Social media is about two-way communication and nowadays consumers want to engage with brands and organisations. The whole purchase decision making process has changed! Consumers search on the internet and social media to discover products, find out more information as well as seek advice from friends, peers or ‘experts’. They look for the ‘digital footprint’ of a company and all this information is how they make decisions on what they purchase. If a business doesn’t have a digital footprint, then that business is 2 steps behind (maybe even more).
What is a digital footprint?
A digital footprint is anything that showcases a business online. It is a website, social media, and reviews and recommendations on a business. Therefore, a business needs to start working on having a consistent digital footprint. They need to pay attention to what is being said about them and all communication needs to be consistent and all tactics need to match and be tied in with the business’ vision.
To be truly successful in this space, businesses need to stop thinking that it’s too risky or that a Facebook page that pushes out promotions is all they need. Consumers will just ignore those pages! Whether we like it or not, communication now for businesses is all about engagement and community building.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
People are on social media: 15 million Australians are actively on Facebook, over 14 million on YouTube while 5 million are on Instagram and that number is rising. Social media is where consumers are! They are consuming messages throughout the day, so if a business is not on social media, they are missing out. However, businesses need to know why they are going into digital or social media so they can truly engage. All businesses, whether small, medium or large need to have a workable agile plan. So ask yourself:
- What are your objectives – business and social media?
- Who is your target market/audience?
- What social media channels does your target market/audience use?
- What tone or voice do you want to use in each social media channel?
- How often will you post?
- Who creates the content to post and who posts that content?
- How will you handle different types of social posts regarding your brand – whether they’re positive or negative?
- Who and how will monitor your social media?
You have the start of your social media plan if you answer those questions. Make sure it ties in with your other communication strategies and tactics and your business will have a great chance of achieving in this space. So don’t set yourself up to fail. Start planning your digital activities, including your social media, use the right social media platform for your audience and think of ways you can engage with your community.