If you are interested in bringing your non-profit or business into the world of social media, then you already know that social media is an exciting and new avenue of advertising your presence on the internet. You know that social media can offer so much more than just another way to advertise…. and you may not know exactly how to do this. Also, you may not have the time, energy, tools, resources or training to sort through the seemingly endless options available.
Social media provides the 0pportunity to create and execute an overall communications strategy that can engender long-term customer loyalty, streamline customer service, and increase sales. A qualified social media manager can help you create and execute your strategy, nurture your brand affinity, and create lasting customer relationships.
- Create your strategy. What are your goals? Do you want to focus primarily on capturing leads or the long-term building of your brand and reputation? A social media manager can help you zero in on your objectives and recommend the platforms that will best suit your needs. Determine if you will personally be “listening”, responding, writing, and engaging online or if you plan to empower your social media manager to do this on your behalf. Either way, you will scope out the tone and style of the online “you”.
- Execute your strategy. Once you’ve determined the platforms that best suit your business needs, you will create your online identities. A few examples include: signing up for Twitter and building a following, creating a Facebook page and/or company page on LinkedIn, or starting a blog… Your social media manager can set up these online identities and link them together for you. Some examples might include, setting up your twitter status to automatically update your Facebook status; signing up for Twitterfeed and linking your blog to it. Your social media manager can also join groups and networks related to your business and begin contributing content and connecting with others on your behalf.
- Nurture brand affinity and customer relationships. Your online identities are established and linked, you’ve joined groups and networks, and have followers and other connections – now what? The key to ongoing success is participating routinely to maintain relevance, listening, and being responsive.
A social media manager can work with you to engage on a consistent basis. Engagement may include posting blogs, tweets, and other comments regularly—being a brand evangelist—and it also includes listening to what’s being said about your company and responding to customer inquiries and comments. If someone has taken the time to write something about your product or service, taking the time to write back will enhance your company’s reputation. A social media manager who really understands your product and your business can be invaluable in deepening these affinities and this helps reduce other customer service costs.
Are you ready to get your feet wet? With the right social media strategy, your social media presence can quickly become a greater return on investment than your offline strategies. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. The right social media manager can help you “stop selling” and “start building relationships and helping people buy”.