More than 1.7 billion people around the world have active social media accounts, and close to 73 percent of all Americans have at least one social media profile. A social presence can spread your business message not only in America, but around the world. These sites are great places to tell your company’s story — in many cases, at no cost. Given the broad reach of today’s social platforms, every business should have at least one active social-media account.
I realize that social media can seem a bit crowded and overwhelming at times, but it is well worth your time and effort. Here are three big-picture steps to get in on the social scene.
First, craft a social media marketing strategy that is both manageable and calculated to reach your target audience. Not all social-media platforms will be a good fit for your business, so you’re better off focusing on one or two to start, then expanding. Tech Data has active social-media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, and we’ve found that each has strengths and weaknesses:
Additionally, investing a little time and energy in your business page on Google+ can make a difference via improved local search visibility, especially for a small to midsize business interested in driving search engine optimization (SEO). Depending on your business and target customers, you might also consider Instagram or even Pinterest, which is considering a “buy” button. Find the mix that is right for you while factoring in time management and where you will get the most ROI in terms of the customer converts you’re seeking.
Next, get organized about the content you want to share. It’s important to post new content regularly. To help in doing this, I recommend creating a calendar of company events, community service, conferences and other newsworthy items that are coming down the pipeline and then creating, in advance, posts to get the word out.
Stockpiling quotes from executives and customers is also a good idea to maximize time management. Content can include educational information about your company and the solutions and services you provide, but don’t always be in sell mode. For deeper engagement, make sure the content is relevant, fresh and unique, and useful to your audience.
Consider a social media relationship platform, such as Hootsuite. These tools can add value because they allow you to schedule and manage the posting process across multiple platforms. The company also markets itself as a content generator to help with effective communications across the social-media platforms of your choosing.
Finally, bring experts and leaders to the fore. Once you have your business social-media accounts organized, it’s time to get personal. I encourage all business leaders to sign up for Twitter and join the conversation. You can amplify your company’s official news accounts while learning about industry best practices, networking with peers and potentially capturing the attention of new customers. Social media can also be used as a tool to showcase your company’s thought leadership on a particular subject.
Don’t miss out on the incredible social media ecosystem that awaits your presence. Remember these three tips – consistency, cadence and organization – and you too can accomplish your business goals and objectives with social media marketing.
Amanda Lee is an experienced manager of global communications and public relations in corporate, technology and public sector industries. At Tech Data, one of the world’s largest IT distributors, Amanda is responsible for the strategic development and management of public relations, media relations, social media marketing and corporate communications functions. Additionally, Amanda provides communications training and is an established keynote speaker for industry conferences throughout the U.S. Previously, Amanda worked as a Communications Director for the United States Congress.