When people and companies launch into social media, many start with big objectives – brand positioning, PR, business development and recruitment amongst them. They soon realise that these objectives are too broad and they either end up spending too much time on social and achieve little or realise they can’t achieve everything in the ten minutes a day they have free to dedicate to social media.
The first exercise in defining your social media strategy is narrowing it down to something more achievable and manageable. The more you drill down your objectives, the more likely you are to achieve something by starting small, sustaining the activity, learning through the process and applying this to further small objectives.
Whilst many professional services firms are not sector specialists, looking to target only one sector on Twitter and LinkedIn can be a good way of achieving some success. This may feel uncomfortable at first, but many firms see success with this approach in their social media strategy.
Treat your social media strategy like networking
You wouldn’t walk into a room with a 1000 people and have the objective of talking to all of them. Social media is the same.
What do you do when you’ve defined your objectives? You need to:
- Narrow down your target audience and follow or connect with them
- Do your research into the sector / audience you’re targeting
- Follow their industry bodies or the places they hang out on social
- Follow the sector or business publications they follow on social
- Monitor the conversations they are having online
- List the topics that appear regularly on these social channels.
Start a conversation
When you are confident, begin to join the conversations, retweet or share relevant content and then begin to target your own content to those most talked about topics in that industry.
Don’t start your conversations online with a sales pitch – don’t push out your services. Conversations online should flow, like face to face conversations. If you are using individuals accounts on social, share knowledge and opinion, share business content, but share some personal content as well. People buy people, they want to get to know you. Your aim should be to take your conversations down to a one-to-one level with several of your target audience, this should happen naturally.
So, forgot those big audacious social media goals, narrow down your targets and set realistic goals for the time you can spend on social media.
You’re likely to achieve more this way.
Brand reputation management is critical to growing a business. A positive brand reputation builds loyalty and increases customer confidence in your brand, ultimately driving sales growth.
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