Launching a Social Media Campaign & Engaging in Online Activities

Dear M & M:

Any best practices or tips regarding launching a social media campaign or engaging in online activities?

-Jackson

Dear Jackson:

The internet is becoming more and more a place where businesses have to spend some time understanding how to integrate their companies to engage consumers to find out what the customer wants while they are providing interesting information about their products and services to have potential customers seek them out.

Most importantly every business has to pay attention to what is being said about their companies online and respond appropriately to problems or unhappy customers. As in anything one needs to develop some strategies before you send your first post. Set some policies or rules.

What is your company’s process for handling complaints, who in your company is responsible for ownership of your campaigns or posts and who in your organization has read-only or limited permissions? What is the message or corporate culture do you want to reveal online? Make sure the best person in your company that can best answer or respond has the ability to do so.

Most importantly set the tone so everyone in your company understands what direction you want them to go. Rules and guidelines on what can and cannot be said are important. Remember to set goals and guidelines. Are you looking for leads, sales, or sign-ups? How are you going to respond to negative feedback or posts by others posting online or telling others about a bad experience with your organization?

Now that you have set some guidelines it is time to start listening.  There are hundreds of places to listen and many more messages sent then you will ever be able to follow. Go to any review sites and see what is being said about them (Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter etc.) Search brand names, your company name, product names, competitor’s names, past marketing campaigns use key words relevant to your organization.

Sifting through all the messages and finding ones that are relevant to you will be task at hand.  There are tools like HootSuite that can help you monitor your profiles or accounts. As you engage customers and they have good experiences with your company direct them to some of these sites and ask if they can post a review for your company or tell about a good experience they had with your product, company or service.

Keep your messages short, simple, ask for likes, use pictures and videos. Monitor what is happening?  What time of day do you get the most responses? What does your audience like the most? Is there a day of the week people seem to respond more frequently?  Remember be interesting, genuine and honest. Know your audience, respond to problems quickly, solve problems do not create more.

According to HubSpot, “92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites.” Digital Incites reports, “Social is now the top internet activity. Americans spend an average of 37 minutes a day on social media, a higher time spent on any other major internet activity, including email.”

-M&M 

To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org

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