Social Media by Design


With so many social media sites out there it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your business.

The best way to decide the right sites to become a member of is having a strategic plan in place and defining what your goals are as a business, who your target audience will be, and what you wish to accomplish by joining the site.  In order to make this determination by following these five simple steps will help give definition.

The first step is having an end goal. Having goals are important because it helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel and gives you focus. Let’s say you want everyone to know about your new app that helps users find the best coffee houses in their area. Your goal is to bring coffee drinkers and area coffee shops together and you want to create the app that is free to end users, but allows advertisers to pay you to advertise their coffee shops on your app.

The first step and second step go hand in hand because the second step is defining your target audience. If you go back the example of the coffee app your audience is defined as the following: coffee enthusiasts, business networking groups, movie goers, and homeowners, renters, and local businesses within a 5 mile radius of each coffee shop. Once you have defined your audience then you are able to implement your goals.

Next step is to show people why they should download and use your product or service through showing them how you are different and a must have. Looking at the coffee app, what makes the app a must have is it shows every kind of coffee house in the area and not just the big boxes houses like Starbucks. People want different, they desire a change in scenery, and they want to experience a place with lots of ambiance and gives them reason to drink coffee at a place rather than brewing a cup at home.

Consider all the technology that is available to distribute your message and decide which is best for your business to help you hit your goals. For instance, if you are a retail store you want to be able to offer QR codes to help consumers price match, download coupons, comparison shop, and located the closest location nearest them. Offer product reviews, provide news to inform consumers to help them make the decision to buy right away, and most importantly, you want to keep yourself in front of your audience so when they are ready to make a purchase they have you in mind.

Once you have completed the prior four steps the last most important part of social media market planning is obtaining feedback from your audience.  You can have a great idea, have your target(s) defined, have all the marketing tools available, but if you are not listening to what people are buzzing about your company, products, or services than you are wasting valuable time and money. Feedback can be a scary thought because it is not always positive and let’s face it, nobody likes bad publicity. Consider Domino’s Pizza, they run television commercials discussing negative reviews their customers have issued and show how they have corrected the problems. They own their mistakes, but show they care enough to correct them. So listen to your audience, because the most valuable asset you have is your audience.

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