Social media plays such an integral part in modern marketing campaigns that it’s almost strange to think about not including a social media strategy in your business plan. Still, it can be hard to get the particulars right: Should I tweet three times a day or six? Should I post videos to Facebook or LinkedIn? What should my overall tone or voice be?
Maintaining multiple social channels as a business can be difficult, particularly because you’ve got that whole “running a business” thing to take care of. Customized “social media packages,” as prepared by experienced marketing agencies, can bring you all the benefits of an active and engaging online following, without the extra time and effort. When searching for the perfect social media service, keep these five things in mind:
The Right Set Up
Before you can start garnering “likes” and tweeting out links to your landing pages, you and/or the agency will have to actually create the social media accounts that your business will use. It may sound simple enough, but there’s plenty to consider during this crucial step: branding needs to cohesive, avatar images need to high-quality, and bio blurbs need to not only be enticing and clear, but search-friendly too.
Another important factor is choosing which social media platforms are worth the effort it takes to update and maintain them. The sites you choose should reflect the kind of business you have. If you own a bakery, for example, daily recipes may not fair well on LinkedIn. A consumer-facing business will have an easier time gaining a following with platforms like Facebook and Twitter, while a business-facing company could use a combination of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (with a dash of Google+ for local search), depending on its target audience.
Establishing Brand, Voice, and Quality
Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or your own website, a unified voice gives potential customers and followers a clear picture of your business. In creating a customized social media package, an agency must establish a voice:
- that best reflects your brand and its business objectives
- that best resonates with your target audience
- that is flexible enough to change with the style of each social channel
While, tweets will often be more casual sounding than your highly professional LinkedIn updates, maintaining cohesiveness across channels prevents people from getting confused about your products and services and helps to build a business image that feels reliable.
Maintaining a Presence
Consistency is the key to social media success. The only thing worse than having no social media accounts at all is having social media accounts that aren’t updated regularly. Once an account associated with your business is up and running, fresh content and relevant, up-to-date posts are required to grow a robust and captive audience.
Much like blogging and SEO, a successful social media presence snowballs over time. When business owners let social updates fall by the wayside in favor of more immediate business concerns, months of hard work and momentum may be lost.
Social media is the ideal place to send out targeted ad campaigns. After all, the people who are already following your business’ updates are likely already interested in what you have to say or sell, and social outlets like Facebook provide demographic targeting capabilities that go well beyond age or location. With a solid social media package, agencies can sync up with your marketing calendar, using social analytics ti determine the best means of getting promotions out to your followers. Understanding your online audience’s demographics and buying habits can also help shape the way you market your product..
Interactions With Customers
In addition to promoting your business and brand, social media allows you to have contact with customers and potential customers alike. But by making it easy for customers to reach out to you, you’re also inviting them to voice their questions and concerns. While it may be easy enough to address a few comments here or there, maintaining a consistent and trustworthy relationship with your customers may require outside help. Social media services can monitor your accounts and engage with customers to build a brand bond that extends beyond the Internet.
Your presence online has the potential to introduce new customers to your business, to generate leads, and to build a lasting brand bond. Why take on that huge responsibility yourself when you have a business to run? Investing in a customized social media package can make all the difference.