Social media can be a very effective way of engaging with current and future customers, community, and fans, increasing your exposure, and driving traffic to your site(s). However, if you think about social media as only one part of your broader digital communication, you’ll get even more benefit from your efforts. Consider these points as you develop your plan.
Have one consistent online voice and personality
- Since many of your prospects are exposed to your product or service through various channels and places online as well as offline, don’t confuse them with different messaging on each channel. If you’re using Facebook, or Pinterest, or a blog, or another online channel, keep the contents of your message and the way you deliver it consistent. This includes not only your language choices, but also the look and feel of your graphics, design, and branding. Doing so creates a more coherent “brand” messaging (the brand being YOU), which can be more effective in converting a site visitor into a future contact.
Decide on a central goal
- For most direct sales consultants or small business leaders, the goals are to have people buy and refer others. But your social media strategy will directly affect each of those goals. If you goal is to drive more online sales, versus more community engagement, versus more in person contacts, versus, demonstrating your subject matter expertise, or increasing your Facebook fans or Pinterest followers. Once you have a primary goal, you can focus on part of your strategy to drive online traffic to that goal. For example, if your goal is making sales, all your social media platforms will be directing traffic to your website. If your goal is engagement, your strategy would be driving traffic to sources where you can engage with a prospect, to answer questions, or demonstrate your leadership and mentoring capabilities. This might be Facebook or a blog.
- Don’t forget to include your social media sites on your traditional and other marketing collateral. This includes flyers, business cards, catalogs, phone book, or print advertisements. Make sure your offline customers can find you online, and your online contacts can find you offline.
Using social media is just like any other form of marketing, in several key ways. Your social media plan requires a strategy and a goal. A successful campaign needs to use channels that are appropriate for your business, goal, and target market. And your campaign will take time to show results. But it will show results, with consistent content, in your own voice.
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