Business applications: Social Media – Potential – Opportunities

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Counting down the last few weeks of the course and it is all building up to quite the finale. The topics have been interesting and fairly simple to understand the concepts discussed within. This week we look at Strategies, Policies & Guidelines for Engagement within businesses. The analysis of business applications within social media and their potential to build relationships and/or generate new opportunities as well as facilitate processes.

To look at these aspects 3 questions are asked:

  • How could we define a social media & social business strategy? How are they different?
  • What are the elements of a social business strategy?
  • What are the success factors of a social business strategy?

Social Media Strategy

Let’s start with the basics…it’s easy to see why people jump on the bandwagon of Social Media and why so many businesses believe they can profit easily from these tools. In reality however, a simple post won’t necessarily bring traffic. Social media must be seen as a tool of sorts, a way to market your brand while also interacting with other people, customers and other businesses. It takes dedication and time, a lot of time.

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Consistency….

Consistency is one of the most important and usually left out of most strategies. It boils down to time and effort. The effort you put in, is what you get out. If goals are executed the same way over a length of time the results will certainly show for it.

Get an idea?

Not the idea that sparks something inside you to create. No, the idea of what you are promoting. The 5 W’s -Who, What, When, Where, Why?

So who is YOUR target audience? The average grandparent is not on Instagram…

Demographics are a key in figuring out WHO you are marketing to. These could include but are not limited to factors such as;

  • location
  • age
  • gender
  • income
  • education level
  • religion
  • ethnicity
  • marital status
  • number of children

Finding these things out about your audience is vital when knowing what to post and how to word it. It takes time to build a strong foundation along with trying to build relationships, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

“But what if i can’t find these things out because my audience is not that many?”

Simple, find a similar site/blog/page anything. The more similar the better, try figuring out their audience and demographic so as to cater to your audience. Again consistency is key here.

Get in their heads

Yes, most businesses fail because they fail to see things from a customers point of view. A good way to find out is through Psychographics. They tell you WHY…the true understanding of a customer is to know their basic outlook on life, thus catering to their wants and/or needs. Psychographs show us;

  • Why do they want to learn about [your niche]?
  • How important is [your niche] to them? (i.e., is it a hobby or part of their job?)
  • How do they like to learn? (e.g., video, text, audio, etc., and on what type of device)
  • What common questions do they have about [your niche]?
  • How knowledgeable are they about [your niche]?

The reason most businesses skip this step is simply because they are lazy. There’s no magic website that will tell you what your audience wants. The only way to find out is through scanning comments, reading feedback, listening, observing…there is no easy way to do it but once it’s done it needs to keep happening.

Choose YOUR path….

Yes, choose the way that suits your business. The channel of medium that you choose to promote your business should be the one with the most traffic of course. The quality over quantity method works here. Choose networks that are easy to use and manage, 2-3 at most. Thus, all efforts are put into making these great rather than trying to spread everywhere. This will revert back to step one of demographics and you will need to know your audience.

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So choose wisely….

It’s all about the content after all…

Yes, well that’s exactly what this all boils down to right? The content shared and used to promote. Make sure these are heavily loaded with useful information but without the boring drapes hung all over it. Content should be made to a level that creates an emotion within the reader and therefore sparks their interest.

Social Business Strategy…

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Li and Solis (2013) show a great understanding of what Social Business Strategy is. There 7 Steps is simple to follow.

  • Set Goals
  • Establish a long-term vision
  • Get support from top levels of management
  • Define a strategy
  • Establish guidelines
  • Secure Staff, Funding and Resources
  • Invest

1.  Define the overall business goals. 

You can’t adjust your social procedure to your business destinations on the off chance that you don’t realize what your targets are.

2. Establish the long-term vision. 

In case you’re not endeavoring toward the final objective, you’re liable to veer off the way. On the off chance that you need your group to completely put resources into your social methodology — and you require the backing of your whole group – you’ll have to discuss your vision with clarity and energy.

3. Ensure executive support. 

In the good ‘ol days you might have the capacity to fly under the radar, yet sooner or later, on the off chance that you need to genuinely affect the business, you’ll require the sponsorship and backing of key administrators.

4. Define the strategy roadmap. 

You already know your business objectives and have a clear vision. But how are you going to get there? Plan out your route, what roads you’ll travel, and what roads you’ll avoid.

5. Establish governance and guidelines. 

Who is in charge of executing the social system? What’s your procedure of listening and reacting to your clients? On the off chance that you unmistakably characterize this procedure and afterwards stick to it, you’ll spend less tie drifting along all through the social circle and additional time strategizing your social development.

6. Secure staff, resources, and funding. 

In the early stages of social growth, you might outsource your social media campaign to an agency, and that’s fine. But you should also be looking down the road and planning to develop internal resources to take your company to the next level as your social prowess — and your business — grows.

7. Invest in technology platforms that evolve. 

Resist the temptation to jump on the latest technology bandwagon before you have a long-term strategic plan in place. Hold off on making significant technology investments until you’re equipped with a sound vision and strategic plan.

Success?

Well as discussed these methods are different, however if they were to be combined success would be easily gained and maintained.

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