Many a time companies think social media is bad for business and that it leaves them exposed to the public. However, things have changed and social media is now a necessary evil especially as we move deeper into this new information technology era. It is not about having social media accounts and simple posting on a daily basis.

The value of social media is not only the popularity your website but how these sites connect your business directly to existing and potential clients. Social media marketing generates awareness about a company’s product or services. In order for this to happen you need a clear social media strategythat defines the message, distribution, execution and evaluation of any proposed plan. Having a strategy in place makes it easier to select the appropriate platforms to deliver your message.

Let’s talk about social media strategy! Social media strategy simple refers to the way in which you are going to market your business over social platforms. It involves sharing content, monitoring, mobilizing customer interaction and branding your business on social media. You need a concrete social media strategy to take your business to another level otherwise it will be a waste of resources. Here are a few things you need to do:

1. Listen.

The first thing to do when creating a social media strategy, is to listen to your audience. Follow conversations online in line with your business, know what they are talking about and what is of interest to them so that you can channel your messages in a way they can relate to.

2. Create your content.

Now that you know what your clients are interested, create content that they can relate to but at the same time promoting your business. Create content that is interesting and humorous to draw people’s attention to your messages. However, this must not be about self-promotion but the people you are sending the message to. Remember you want to provide value and at the same time build a community for your business

3. Type of content

For the content you would have created decide on which format it will be disseminated to your customers, video, text, pictures or audio. When using social media avoid long texts and focus on the visual aspect, people are usually attracted to pictures compared to text.

4. Timeline.

Decide how often you would like to be sending messages to your followers. Decide what time to post, which days to put pictures and videos. Once you start this process you cannot afford to stop you have to maintain consistence.

5. Select social platforms.

This is the part where you choose which social platform to use and for which type of content to use. For example, you can choose to use pictures for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, videos for Facebook and YouTube and text for your website blog. 

6. Outline your goals.

Now that you have created your social media strategy, you want to define exactly what you would like to achieve through social media marketing. Maybe it is to improve brand visibility, increase sales or promote a marketing company, you need to clearly state it down. This will help you when implementing your strategy.

7. Implementation.

This is the easy stage, you already have what you need, create accounts and start uploading content. Promote your platforms through word of mouth with your customers and encourage them to participate, brochures or fliers. Do not make the mistake of making your accounts ghost towns, Reply! Reply! Reply! to messages sent to you as soon as you can from your customers. This is how you build relationships with them and make them feel important.

Inasmuch as social media may appear cheap with the majority of its tools provided free, it can be very expensive taking into account the time you invest in it, and as we all know time is money. You need to make the most effective use of your time and not waste such a valuable commodity.

Image: Unsplash

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