For some businesses, certain social media channels can be the most effective means of engaging with their target clients. It provides an instant means of communicating, the opportunity for the message to be shared with others and a chance to promote events. For this reason, social media can be an effective means of business marketing, yet to get noticed, you need to carefully plan and execute your approach.

Social media can connect your business with people who are interested in what you offer, but unless you fully understand what you want it to achieve, what your ideal customers want to hear and what you need to do in order to attract their attention, you are simply adding to the noise. Social media is packed full of businesses trying to create a post of interest, in the hope that it will go viral. Like a lottery win, it is possible, but rare.

Take Time for Research

Before you ever get started on social media, you need to undertake a lot of research. There are so many different social media platforms, with new ones being regularly introduced, so the first step is to understand which are relevant to your business. The important factor is to find out exactly which platforms your ideal customers are using. It doesn’t matter if you prefer another site, or others advise you to follow a different route, your customers should drive this decision.

The next stage of planning is working out what aspect of your business you want to share. The focus should be on what makes your company unique, your values and how your goods and services fit into what your customers want to achieve. What makes you stand out from the competition? Why do you deserve the attention of your prospects? What really matters to you and them?

A Collaborative Approach

The third stage is research into interesting information, facts, topical stories and other brands which relate to your area of focus, share your values and are passionately pursuing the same things. Social media is all about collaboration, so in addition to attempting to create a bond with prospective customers, you should try to join forces with others.

To provide some examples, if you are promoting your strong links with the local community, you might share posts promoting local events, charity fundraisers or important business achievements in the community, even if your company isn’t directly involved. You could praise your local suppliers or other experiences of great service from neighbouring companies. You could include images from a recent event that your business sponsored or supported with time or resources.

These things may not relate to your goods or services, but they showcase your involvement in the community and if that is a priority to you, then it is important to share. This is a way of giving your business a personality and of attracting people who are also committed to the same values. Over time, it is this natural synergy that will lead to brand recognition and loyalty.

Setting Aside Time for Social Media

Success on social media does require a concerted effort. The better your planning, the easier it will be to create relevant and original posts. Beyond the initial push to get things off the ground, it is important to set aside a regular time slot to research new ideas, respond to the posts of others and add to your business profile. To avoid time wasting, it is also vital to limit this time and ensure that it doesn’t encroach on the other demands of your business.

Online Social Media Course

If you would like further assistance with understanding how your company might use social media to help build brand awareness, establish strong links and generate leads a Social Media Course can help. This free online social media course addresses the place for posts within wider remit of your online marketing strategy. It offers a good overview of how you can apply the available tools to use the internet to your advantage.