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Other channels, like Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, are also heating up the digital airwaves as millions, if not billions of people spend hours perusing their various posts, stories and videos. Even though it took businesses a while to catch on to the phenomenon and even longer to give it a line item in their budget, most leaders will agree that social media is critical to the success of their bottom lines.
Last year, I dedicated time and resources to craft a formal social media strategy, policy and accompanying guidelines. It was clear that my company had brand champions: influencers who could tell a compelling story to potential customers and future team members. They simply needed to be shown how.
Social Media Strategy That Is Rooted In Your Vision
Having firmly established our company’s vision, mission and core values, the first step in developing our social media strategy was to ensure it would be aligned with our culture. In order to become an influencer, each team member had to embrace our vision so they could share news, updates and other information effectively.
Part of your strategic vision for your social media is to determine which platforms are best for your business. For example, if one of your goals is to secure more customers, then a logical step to take would be to determine which social networking service your customers are using. While LinkedIn is the obvious choice for business to business (B2B) interactions, you might be surprised to see that Instagram and Twitter are extremely popular for growing a brand.
Once your social media strategy is established with defined objectives and measurable outcomes and your desired platforms are chosen, the next step is to develop detailed policies that will guide the steps of your future digital brand champions.
Social Media Policy That Tells Your Story
Your social media strategy outlines the goals and objectives of your online presence. Having a clear social media policy will empower your team to become trusted storytellers. The information shared by your team should accomplish these goals:
• Help your audience solve a problem or business challenge
• Improve your followers’ skills or expand their knowledge
• Enhance customer relations
• Build a sense of community
Effective use of social media provides your team with the opportunity to showcase the dedication they have to customers, colleagues and the community. Additionally, it enables them to share your brand’s story while being a thought leader among their peers and the industry.
Social Media Guidelines That Protect Your Brand
A five-star social media strategy and policy will fail miserably if your team is not instructed on the fundamentals of your company’s social networking services, allowable posts and appropriate online behavior. Don’t fall prey to assuming that your entire team knows how to utilize social media simply due to its popularity. This is especially true if you manage a multigenerational workforce.
Also, posting and sharing content that is relevant to your business is not the same as your team’s personal presence on these channels. Guidance and clear direction are needed in order to preserve your brand standards and reputation.
To secure a positive outcome, we invested in social media training workshops for our team — every single team member was invited to these workshops. During the hands-on workshop, we ensured their LinkedIn profiles included a professional headshot and we created a company wallpaper that all were encouraged to use. We also supported our team members with updating their work experience (both past and present). Starting with this “clean slate” for our future brand ambassadors would help us to present a consistent story to our various followers.
Social Media Participation That Builds Community
The final piece of our social media strategy was to assist our team in knowing what to post and how to post the various news and information items for our organization. It began with the simple tasks of following their colleagues on LinkedIn, liking our company social networking services pages and regularly sharing company posts to their followers. Nothing can dull a conversation like silence, so it’s important to motivate your team to keep it going by consistent participation.
After this initial groundwork was laid, monthly LinkedIn blog posts and employee highlights became the norm. Each successful outcome encouraged us to take things a step further, like doing Facebook Live events for our social impact activities and company celebrations.
We’ve all seen the power of social media. In seconds, your message can be transported around the globe and potentially be viewed by millions. This message, when controlled by an engaged, well-informed and properly guided team, has the capacity to jettison your organization into the stratosphere. Investing in the development of a solid social media strategy, guidelines and policies, along with proper training for your team, will enable you to determine your digital trajectory.
June 4, 2019 at 08:34AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs