Essential know hows on how to get the best out of social media

August is the perfect month to plan ahead. In this week's article, we are going to share with you the essential steps that can make social media work for you and your business. If you haven’t used social media to market your products and services, you’re going to love how easy it is to get started.

As a new or small business owner, you know there’s a lot to accomplish with limited resources. Traditional marketing can be a drain on your funds. But social media marketing, on the other hand, is low-cost and gives you leads to current and prospective customers but it does take some time, commitment and consistency. We are sharing with you below 5 key steps to building a successful social media marketing campaign.

1: Research - Do Your Homework

Who are your target? You need to start by defining your audience. Distinguish individual character profiles by age, gender, interests, profession, etc. Leading a social media presence means you are building an audience. Fans, followers, whatever you call them, they are an audience. You want them participating, sharing and enjoying your content and increasing your reach through their word of mouth. So ask yourself – who am I talking to? What do they look like? What are their interests? Often it is helpful to create an image in your mind of your ideal audience member or even take it a step forward and create some actual personas.

2: Create a Plan

Behind every great social media campaign is a strategy. Even if you’re a solopreneur (an entrepreneur who runs their business single-handedly), you must take a strategic view of your time. If you don’t, you’ll find that you’re running from one thing to another and never actually achieving that end goal.

Be strategic with your social media time usage. It’s easy to spend more time than you need to on social media. A social media plan—together with a strategic approach—will help you find the right balance and reach your desired customers.

3: What channels should you use?

Should you create a presence on all major social media platforms? Well maybe, but once we understand our audience it’s easier to define which channels you should join. Facebook is always popular due to the age reach. Twitter has over 313 million monthly active users so again a really popular choice.

Once you’ve decided what platforms you want to concentrate on you’ll need to take ownership of them by selecting your company name. This isn’t always possible, depending on your company name and similarly named companies. But you will need to secure a name that at least represents your brand or business as much as possible. If you cannot get the name you could think of a variation or add HQ, towers etc to it.

After you’ve claimed your name / space, remember to add elements of your brand's voice to your profile, eg logo images, business mission statements etc. Branding your space will help customers to recognise your company without thinking about it.

4: Creating Content

Once you choose your channels you will need to develop some content for them. Social media is all about connecting with your audience on an authentic level so ensure you have thought about what it is you would like your company to represent.

You need to make sure your message or content is based on your defined target audience, what are the key problems or concerns you can address or solve? Always look at what other people are doing and how effective their content is in terms of engagement.

5: Define Goals

Make your goals as concrete, measurable and achievable as possible. For example, if you currently get five new leads a month, setting a goal to get 100 new leads in the next 12 months is a realistic achievable goal, to aim for 1,000 new leads might be a bit optimistic.

Having goals and targets is essential for progressing with your social media channels. As it allows us to see if our content is working and if you are increasing in engagement with customers.

So that’s it, now take action for the month of August and see the results roll in.

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