The Leap into Social Media as an Established Brand
For new brands, social media is a way of establishing a customer base. For older brands that are already successful, social media is about expanding that customer base. This blog is for the latter: established, successful brands that are looking to seriously develop a plan to get into social media. In many ways, becoming established in social media is just like any other field of marketing: if you do your research and treat it like a job, you can be successful.
Create a Practical Social Media Plan
First off, it’s time to make a plan. The best way to do this isn’t a checklist or formula, but to ask yourself questions and be honest about your answers. Here are our top 7:
- What do you want to say? Stumped? Think about if you want to use this platform for news, to humanize your company, to talk about trending events, strictly sales, or a combination.
- What’s the effect you’re hoping for? What is your end goal? Obviously, you want to build your online audience, but are you looking for them to visit your site or business, subscribe for more content, or something else?
- Where do you want to say it? There are many social media platforms, each with their own strengths and audiences. Take a look at our blog on three of the top platforms for businesses.
- When are you saying it? Targeting times of the day, week, and months can make all the difference. Would catching your audience while they are at work, looking for lunch, or just back from the office be the best time for your brand?
- How much content do you have to share? News, website blogs, customer content fun events, staff bios: this is all content for your social media feed. But how much of it can you produce, and can you keep up the pace?
- What tools will you use? Certain apps and browser-based tools can make a life a bit easier, from Instagram analytics to scheduling software that allows automated posting. What tools do you need, and can you find solutions out there?
- Who is doing it? Like we said above, if you treat this like a job, you will see results. So, who is going to do it? Make sure they have the time to do it, and please don’t give it to an intern.
Take It Slow, At First
As you can see from the above questions, jumping into social media can be a lot of work! It’s important in the beginning to take baby steps – you must learn how to walk before you can run. We recommend starting small and working up to your full scope: this will give your brand and staff a chance to try on social media for size. Think about starting on just one social media platform, maybe a relatively easy-to-learn platform like Facebook, or Instagram for more photogenic businesses. This will give you a chance to make sure your social media manager is up to the task, as well as the pipeline for making social media content. From there, you can learn what is and isn’t working, and establish an early win that keeps you going.
Building Your Audience and Getting Them in the Door
So, you have your social media account(s) set up. Now it’s time to build your social media audience. Followers, connections, friends: whatever your social media platforms label them as, they fall into two groups for you. Existing fans who are eager to engage the company on social media, and new people that you can reach through social media that can turn into loyal customers. From there, it’s about marketing to these bases to help your business grow.
Bringing in Your Existing Customer Base
You don’t have to start from scratch on social media. Mobilize your existing customer base to connect with you on social media through a myriad of channels:
- Reach out with e-newsletters announcing your new social media presence.
- Include in-store announcements, including perks for visiting or rating you online.
- Include tie-ins online, both on your website and online advertising.
Connecting Your Store to Social Media
Have an online store? Make sure it’s easy for your social media followers to enter your sales funnel. Make sure there are options online for them to use your products – from an online store to restaurant deliveries. Using existing Apps and integrating them into your website (such as GrubHub or WooCommerce) provide easy ways for your clients to access your products and services online.
Long-Term Marketing for Your Audience
Social media is a great way of staying in touch with your fanbase, as well as producing long-term relationships and sales pipelines. From acquiring user data for email marketing and direct sales to a platform for launching new products or locations, social media is a great medium for marketing.
Social media – when done properly – is an asset to any business as a way of connecting and building your online fanbase. Need help getting a plan together? Vision Advertising can help. We’re social media experts who can build and execute a plan to reach your fanbase on all major social media channels, as well as help design and integrate social media and mobile-friendly websites to improve your online visibility and sales funnel. Contact us today to get started.