With more and more people connecting online, social networking has become an integral part of developing your company’s brand through a community of consumers that reaches far beyond the typical “target demographic.”
When you have a strong social networking plan, the people you interact with online will evolve into what we like to call “brand ambassadors.” Whether they mention you in a blog, Tweet, Facebook post or other form of social media, they are spreading a positive message about your company. (Of course, if your company makes a mistake or handles a situation poorly, your followers will share that, too.)
A social strategy could be built around five basic ideas. The first is to know your purpose – something that seems basic, but that many businesses fail to do. When you begin to develop your social networking plan, you need to have a goal in mind. Are you trying to increase public relations? Or are you trying to reenergize your brand? Without an objective to focus on, your social networking will quickly become scattered and inconsistent, and that is never a good thing.
Once you have your purpose, you then need to decide on a platform and create reasonable goals. If your initial target audience primarily reads blogs, then Twitter or Facebook are not the programs to launch first. Plus, gaining a following on various social networking sites can sometimes take a while, so make reasonable success milestones to stay motivated and not lose patience.
After you know your platform and have set goals, you absolutely MUST focus on staying interesting. With the endless number of options on the Internet, being boring or repetitive is a virtual death sentence. Generating interesting, relevant content is arguably one of the most difficult parts of social networking, and one that most companies tend to struggle with.
Next, you have to go all in if you want to combat stagnancy. Social networking isn’t a project that can be pushed off to the side and looked at only when you have some down time. Managing a social networking campaign for your company is a full-time project that demands time and attention.
Finally, be authentic. Don’t be afraid to post something that shows the personality of your company, even if it doesn’t seem perfect. Being real with your audience is how you will create and keep loyal brand ambassadors who will spread a positive message about your company through different online communities. This fifth idea is one that Rivers has accepted and flourished under, and we’re confident that we can help your company’s social media presence flourish, too.