Launching a social media strategy is something many businesses have done in the last few years.
Some have been successful. Many have struggled to get traction.
Today, many businesses are looking at launching a social media strategy. Some are existing businesses looking to expand into the social media area of marketing. Others are new businesses that want to have social media as part of the marketing effort right from the beginning.
While I can’t guarantee success with social media I will share some thoughts on what you want to consider before you launch your new effort. And even if you’ve already begun and want some more traction these are some things to consider to make improvements.
Consideration #1. Number Of Profiles
This is a big one that I’ve mentioned more than once. It’s something I really believe can be the downfall of many social media strategies including those from even large businesses that seem to have more than enough resources.
In general, we underestimate the amount of time and energy it takes to create content for a social media profile that will grow an audience. Now, try to start an audience on five social channels…
Chances are very slim that even one will work out. What you’re doing when you jump into every social media site is spreading things even thinner and you’ll end up with sub-par efforts on all channels.
The better strategy is to stick with one channel. Create one profile and go all in there. You’re much better off having one really great strategy than five sub-par strategies.
Look at what your competitors have done. Look at where your customers are spending the most time. Start with that channel.
Consideration #2. Enough People
This kind of builds on the first one. I don’t know how companies think they can handle multiple social media channels with one person. Well, let me take that back. I used to think it was possible until I tried it. So put me in that guilty group.
It’s difficult for one full-time person to handle one social media effort. But that’s really what it takes at the minimum. You need one person in charge of one profile. Say it’s your Facebook account. That person needs time to research, create, interact and more.
And they probably need a supporting cast that includes a designer, photographer, developer and more.
Before you start, make sure you have enough people to really give the social media effort a chance to succeed.
Consideration #3. Right People
It’s also important to have the right people handling the situation. Look at your competition and see who has been succeeding in social media. Also look at other people with successful social media efforts.
People of all personality types can succeed with social media, but it will take someone that is willing to be more open and transparent and willing to share things. They’ll need to have thick skin so they can take a little feedback from time to time. There is certainly negativity on social media and you’ll need someone that can handle things with a cool head and represent your company in the right way.
At the core, you need a person that really understands what your company stands for. You want a person that has bought into your company culture and really knows the type of content that is appropriate to share on social media. You won’t need to setup “social media rules and guidelines” if you hire the right person for the job.
Consideration #4. Right Frequency
How often are you thinking that you’ll publish on social media? Once a day? Maybe twice a day? Maybe less…maybe just a couple times a week or when the right content idea comes along?
All of those are probably not enough to get the kind of traction you want from social media. From my experience, the most successful people and businesses on social media are the ones that publish very often. We’re talking many times per day depending on the channel.
It’s a general rule of thumb and one that doesn’t work in all instances, but you generally see more engagement and return the more you post on social media.
Part of it is the fact that more posts offer you more opportunities for engagement, but the another part is that the more you post the more you learn what works and what doesn’t and over time you become better at posting. This is how you can really learn what your audience wants from your account on social media.
Consideration #5. Right Expectations
Finally, what are your expectations for your social media effort?
Are you thinking that you’ll have great success in the first three months, six months?
It’s probably not happening. I’d put the odds of that happening at 0.01%. It just doesn’t really happen. Look at the success stories on social media in your industry. Chances are that those people and businesses have been doing it for years.
That’s right. Social media is a long-term play. If you’re not willing to put in the time and consistency then you’re better to back out now and come back to this strategy when you’re prepared to play the long game.
Social media marketing is a great opportunity for businesses. But it seems that many jump in without the right approach and that leads to disappointment. I don’t like to see anyone become disappointed so hopefully the considerations above will help you as you approach social media.