5 Social Media tips for business - Business Works
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5 Social Media tips for business

George Guildford, Senior Account Director, Punch Communications As social media platforms grow and evolve, new innovative marketing opportunities are becoming available for small business owners. These networks create a location where connections can be made with an audience and different strands of a wider marketing strategy can be integrated.

However, an understanding of the different networks and how they can be incorporated into marketing promotions and activities is essential to ensure success. There are numerous opportunities when it comes to utilising social media, but without successful planning and foresight these may eventually have a detrimental effect on increasing brand awareness.

Social Plugins: In the first instance, directing users towards social channels to help conversations flourish is key. To help achieve this and direct users towards the right locations social bookmarks can be incorporated into a businessís website. Not only will this help direct consumers from the website to the channels, but it makes it easier for specific content or web pages to be shared, thereby increasing brand visibility as a result.

Monitor Consumer Conversations: Monitoring platforms provides valuable insight into consumer reactions to products and marketing strategies. Small businesses may not have the budget to undertake in-depth and extensive levels of market research, so such activity can heighten the understanding of how campaigns and activities are being perceived by consumers.

Conduct Community Management: Monitoring comments and reactions is also an opportunity to respond to questions and undertake a customer services role. Answering followers directly through channels can help strengthen the brand-user relationship and encourages the brandís social audience to return to the channel with additional questions or for additional assistance. This increases both the likelihood of others seeing these interactions and the potential of the user recommending the brand to others.

Competitor Analysis: Moving away from a businessís own channels, social platforms can be used to monitor competitor pages and help shape future endeavors. This is a chance to both determine new activities to be incorporated, while also help understand what products, initiatives or types of content prove most popular to a likeminded audience. Such insight can be used to help widen reach and brand visibility moving forward.

Creation and Management of Weekly Content Plans: In order to effectively co-ordinate social media outreach and encourage engagement, weekly content plans should be created to help manage what will be shared through social channels. Content calendars allow for future planning to help further promote campaigns and specific products, as well as to seamlessly integrate separate marketing strands, enhancing existing marketing collateral. The integration of popular trends, industry news, product information, upcoming events, helpful tips / guides, conversational questions, and engaging image and video assets will help maintain the user interest and encourage two-way conversations.

While only an initial outline, incorporating these five elements into a social strategy can help influence additional marketing activity, increase brand awareness and help SMEs manage and incorporate social platforms on a level more akin to larger brand activity.

George Guildford is a Senior Account Director at integrated digital agency Punch Communications. For more information, please visit: www.punchcomms.com

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