Checklist: Plan your social media debut
Maybe you've heard that you need to be involved in social media, but you don't know where to begin. The first thing you might want to do is make a plan. It's best to be prepared before your business' social media debut.
- Create a user-friendly website where customers can easily find your products and contact information.
- Set concrete goals for what you want to achieve by being on social networks. Do you want to promote a product, drive more people to your website, get feedback or create brand awareness?
- Find out your clients' favorite social media platforms. Looking for a new customer demographic? Research which social media networks they are most likely to join.
- Pick one or two social media channels. Learn how they work — how to create an account, post content, and add visuals and videos.
- Find out what people are looking for or discussing — look for trends.
- Monitor how other businesses are engaging their customers.
- Research your competitors' social media activities to see what is working best for them.
- Join the conversation yourself to see how it works.
- Calculate how much time, effort and money you will need to write engaging content and maintain your presence on social media.
- Figure out how often you should post and respond and the best time of day to reach your customers. Create a calendar to make sure that you post regularly.
- Build trust by providing value-added information and not simply promotional advertising. Ask yourself — would you follow an account that posted the same amount of self-promotional messages?
- Find an analytics tool to help you monitor and measure your progress in achieving your goals.
- Participate actively in the conversation to help you gain the trust of your network.
- Have a protocol for dealing with positive and negative feedback.
- Listen to your virtual community and be prepared to make improvements based on its suggestions.
It takes time to create a plan, but once it is completed you will be ready to make the jump into social media and establish a new way of communicating and networking with your customers.