Nowadays everyone has a presence on social media, so why don’t you? Chances are, if you don’t have a Facebook Page, you have probably been asked that question a thousand times. But before you click that “create page” button on Facebook, take a minute to consider why you are taking the plunge.
Before you enter into any social space, think about how this channel will work in your overall marketing strategy. There are far too many instances of small businesses that jump into social media and end up abandoning their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts because they don’t have the time to manage communication, or they don’t know how to respond to comments, messages or wall postings.
It’s not that social media is more difficult than traditional channels, but it is a whole different ballgame. Why? Because it’s social. Your customers can give you direct feedback immediately, unlike direct mail or TV advertising, it is real-time public conversations. So you have to be prepared to handle this while continuing to maintain your brand identity.
Here are a few things you should consider when integrating your social media into your overall marketing plan:
- Your goal for social media
- Responding to customer service inquiries and comments
- What times are best to post messages (tip – don’t push offers or deals during peak times. Use these to drive traffic during low hours/times)
- Who will be posting messages and responding to comments
- What social channel or channels work best for your brand
Just remember, social media should not exist outside of your overall marketing strategy, it should function as one element of it. Or to put it simply, think of your marketing strategy like one of those Mr. Potato Head toys. Your goal is the potato, and all of the elements of your marketing strategy are the pieces that are used to create your brand’s face.