It’s no wonder companies are hopping on the social media bandwagon considering there are 2.789 billion people actively using social media. Not to mention social media continues to rise with a 21% increase in active users since January 2016. But before your company starts creating any social media accounts, you’ll need to answer a few key questions.
Why is your company looking to implement social media into the marketing strategy?
Is it because your competitors are using social media? Is it because your customers are using social media? If you can’t answer why you’re using social media, you’re wasting your time and money. Like any other project or campaign, you need to have goals and a strategy.
Who will be managing the social media accounts?
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Social media is a full-time job. You need to have at least one person specifically dedicated to social media. To put this into perspective, a social media manager is responsible for curating content, crafting messaging, scheduling and posting content, measuring and analyzing social media efforts, and engaging in the conversations. This person also knows everything related to the business. This means they know who the target audience is, they know the voice of the company, they know the products or services offered, they know when new products or services are being offered, they know all the promotions and when they occur, and so on. Your social media strategy will fail if you overlook this position and think Frank from accounting can take on this job. I’ll say it again; social media marketing is a full-time job.
Does your company have the budget to add social media into the marketing mix? If so, what is the budget for your social media efforts?
A common mistake is people think social media is free. Yes, most platforms are free but the work is not. You must factor several things into your marketing budget. This includes the salary of your employee(s) who are managing the accounts, paid advertising (Facebook Ads or Boosted Posts), graphics and video production, social media management tools (Sprout Social or Hootsuite), campaigns and promotions, and content. The industry average is between $200 to $350 per day. Social media is not free, so before you start a social media platform, establish a budget.
What social media platforms will your company be using?
We see this too often than we should. Your boss wants you to start a company Snapchat account because his niece is on Snapchat, so that means everyone is on Snapchat. Wrong. Not every social media platform is right for your business. You do not have to be on every platform because (most likely) your customers are not on every platform. Instagram is a great platform for the food industry but not necessarily for a waste management company. Know the platforms, your customers, your product/service, and then you’ll know which platforms you should really be using.
What are you posting and when?
If you’re not posting consistently to your social media channels, then you’re failing. You need to have the content and resources to post on a consistent basis. Social media serves many purposes with one key objective – engagement. That means the social media team is constantly monitoring the channels and consistently posting and engaging with your audience. Social media channels are for conversations – keep that in mind when posting. And do not push products down people’s throats. You should be posting content to engage with your audience. So that you can listen to what they’re saying and what they want. If you’re constantly posting without engaging and responding on a consistent basis, your social media efforts will fail.
Businesses fail because they can only answer one or two of the questions above, but not all of them. You cannot begin to add social media into your marketing strategy until you have all of these questions answered and have a plan in place. Without these answers and a strategy, you’re setting yourself up for failure.