It is undeniable today that at least someone has an access to a social media account – whether it’d be to keep in touch with long-distance friends or family, to share an opinion or pictures and videos of their holiday, for business intention or even in the quest for their daily dose of laughter by watching a funny viral videos to fill up spare time! The list goes on.
However, the question is how do these accounts – business or purely for entertainment purposes – create such high traffic? What is their secret? How can someone who wants to start a business be able to create high-quality content, increase awareness and keep audiences engaged?
This will be a step-by-step guide to your social media strategy:
- What to consider setting up a social media strategy
- What social media is perfect for your business?
- Potential risks of social media marketing
What to consider setting up a social media marketing strategy
Before you even start thinking about which social media platform you want to set up and when you want to set it up, you need to sit down and brainstorm your ideas to help you understand your vision and goals for your business based on your desired outcome.
Think about why you want to set up a social media account for your business; to increase brand awareness? To increase sales? Ask yourself first and you will find out whether this marketing communication tool is right for your business.
First and foremost, identify your target audience – what gender, age, income, ethnicity, etc. is your business going to focus on. According to a study, an average teenager spends around 9 hours a day online – including social media (Anderson, 2018). As shocking as this result may sound, marketers like you, are able to use this information as to direct your plan.
Next is to identify your major players within your industry. This is vital as it will give you an insight into the quality of content, the level of interaction with their audience and their originality. In doing so, this will give you an idea of the standards your social media account is required.
What social media is perfect for your business?
As of January 2019, Facebook is the most used social media platform used all around the world with 2.2 billion users (Statista, 2019). More specifically it is recorded to have around 60 million active business users that have created a ‘Facebook Page’ for their business/company (Smith, 2019). Significantly, this demonstrates the importance of considering this social media platform in order to maximise awareness for your business. Although this proves to be a very popular platform, to help you decide what platform is best for your business, here is a list of other highly used social media platforms today:
Many businesses today use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to allow consumers to follow and keep updated with the company’s latest campaigns, amazing offers, new content etc. This constant live feed enables consumers to generate interest in the company’s products and/or services (Haynes, 2016) and potentially drive sales.
To further assist you, here is a useful guide to which social media platform would benefit your business most (Spredfast, 2018). In addition, it is wise to consider your main target audience as this will also give you direction to what social media platforms are most suitable (see table 1).
Table 1. Spredfast (2018)
Note: If you are new to this particular marketing strategy, think about setting up one or two platforms, to begin with. This is to avoid creating poor content for your business. You can watch this short YouTube video of essential tips to social media marketing for beginners.
Risk of social media strategy
Whilst social media marketing can prove to be an effective tool to increase brand awareness and the overall image of the company, there are some key points you need to watch out for when using this wide range of social media platforms. These are known as ‘The Triple Cs’:
- Ensuring that your business’ content/posts are tailor-fitting to the needs of your audience to avoid negative word-of-mouth. In result, this will encourage your audience to interact with your business by clicking, liking, commenting and sharing your content to their live feed, disseminating to their peers at a quick rate (Mitic & Kapoulas, 2012).
- As you continue to interact and build relationships with your audience through contents, being able to respond to consumers’ (Shin et al, 2015) comments and reviews may take some time, therefore would require a lot of commitment and consistency ensuring that everyone is being heard by your company. This way, they would feel valued instead of pushing them away.
- There is always a risk of your business’ social media accounts being potentially hacked! Make sure that the social media platform you have chosen to advertise your business is secured to prevent potential breaches and leaks – damaging your reputation and your brand image. Check out Burger King’s Incident back in 2015 (Immediate Future, 2015).
Anderson, J. (2018), ‘Even teens are worried they spend too much time on their phones’. Quartz. [online]
https://qz.com/1367506/pew-research-teens-worried-they-spend-too-much-time-on-phones/[accessed 27 February]
Haynes, D. (2016), ‘Social media, risk and information governance’. Business Information Review. Vol. 33. No. 2
Shin, W., Pang, A., Kim, H.J. (2015) ‘Building Relationships Through Integrated Online Media: Global Organizations’ Use of Brand Web Sites, Facebook, and Twitter’, Journal of Business and Technical Communication. Vol. 29. No. 2
Here 2 Help Web Services (n.d), ’Social Media Marketing’ [online]
https://here2helpservices.com/social-media-marketing/[accessed 27 February 2019]
Immediate Future (2015), ‘6 brand damaging social media profile hacking incidents’. Immediate Future. [online]
http://immediatefuture.co.uk/blog/6-brand-damaging-social-media-profile-hacking-incidents/[accessed 27 February 2019]
Mitic, M. and Kapoulas, A. (2012), ‘Understanding the role of social media in bank marketing’, Marketing Intelligence & Planning. Vol. 30 No. 7, pp. 668-686
Shin, W., Pang, A., Kim, H.J. (2015) “Building Relationships Through Integrated Online Media: Global Organizations’ Use of Brand Web Sites, Facebook, and Twitter”, Journal of Business and Technical Communication. Vol. 29. No. 2
Smith, K. (2019), ‘53 Incredible Facebook Statistics and Facts’. Brandwatch. [online]
https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/facebook-statistics/[accessed 26 February 2019]
Spredfast, (2018), ‘The 2018 Social Audience Guide’. Spredfast. [online]
https://www.spredfast.com/social-media-tips/social-media-demographics-current[accessed 26 February 2019]
Statista (2019), ‘Most popular social networks worldwide as of January 2019, ranked by number of active users (in millions)’. Statista. [online]
https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/[accessed 26 February 2019]