All too often I see businesses and organizations set up their Facebook page and Twitter account, recruit some friends and contacts, and put some links on their website. Sometimes they advertise these new social media spaces on banners, business cards, and more. Unfortunately, most owners and administrators have no idea what to do next.
Some stick with the mission, being driven by media hype and peers, and manage to accumulate some friends and followers. But very few actually evolve their social media to a mature source of new business. Among the many reasons for this is a lack of an effective strategy. Here are some simple pointers that will help form a social media strategy:
- Invest a little each day. Half the game is just showing up, and this is especially true in social media. Fifteen minutes to half an hour each day is a minimum requirement. If this is too much, find someone in your organization to manage your social media (or hire my team!)
- Never use social media to publish specials or pitch your business. Large brands and established social media accounts might get away with this, but almost always this turns people away.
- Focus your efforts and attention on your friends and followers. Like and comment on their material and get to know them. Let them know you are interested in them on a social level. Big events like college graduations and marriges might earn a card in the mail.
- Your published material on social media should be interesting and/or entertaining. Funny pictures or events surrounding your business is good, so long as there is no sales pitch involved. Material unrelated to your business is fine too.
- Find other groups and businesses in your area to join, friend, follow, etc. Engage with their social media, and get to know their friends.
The point of social media is to get to know as many people as possible, and get as many people to know you as possible too. When the need arises for your particular product or service they will come to you. Let them make the first move!