As social media and the time spent on these channels continue to grow exponentially, it is becoming more and more important for brands to strategically join the conversations. Start building your online social presence by utilizing the below key best practice recommendations from IMI.
Define Clear Goals and Objectives: Like any other marketing strategy, you must first define what you want to achieve through social media channels (i.e. customer service, brand awareness, lead generation, a platform for promotional campaigns, content distribution, etc.). Your goals will then define what platforms you use and how you use them.
Develop a Plan and Identify Stakeholders: Whether you plan to run your social media campaign in-house or hire an agency, you must have an internal team of stakeholders responsible for directing the campaign and communicating the brand message. Once you have a team in place you can assign roles and divide responsibilities.
Choose the Right Platforms: The platforms you choose will be determined by your goals. Also consider what kind of information and content you will be sharing through these channels. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Start with one or two platforms (i.e. Facebook, Blog, YouTube) and build momentum and integrate channels accordingly.
Create Great Content and Add Value: Social media is all about building trust. You must provide value and offer your audience something in order for them to stay engaged. This starts by providing them content to consume such as blogs, articles, videos, tips and advice, or anything that would be relevant to your target audience.
Identify Your Brand Voice & Persona: Social media is also about engaging your audience which means you must have a constant stream of two way communication. If your audience is communicating with you through your social media channels, don’t ignore them! Have a plan and assign stakeholders.
Incorporate Social Media Into all Online and Offline Media: Highlight your social media resources on your website as well as in your offline media. The more awareness you create around your social media the faster your audience will grow. Utilize social icons and plug-ins on all online and offline marketing materials.
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