4 Things to Consider When Using Social Media

February 7, 2012

Pink Telephone

    There is no doubt the use of social media in business, marketing, networking and fundraising has arrived at a crucial point. For small businesses or organisations it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with the Jones’s – what with having to keep an updated blog, tweet out interesting trends, engage people on Facebook, Linked In, Google Plus, Pinterest and the list goes on…and on. However if you’re about to delve into a social media campaign or marketing strategy – here are some things to consider to really help you make it work.

Be Strategic

If you’re trying to get the word out about your business or organisation, make sure you plan so you can be strategic about what online tools to use. Although it’s tempting there’s no need to go and sign up to every social network. One good twitter account is better than five twitterfacebookgoogleplugdiggit acounts. Phwew! That just gets overwhelming and you won’t be able to manage these effectively. Potential followers will notice this and are more likely to disengage. Create a strategy and make sure it all ties back to your organisation or  business’s website. People want to know what you are about and your website is the best way to communicate this, so make sure it’s linked to your social media profiles.

Who’s Going to Manage It All

Who’s actually going to take care of the online networking, updates, blog posts, images or videos? Designate one person to do this so that it’s a streamlined and consistent approach. If you don’t have someone in your organisation – outsource to a social media manager. If you can’t outsource then set a schedule for when you are going to manage your social media assets and stick to it. To really make social media work – there needs to be someone responding in real time to posts, comments, discussion or tweets to show that you really are a person and are interested in what your followers have to say.

There’s No Quick Return

Remember that social media for marketing or engagement is not a quick fix scenario. It’s a slow and steady process of building relationships, getting involved in your business area of interest or community. Don’t use it for the ‘hard sell’ as people will ‘unfollow’ you and stop listening. Social media is about gaining ‘social capital’ – this means the strength of relationships will bolster your objectives. Just as you wouldn’t launch into a pitch about your business or idea without introducing yourself, carry this attitude into the social media arena. So stay approachable and listen to what your followers are interested in.

Capture Results to Convince Others

A common issue is that you may be part of a majority in your organisation or business who knows the benefits of social media – however  others aren’t on the same page and still see it as a social past time. These people need a little convincing and sometimes numbers and pretty charts can do the trick! You can utilise tools to find out where and how people found their way to you or your organisation. Get monthly or quarterly reports to prove your results and show that social media is powerful and working! And when I mean working – I mean people are finding you and engaging with you. Once you have won the trust, this naturally leads to your products or services being purchased. If your service is about raising community awareness, then you can track how many people begin to follow your page or profile. There are some free and low cost tools out there – Hootsuite and Buzznumbers to name a couple. They generate reports and statistics about where your followers are coming from and their activity. Present those lovely looking pie graphs and charts and you may just win a couple more people over to your side. If you’re wanting to stay website specific, Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful (and free) tool to let you know where your traffic is coming from, what region, if they were referred from google or other websites and much much more! Remember – social media is about Return on Engagement – not Return on Investment – so be brave and communicate! People Who Read this Also Read: Building Digital Campaigns for Not for Profits  

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