You probably know already the many benefits of using social media to promote your website, brand, or organization, so no need to repeat them again. Joining social networks is easy enough, but customizing your profiles to reflect your mission and message and providing valuable content is much harder to accomplish, and that’s where many of us get stuck or abandon the idea. Social media is as much about giving as it is about taking – you need to give your fans and followers something good and creative in return for shares and likes.
Don’t Just Dive In
Social networks are complex and highly addictive, which means that without an action plan you can easily end up wasting your time using them without getting much in return or no benefit at all. What’s worse is that if you misuse social media you can get the feeling that social websites are just useless, which is not at all the case. How effective social websites are, depends on how you approach them.
- Define broadly your goals and expectations before joining any social website and starting to work on your profile page. Decide how much time and resources (human and otherwise) you are willing to invest in social media and what you expect in return. Consider how you will be measuring results. Think of the implications as well. For example, are you willing to invest in web design services to build the landing pages that your social marketing might require?
- Come up with a response guide that will help you and your employees (if you involve them in your social media efforts). You must have a strategy for responding and dealing with the feedback people leave on your social websites. How will you deal with negative feedback? How quickly will you answer questions? You’ll get plenty of them, and they can easily overwhelm you.
- Understand how your competitors use social media platforms and let their strategies inspire you. Depending on your niche, you may have a hard time converting social media popularity into direct sales, but instead you may increase traffic to your website, boost user engagement, and build trust and credibility and consolidate your relation with loyal customers.
- Decide what marketing strategies you will apply. Social media is not a direct marketing platform, so you have to promote any products or services you offer subtly, without leaving the impression that you’re trying too hard. Overt marketing generally fails on social websites.
- Customize your social media profiles. Ideally, you will want to work with a professional web design services provider, to ensure that your social pages maintain a look that is consistent with that of your website. This is necessary to built a sense of familiarity and convey your marketing message more effectively. If you need web design, a professional company will be more than willing to help you in achieving the goals planned by you.
Once you get started, focus on creating valuable content for your visitors. Fans and likes and shares will come, don’t worry about it.
Josh works in collaboration with WheeelMedia as an social media consultant and web designer in Charlotte. He likes to blog about search engine optimization, web design, technology and social media. Check out his contribution on Google+.