If there were six simple steps to strengthening your social media, would you follow and share them with others? Our answer is: Yes, we would!
Step 1- Define your goals.
When you have decided to take a new direction in your business, no matter what aspect of business it has been, you must have a plan. If you are a retail outlet, your goal may be increasing sales by a particular percentage. The same is true for social media. One of the ways that companies fail is they set unrealistic goals, or no goals at all. It requires more than simply stating, “I want to be on Facebook.” That is not a goal. Neither is, “I want 200 followers on my Twitter account by next Thursday,” although that is closer.
Your goal should be to have your customers and potential customers following and interacting with you in whichever medium of the social networks out there you are focused on. For example, if you are in the automotive business, what good is 200 followers if they are all other dealerships? You need to have potential customers as followers. Arbitrary numbers are typically not good goals. We will get into this more on Step 5.
Step 2- Find your content
Let’s face it, fans are great. There will always be a great number of people that will sign up for any social media that Coca Cola puts out there, because they practically bleed their soda. Movie stars do not need to create hype around themselves to have people follow them on Twitter; the fact is that people want to feel connected to anything that they have to say. I actually heard someone say, “Like Ashton (Kutcher) was saying yesterday, …” The person saying this felt completely connected to the actor, and when it came up in a conversation, to an innocent bystander, it sounded so natural that I’m sure people were wondering, “Does this guy really know Ashton Kutcher?” Unfortunately, most of us are not going to have that level of interest in either us or what we do. So figuring out your content niche is extremely important.
The first thing to remember is that it must be interesting to anyone. If you are an electrician, and your posts read like “and he said, 20 amps, are you crazy? Lol” you are really only talking to other electricians. Your content isn’t going to drive business. Your content must be legible to anyone, not just experts within your field. Clarity counts.
You also want to remember, unless you are a rock star, no one else sees you as one. This means that your information on a daily basis is probably not going to capture everyone’s attention. Not everyone is universally appealing. The easiest way around this problem is to have as many different people involved with your social media as possible. Obviously, your interactions with clients, customers, and anyone else on your social media are what build momentum. If only one person has the ability to start these interactions, you are limited. Try to encourage your employees to share on your social media presence, as well.
While we’re on the subject of your employees, and this point may sting a little…. How many of them are on social networks, and are not on yours? Some employees feel that if they “like” “Follow” etc. your social media channels, the boss is going to follow them, and watch them like a hawk. Unfortunately, that is the culture at many companies. One of the things you need to do is educate your employees. Social media is a tool to grow business. Growing business means that each and every employee has the potential to earn more money. Growing business typically adds to job security. If your employees are afraid to sign up for your social media presences, you may want to take a hard look in the mirror. It is hard to lead people outside of your company, if you cannot change the climate within.
So to summarize, you want content that addresses everyone. You are trying to build a social connection with as many people as possible, and the only way to become universally popular is if you can relate to everyone in one way or another. You want as many of your own advocates, your employees, involved, and bringing in their friends. Selling in a warm market is far easier than the cold market.
Check back tomorrow for part 2, Steps three and four.