It’s easy to open a Twitter or Facebook account for your company. But effective social media management–the true key to your online community success–is far more difficult. The right people and strategy can turn a potential customer into a sale, and turn a single sale into a long-term customer who becomes an advocate for your brand. Here are just a few elements that contribute to social media success.
Develop a Content Strategy
At first, companies used social media as a soapbox to tell the public about their latest product or an upcoming deal. Today’s more sophisticated strategy uses online communities to make customers perceive your company as real people who provide a product or service that makes life better for them. That applies to every company, whether it makes guitars or garage doors. Social media gives you a chance to ask questions, offer answers and get to the “why” of your company’s mission. People know Nike as a sports apparel company, but Nike uses social media to position every single employee as part of a commitment to athletes. They exist for better performance and accomplishment, not just to make shoes.
The right social media management team will use the “why” of your company. It will build content that supports your brand. And it will develop plans that deal with the inevitable negative responses (it’s the Internet, after all).
Develop Plans and Schedules
What’s the best time of day to post a social media message? What day is best? What posts are the priority for your organization? How many times a day should you post? What hashtags should you use? What platforms are best for your organization?
A quality social media management team will take a systematic approach to answering these questions. There’s no magical formula that will guarantee that a post will go viral and become the next ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. But knowledgeable social media experts have the experience to increase the odds that a post in an online community will engage supporters and followers.
Measure Your Efforts
Smart social media management teams don’t post content and then forget it. They use software to measure how it succeeded. They’ll look at potential reach, click-throughs, shares, comments and other benchmarks. They’ll get an idea of what types of content worked best. This will give you an idea of the return you’re getting on your social media investment.
Monthly reports on your online platforms are the starting place for evaluating your past performance. And they’re the key to tweaking your efforts to be even more effective in the future.
Wrapping It Up
Organizations can’t expect to succeed in social media without true professionals as part of its social media management. Social media has evolved to a point where there are experts who can lead the way in enhancing your brand in online communities. And they can make the resources you invest in social media improve your bottom line.