Starting in Social Media? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions First

April 7, 2016
Posted in Social Media
April 7, 2016 admin

4 Questions to Shape Your Social Media Strategy

So you’re thinking of finally jumping into the world of social media.

You’ve followed a number of social media gurus, devoured a slew of blog posts and articles, and learned about how other e-commerce businesses gained new customers and cut costs through social media. And now you’re ready for your turn.

But wait! Before you upload your first photo, tweet or status, have you really thought things through? Has everything been carefully laid out before you made the leap? Or are you joining the bandwagon simply because everyone says you should?

While social media brings a lot of conveniences and advantages, it could also easily become a black hole, sucking and wasting all your time, money, and resources before you know it.

That’s why it’s necessary that you know what you’re getting yourself into before jumping in. To help you, we’ve covered 4 important questions every e-commerce business must ask themselves before starting in social media.

 

1.What am I trying to achieve with social media?

Have you really asked why you want to dive into the world of social media and what you want to achieve with it? Depending on the needs of your business, social media can be a great avenue to help you work towards your goals—just make sure you know what these are. You can use the SMART goals framework to set goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Examples of goals achievable through social media activities include the following:

 

  • Increased online store visitors
  • Increased foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store
  • New loyalty program sign-ups
  • New newsletter subscribers
  • Active social network sharing of your services
  • Hard sales through social media exclusive offers
  • Lower customer service issues

2. Who are my customers and which social media platforms are they most active in?

You can only answer this question if you have a well-developed buyer persona profiles. Buyer personas are detailed, semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. These profiles are based on the information and date of your target market.

While only large companies used to develop buyer personas in the past, today even small to medium businesses can generate theirs too. To help you get started, you can view our previous article on creating e-commerce buyer personas.

3. Which social media platform is best for my business?

There are so many social media platforms available today—but not everything is worth investing all your time and resources in. By learning about these platforms, you will be able to determine which channels are crucial and relevant to your business.

Here’s a simple breakdown of the most popular social media channels for business today.

 

  • Twitter – Twitter is a constant feed of short information, delivering tweets that consist of only 140 characters. In this platform, you need to be clear, concise and compelling. This makes it a good platform to relay news and activities of your brand through short headlines and links.
  • Facebook – Facebook is by far the most popular and widely used platform today, having over 1.55 billion monthly active users. The platform presents a host of opportunities for businesses as it allows you to create pages and groups, send messages and keep in touch with your network, and promote photos or videos. It’s a great platform to educate your audience and start a conversation with them.
  • LinkedIn – Among all the other platforms, LinkedIn is the social media channel where you need to put your tie on and act professional. It’s more suitable for recruitment, business news, and social selling.
  • Instagram – Instagram is primarily a visual platform, offering mobile based photo and short video sharing. It’s the place for your marketing team (assuming you have) to showcase their creative flair. Instagram has also newly introduced its advertising opportunities, so e-commerce businesses, especially those in the visual industries, can greatly benefit from it.

4. Do I have the time to create content and engage with followers, while growing my business at the same time?

Like what we’ve mentioned earlier, social media can be a black hole. But if you know how to effectively manage it, then it shouldn’t have a negative impact to how you run your business. You can follow what other organisations do: the 10-4-1 rule.

This rule simply states that 10 out of 15 of your social media posts should be content from other person or organisations. These could be articles from thought leaders, time-sensitive content, and industry-specific news. 4 out of 15 would be posts that direct your audience to blog or webpage. And finally, 1 out of 15 would be about generating awareness about your shop’s product or service. This could be a whitepaper, e-book, webinar, or video.

Final Thoughts

Anyone can start a social media campaign—but not everyone can succeed with it especially if no planning is involved in the first place. So before you join the saturated landscape of social media, don’t forget to ask yourself these four questions.

Have you run a social media campaign? How’s it going so far?

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