Social Media: Proper Planning and Preparation for Peak Performance
Like any well thought-out company business plan or marketing strategy using social media for business needs planning if it is to be effective. Maintaining a lively and exciting Facebook page is a great marketing tool for a business. But what do you say? You may be swept away with enthusiasm at the beginning but keeping the momentum (and your readers interested) requires a little forward planning. That way you can produce a steady stream of status updates that will keep your “likers” returning for more.
The Big Picture
Instead of staring at your computer screen every day and coming up with a “thumb-suck” status update try to define categories which cover the different aspects of your business. For example you may want to allocate a different subject or theme to every month of the year, one that would coincide with a current global issue maybe or cover a subject that is informative and of interest to your followers. You may also want to factor seasons, celebrations and holidays into your plan and align your business information flow accordingly. So draw up a skeleton plan for the year.
Give each category or month a theme or name and jot down a few topics relevant to it. That way instead of having a huge hole you need to fill you have a bunch of small boxes and each one has a title. Magazine editors approach each publication in much the same way: they divide the pages according to defined categories e.g. special features, health, beauty, home etc., and then subdivide each section into subjects of interest. Using this method you provide an organised and logical flow of information that stimulates the reader and makes writing efforts simpler and more focused.
The next step is to decide how often you’re going to post and what. You may want to present special offers or competitions or write a blog post that you link to your Facebook page that covers subjects in greater detail. Plot these into your plan. Promote new events and product announce specials include events you will be attending and invite your readers to send in pictures or ask them to give feedback.
Organise the month ahead at least 2 weeks in advance so you’re not caught without something to say and you have plenty of time to collect the relevant bits and pieces. A spreadsheet is useful, that way you can see your monthly plan at a glance. Use the media available and include photos of people, events and places.
Down to the nitty-gritty
Okay so you have your plan and you post regular comments, information, updates and other interesting titbits. Now it’s up to you to engage with and chat to your followers. If someone posts a comment, reply in a friendly and courteous way. Tell your readers what’s happening in the life of your business Pop in the odd affirmation of the principles your company stands for. Keep your conversation personal but professional. Mentioning emotions like “happy”, “excited”, “proud” etc. helps you to engage with your readers. And remember to thank your followers for their feedback whether positive or negative.
Social media is a powerful platform for business. As with all things worth having proper planning and preparation can make it work for you!