Deciding on Your Social Media Strategy
You can’t do everything. But you CAN do the best thing for you and your business.
Before you create a social media presence for your business—or even if you already have—it’s worth taking a fresh look at WHO you are trying to reach and WHY before formulating or revising your social networking strategy. Ask yourself the following:
What type of organization are you?
Are you a B2B company or consumer oriented? Are you a for-profit or non-profit company? What size organization do you represent—sole proprietor, small, medium, or large? Are you interested in a social networking for your company, yourself, or both?
What are your social networking objectives?
Are you trying to sell a product or service? Do you want to recruit more employees? Is your goal to create interest in an event? Would you like to network with other industry leaders? Begin with a clear set of objectives.
What do you know about the people you are trying to reach?
What do you know about your target market? Describe your target market in detail. Where can your customers be found and what makes them tick? Who are the key influencers within your market? According to Ben Straley, CEO of Meteor Solutions, “…the type of friends, fans and followers a brand amasses on social media sites matters more than the number. On average, approximately 1% of a site’s audience generates 20% of all its traffic through sharing of the brand’s content or site links with others. And these “influencers” drive an even higher share of conversion. These very important Internet users can directly influence 30% or more of overall end actions on brand websites by recommending the brand’s site, products or promotions to friends.”
Who is going to manage your social networking?
Do you have the proper staff to actively manage your social networking or do you need to hire another employee or contractor? How many different social media sites can you realistically manage WELL at the same time? Let’s face it, mediocrity translates to boredom real fast and your audience will move on to your competitor. What experience does this person have? Who will determine the personality or voice of your social media site? Someone should be responsible for ensuring consistency of message and consistency of voice. If you do not have a director of communications or public relations consultant, then considering hiring one or contract with an experienced agency.
Once you have a clear picture of who you are trying to reach and why, do a little research to determine which social networking options are out there and which ones are best suited to your needs. Some of the most popular social networking sites in the U.S. are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and MySpace. While these well-known sites can be great for reaching the masses, are they right for you? There are dozens of other sites that might be worth considering.
For example, Ning, which ranks 5th among the top 15 most popular social networking sites according to EBizMBA.com, boasts 60 million estimated unique monthly visitors. Ning allows you to create your own social network, with “your own look and feel, and choice of integration” and is great for businesses that want to create communities.
Looking for a higher-quality content alternative to YouTube? Consider Blip.tv, Vimeo.com or even Viddler.com. All three of these sites are more oriented toward companies looking to build a brand than homemade videos.
Not sure where to begin? Hire Sandalfoot PR to help you develop a social networking strategy. Call 866.235.1214 or email Cynthia@sandalfootpr.com.