Making sure your business has a social media presence is key to staying in touch with customers, gauging market trends and demand, promoting your business’s products and services, and increasing your company’s visibility, name recognition, and positive image. To stay relevant, you may need to be on new social media platforms, but don’t make the plunge without knowing that you’re ready.
Small and Medium-Sized Businesses on Social Media
According to about 90% of marketers, social media marketing has increased exposure of their business. At least 75% say it’s increased traffic. At least 80% of social media marketers say their fundamental strategy is to increase consumer engagement across social media channels.
About 74% of consumers share branded video content from social media. At least 21% of consumers say they’re likelier to buy from brands they can reach through social media. And some 71% of consumers who’ve had a positive social media experience with a company or brand are likely to recommend that company or brand to others. All in all, it makes sense for small and medium-sized businesses to take advantage of social media opportunities where and whenever they exist.
PRO TIP: Just as it’s wise to claim the domain name or names related to your business name, it’s also smart to reserve usernames on social media websites that are the same as your company and/or brand names, before anyone else does.
Steps to Take Before Launching Your Brand on a New Social Media Platform
The following is a “bare-bones” list of social media guidelines for brands to consider before launching a brand on a new platform. Note that this list isn’t designed to be exhaustive; it’s a bare minimum that most companies should commit to when deciding to focus on a new channel.
Determine Your Company’s Goals
Before attempting to launch your brand on a new social site, you should determine what your company’s goals are in doing so.
Do you want to promote new products or services? Do you want to contact prospects and existing customers to communicate with and grow your customer base? Do you want to increase your firm’s and brand’s visibility and positive image online? It’s certainly possible that you might want to do all these things and more.
It’s important when considering a new social channel not to “put the cart before the horse” or try to “fake it ’til you make it” and bluster your way onto a new site before you understand its context, how people use it, and how it’s perceived.
Establish Buyer Personas
Before you launch your brand on new platforms, you’ll likely want to target a particular audience. One way to do this is by developing buyer personas.
Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of a business’s ideal customers. They’re developed based on market research, data analysis of existing customers, and insights from industry trends and customer feedback. Buyer personas aim to help businesses better understand their target customers and create marketing strategies that resonate with customer needs, preferences, and behaviors.
Buyer personas typically include demographic information, such as age, gender, income, education, and job title, as well as psychographic information, such as interests, values, and personality traits. They may also include information on the customer’s buying habits, pain points, and preferred communication channels.
Determine Your Brand Voice and Tone
Determining your brand voice and tone for a specific social media platform involves considering several factors, such as the platform’s audience, purpose, and culture. Here are some steps you can take to determine your brand voice and tone for a specific social media platform:
- Identify Your Target Audience – Who are you trying to reach with your social media content? Consider factors such as age, gender, values, and interests.
- Define Your Brand Personality – What is your brand’s character, and how do you want it to be perceived by your target audience? Define your brand’s values, mission, and vision.
- Research the Social Media Platform – Every social media platform has its own unique culture, rules, and norms. Research the platform to understand its audience and the types of content that perform well.
- Analyze Your Competitors – Take a good look at what your competitors are doing on the platform, and identify gaps in the market that you can fill with your brand voice and tone.
- Develop Your Brand Voice and Tone – Based on your research, define your brand voice and tone for the specific social media platform. Consider factors such as language, tone, style, and visuals.
- Test and Adjust – Monitor performance of your social media content and adjust your brand voice and tone as needed to optimize engagement and reach.
Determining your brand voice and tone for a specific social media platform requires careful consideration of your target audience, brand personality, platform culture, and performance metrics. By taking these steps, you can forge a strong brand presence that will resonate with your target audience and drive engagement.
Conduct Competitor Research When Possible
Conducting competitor research on social media is important for several reasons:
- Understand Your Industry Landscape – By conducting competitor research, you can gain a better understanding of your industry landscape on social media. This can help you identify trends, key players, and potential opportunities or threats.
- Identify Strengths and Weaknesses – Analyzing the social media presence of your competitors can help you identify their weaknesses and strengths. This information can help you develop strategies to differentiate your brand and improve your own social media performance.
- Improve Content Strategy – By analyzing your competitors’ social media content, you can gain important insights into the types of content that resonate with your target audience. This can help you refine your content strategy and create more engaging and effective social media content.
- Optimize Ad Spend – Competitor research can also help you optimize your ad spending on social media. By analyzing your competitors’ ad campaigns, you can identify what works and what doesn’t and adjust your ad targeting and creative use accordingly.
- Monitor Customer Sentiment – By monitoring your competitors’ social media conversations and customer feedback, you can gain insights into customer sentiment towards your brand and industry. This can help you improve your customer experience and reputation management strategies.
Conducting competitor research on social media is a valuable practice that can help you gain insights into your industry, identify opportunities and threats, and improve your social media performance. By leveraging these insights, you can create a stronger social media presence and drive better business results.
Establish What Resources That Are Needed
As social media becomes more video- and image-focused, you may need new team members or resources. You should think carefully about this. Will you need someone to research and license images? Will you need someone to edit videos? Will you need someone to write scripts or copy? Will you need a spokesperson or “face” of your brand?
Most social media sites accept images, and images can be a powerful way to get a message across. But images can also be cumbersome and painstaking to work with. Just finding the right photo for every occasion can be time-consuming. Every photo has rights associated with it, and you certainly can’t use just any photo you’d like for whatever purpose you’d like. Photo research and licensing are genuine professional tasks and jobs.
If you want to use videos — whether original or not — you may need someone to edit them regularly. Editing can mean more than just splicing scenes; it can also include resizing and compressing video to meet the bandwidth and formatting requirements of the social media platform.
Video or even audio that includes voices may necessitate written scripts. Likewise, copy for social media posts may also need to be written, so you may want to consider hiring or otherwise employing a writer and/or even a content strategist.
It pays to plan in advance and allocate resources (personnel and otherwise) before you find yourself strapped or overloaded.
Make It Count
As you can see, launching your brand on a new social media platform is not something you should consider attempting overnight. Careful analysis, planning, and execution will enable you to succeed on a new platform without needing to go broke or work weekends. The more data you collect, the more carefully you strategize, and the more cannily you execute your planned steps, the more you’ll see fruits of your labors.