There are so many cost effective ways to reach your customers through social media. However, time is money and it takes time to do it right!
Your first question is what are your goals? What do you expect to get out of it? You have to have a clear business objective before you do anything else. Do you want to build your brand? Attract new customers? Communicate with your current customers? Answer questions and engage your fans? By setting specific objectives, you can establish your strategy.
Even more important is who is your audience? You must determine who your customers or prospective customers are in order to target them!
Now…what your your topics? What are you going to talk about? Your products and services are obvious but you must have relevant content other than just self promotion to be successful at the social media game. Planning is key when developing content. Make a list of topics you want to cover and plan your calendar around that.
Where to post this fantastic, planned content that is targeting your audience? Use a variety of outlets, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, YouTube…the list is long. Be creative, different age groups like different social media sources. Again, know your audience.
Now decide who is handling this, in many small businesses it is you the owner, you can also have an employee do it, but be sure they are on board and aligned with your goals, customers and strategy. Remember this is time consuming, they have to have time to be effective. You can also outsource to an expert and make it part of your advertising budget. Create processes and guidelines, be sure your content is supporting your goals.
Track your results. Is it working? This is more than likes and shares. Track your engagement with reporting tools and tracking codes on your website.
Remember, it takes time to build an effective social media strategy. You cannot throw up a couple of posts a week and expect results. It requires attention and planning!