The Basics is part 1 of a 6 step Social Media for Business plan developed by judiwindow for the “Social Media for Business” workshop at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communication. For more information about this and other workshops and classes contact www.loebschool.com.
STEP ONE: THE BASICS
Be prepared. Here is a list of the basics with links to articles and idea on how to begin your online/social presence for your business (or personal brand). Think about the who, what, where, why, when, and how of your business before you start. This first step will help begin your online presence and will set the stage for further social media and marketing work.
Who: Avatar & Bio
Think about the avatars you see everyday. Take a moment to scan your personal Facebook for business pages that you “like”. What do you see? What grabs your eye? My personal opinion, is that your business avatar should be your company LOGO. If your logo doesn’t work as a visual moniker for company, develop one or EVOLVE YOUR CURRENT LOGO to be visually pleasing for social media. If you are not artistic, hire a graphic designer. There are many freelance artists that will help you. Contact your local printer, they usually have graphic artists on staff that can help.
What: Business Goals
If you work for a large company, the corporate goals will be done for you and you will be developing your social media goals to enhance the business goals. Your social media goals should always focus on the larger goals. They can be more fluid (i.e. this week/month/year we will focus on reaching 10% more women, etc.) But, ultimately your social media presence should reflect your corporate goals.
If you are a small business, you might be the one setting corporate goals. You might not even thought about goals. Now is the time. Even if you sit down, right now, and write three goals and begin to implement them. Your social media (and marketing) will benefit from your efforts.
Where: Global, Local, Hyper Local, Niche
When internet marketing and social media became prevalent we all were wow’d at the possibilities, at the opportunities and the ability to reach further than we ever imagined! It is just recently that we are beginning to realize that “All Politics is Local“… or at least most!
Who are you trying to reach…really? Depending on your business you might be trying to reach a global market or you might be trying to sell blue swede shoes to downtown residents. Using the “all politics is local” analogy, so isn’t business. Especially now with the ability to reach specific niche markets.
Why: Strategy specific to your business & specific to your social media tools
Take a moment (or two) to decide why you are doing this. One of the most asked questions I get from business owner is “What is the return on my investment?” Social media can do what other kinds of marketing and strategic efforts can do… but if you haven’t decided WHY, you’ll never achieve your goals. What do you want your ROI to be? But before you answer that questions, ask this question: “What’s the ROI of your Mother?”
When: Know what your business cycle is: seasonal | monthly | weekly | daily | hour-by-hour
Social media is not only strategic, it is immediate. Know (or at least think about) when your information will be viable to your customers. Don’t be afraid to test, test, test, the water. Does summer work to promote your winter coat line? Will marketing retirement services to 20 somethings work now? Promoting your bar specials work at 6am?
First make a list of what you are offering. This list can first be broad, then begin to narrow it down, just like you would do when finding a niche market. Once you’ve arrived, make some assumptions, do a test, measure the results. Practice makes perfect BUT don’t settle in for a long winters nap! Social Media marketing is on-going, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year…. part-time.
Knowing social media timing and post frequencies is an art. Every business and every person is different. Build your audience first then test to see where their interests and online habits lie. Each social media tool has a variety of way to find out more about your customers. There are many 3rd party apps and companies that can help you refine your information. Learn more about social media analytics. Google | Twitter | Facebook | Hootsuite
How: Do it yourself, Hire someone, Work with an Agency
Some of us love social media and incorporate it into our daily lives. This is not to say that “how” to do social media for business is easy… it is just to say some of us like doing it. Others, well that is the biggest obstetrical. It is mid-2013. If you have not adopted social media into your business by now, then this might help you. FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU! Yes, I know, it will cost money. But how much are you loosing by not participating in the market place. Yes, it costs money to open a brick and mortar store, but if you want to sell something on Main Street to passers by, then that is the cost of doing business. [Pssst, you can now sell to Main Street from your house].
There are many people to help. In part 6 of this series, we’ll talk specifically about who can help and I’ll give you some local people and businesses that you can contact. Until then. . .
Continue with the workshop [Note 9/28/2013: I will be rolling out the entire workshop over the next few weeks. Subscribe to my website for immediate posts or check back periodically for updates]
- Step 1: The Basics
- Step 2: Setting the Stage
- Plan, Practice, & Understand
- Your Property
- The Big Boys of Social Media
- Part I – Facebook
- Part II – Twitter
- Part III – LinkedIn
- Supporting Superstars
- When to Bring in Outside Help