keep in mind that many people will use social networks as a customer service channel. Before you go all in, make sure you have the right team members, processes and policies in place to handle whatever may arise.
What are you trying to say?
Before you get started pushing communications thought social media, develop a well thought out content strategy for each channel. If you’re on Twitter and LinkedIn, you may have distinct strategies that cater to the different audiences on each network. Bottom line is, know your audience and keep focused on delivering content that they are most interested in. Make it a priority to add value to the community and try to offer original thoughts or information. And always remember that when it comes to social media, once something is posted, it’s out. Even if you can delete the post, it never really disappears.
What are your goals?
Think about what you expect to get our of your social media participation. Are you aiming for lead generation or are you focused on showing your expertise and thought leadership in your field? Maybe you just want to tell compelling stories around your brand. Whatever your reason for jumping into social media, make sure that the network you choose will support your goals.