Do you know anyone in your personal life who does not use social media? Of course, we all do, but those people are getting fewer and further between. Everyone from celebrities to politicians to private citizens use these pages as a platform. But back to the question of who isn’t using social media: businesses. Research conducted by Network Solutions shows that only 31 percent use social media. Nearly 70 percent are missing a tremendous opportunity. How do you ensure that you are not one of them? Here are some tips for entering the world of social media.
Know where your audience is and how to reach them. If you market products for those nearing retirement, for instance, it probably doesn’t make sense to launch a full-scale Twitter campaign. Why? Because Twitter typically attracts a younger, professional crowd. Facebook would be a better platform because its fastest growing demographic is the 55-and up crowd. Brands geared towards more tech-savvy people under 45 should consider taking advantage of Twitter because it is a very fast-paced, dynamic medium.
Also research whether your target audience is even on social media. Sometimes they’re just not, and even a well-designed campaign will have minimal effect. A better use of your time may be coordinating a high quality blog.
What’s your plan? What do you want to accomplish? Many businesses start out with an amorphous, abstract idea that fizzles into the air. Have a concrete plan, complete with steps to take and milestones to track progress. This may be to monitor your name online, increases sales by a specific figure, increase search engine traffic by a specific figure, engage with mobile customers, or establish your expertise in your field. Whatever it is, make sure to measure progress. A change in plans is often necessary, especially in the constantly changing world of social media.
Stick with it. Enthusiasm and the best intentions sometimes fade away when results are not immediate. Six or so months of consistent work should start to yield results, but you need to actively engage with the media. Don’t let profiles languish and try incorporating social media into other communications. You could, for instance, invite people to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn via your email signature. You could ask customers if they use social media and personally invite them. Tying it to your offline activities can help boost efficacy.
Social media can be powerful – if you are engaged.