When it comes to social media it pays to have an agenda.
Do you have a social media account such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest? As an online business owner, chances are the answer is yes.
We all know Tweeting, liking and pinning take time from our busy day. That’s why it’s important to do more than “shoot in the dark” when it comes to social media.
So what’s the best way to utilise these tools to further business goals and increase ROI?
Create a social media agenda.
Having an agenda helps you stay on track and prevents wasting precious time in the social media black hole of distraction.
If you put effort into your plan, the results will pay off.
Your social media agenda roadmap.
Before you whip out your calendar and start scheduling tweets and Facebook posts, let’s think briefly about your social media strategy. Ask yourself the following questions and think about how social media can help get the results you need.
1 What are your business goals?
Because social media sites are free and easy to set up, we often create accounts blindly without thinking about the reason we’re creating them.
Before logging in again, ask yourself:
- What results do I want to achieve by using social media? Do I want to drive more traffic to my site? Increase Brand Awareness? Facilitate customer service?
- How can I use social media to attain these goals? Which tools will work best? How often will I need to log in and engage to further my goals?
2 What are your customers’ goals?
Social media is not all about self-promotion. Sure, you may satisfy your goals by promoting products/services – but your customers aren’t interested in hearing all about you, all the time.
A good rule of thumb: spend 20% of time promoting your business on social media and 80% sharing valuable and interesting information.
Ask yourself and your customers: what kind of information would they be interested in? Do they click on links to thought-provoking news articles? Would they enjoy blog posts such as this one?
Another great use of social media that I liked recently was a same day loan firm that offered all their customer service solely through twitter. The reasons for this were clear to me that as they are offering an urgent service this enables them to cut out any type of delays with contact forms and email providers.
Use this information to develop content/plan and find what is suited to your customers.
3 It’s time to create a social media agenda.
Ok, now go ahead and open your calendar.
First, we’ll start with the 20% – self-promotions. Schedule in any product launches, important business news, or product plugs you’d like to share.
Now for the remaining 80%? Go back to item number two and schedule in the type of content you’ll share each day.
Take a look at this general example below:
- Monday: Thought or focus for the week; maybe an action item.
- Tuesday: Link to interesting article.
- Wednesday: Promotional plug.
- Thursday: Poll question to spark discussion.
- Friday: Answer all questions and thank customers who participated in discussions.
4 Measuring success.
It’s easy to fall into the – “I have over 2,000 followers so I’m using social media successfully” – trap.
Not so fast…
What really matters is social media engagement.
In order to measure success, we have to revisit our goals from step one and determine if our strategy is working.
Let’s say your goal was to drive traffic to your site. Check your analytics account (I like Clicky) and see how much traffic comes from the social media. Has it increased since you’ve created your agenda? If not, it might be time to try a new approach.
Typically, the more engaged an audience is – the more retweets, wall posts, and messages you receive – the higher the chances are that you’re achieving your social media goals.