In the entrepreneurial world, there’s a ton of pressure to be on social media. Entrepreneurs are expected to sign up for company profiles on various social media platforms. Social media can be a great way to expand brand awareness and engage with current and potential clients or customers.
In order to make social media work for you, you need to ensure that you have the clarity, resources, and strategy required to build a successful social media presence. Here are six questions to ask yourself in order to move toward that goal.
1. What are you trying to accomplish?
You need to understand why you have a presence on any particular site, and what you’re hoping to accomplish in doing so. For example, some companies choose to adopt social media in order to increase their brand exposure, interact directly with clients and potential customers, generate leads, or promote specific products or services.
It’s also important to have a plan for how you’ll measure success. Many social media platforms include built-in analytics, but you’ll need to decide what those numbers mean to you in order for them to have a meaningful impact on your social media marketing efforts.
2. Who are you trying to reach?
While it’s critical to understand what you’re trying to accomplish via social media, it’s not enough to stop there. You also need to consider who you’re trying to reach, whether they’re on social media in the first place, and what motivates them to engage with brands on a given social media platform. Understanding potential clients’ needs and/or desires on social media is critical to developing a social media strategy that meets those needs and develops loyal followers.
3. Do you have the resources to do social media right?
When social media becomes an afterthought, it’s not really worth anyone’s time. If you’re a one-person shop or a small company with limited staff and resources, then you may struggle to create a social media presence of any real value. Content needs to be high-quality, diverse, and consistent in voice and tone.
4. Which platform(s) should you be on?
As stated above, this depends largely on the resources available to you. If you’re limited in scope, a good rule of thumb is to spend some time researching which channel will best enable you to meet the goals outlined in #1–and then focus your efforts on that platform alone. It’s helpful to investigate where your potential client base is most present, which platforms support the kinds of content you’re likely to post, and which platforms your team has the wherewithal to use well. As your marketing budget grows, you’ll be able to expand to different platforms–and you’ll be able to use the lessons you’ve learned from your first forays into social media to succeed on new sites.
5. Do you have a strong sense of your company’s brand?
If you’re not sure what your company is all about–what its core values and voice are–this will become painfully obvious on social media. A disorganized, inconsistent, or otherwise identity-confused social media presence is bound to repel potential clients or customers, so it’s important to have an understanding of the voice, tone, values, and visual branding that you want to convey across posts and platforms. If you’re not sure about the branding you want to present, spend time sorting this out before posting anything on social media.
6. Can you provide real value?
People follow brands on social media because they get something out of it–whether through education, entertainment, good deals, unique info, and so on. That means you need to consistently provide legitimate value via your social media presence if you want people to become loyal followers of your brand. This value should be so obvious that, if pressed, followers would be able to articulate how they benefit from engaging with your brand.