Social media should be considered as part of your overall marketing plan, tying back your activity to specific goals, such as generating awareness for a new product or event or creating a feedback channel for customers. Once you determine some clear objectives – as well as where your audience is – you can develop a plan for what channels to use and how much time to dedicate. This will help you separate social media as a business tool rather than diversion, and then you can better assess if the time invested is paying off.
In thinking about your strategy, consider the following key benefits most often cited by small businesses:
Social media can help you improve your ranking in search results. By extending your presence onto other sites, especially those of high “quality”, and building links from those sites back to your own, you can help elevate your ranking in search results and thus increase exposure for your business.
As Yelp and other opinion sites gain momentum, you should consider your options for protecting your brand reputation, remembering that advocates as well as detractors can comment on your business. By using social media to proactively find and build relationships with customers; you may be able to turn them into fans to help deflect any negative opinions that may arise. By building more positive sentiment for your brand through social media, you can help ensure that when someone searches for your company, they’re less likely to find any negative comments or that any they find are far outweighed by positive sentiment.
More than a broadcast tool, social media offers a unique opportunity to network online and build your business.
Social media presents an incredible opportunity to generate brand awareness among a targeted audience. Begin by researching what channels and tools your customers are using, and then start engaging and linking back to your own website.
Social media can be a great learning tool, as well. By knowing where your customers are talking about your products and services – or better yet – giving them a place to do so on your own site, you may find new areas for improvement or innovation.
Besides the concern that your competitors may already be using social media, the upside is that by following what your competitors are doing and saying, or what customers are saying about them, you may find ways to differentiate your brand and get better results.
Aspire ID can help you craft and implement your social media strategy using an array of social media tools, such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus, etc.