Us human folk currently spend as much time online per year as it would take the average reader to read 200 books. That’s an incredible average of 10 million words or roughly 417 hours if you read 400 words per minute!

The reality is with the number of social media tools and channels growing all the time, keeping up with the latest or “must-have” social media tools and channels is practically impossible if you run a business or manage a team.

So how do you get your message out there without getting overwhelmed?

The best starting point for me is finding out where your ideal customers are or the people most likely to use your service or product.

A good way to do this is by way of what we call social media listening i.e. going online to find out (search) what’s being said about your company, your competitors and other topics of interest such as problems your ideal customer might want solved.

There are a range of tools to do this, but a hashtag or keyword search via a search engine will do to get you started quickly.

Once you’ve identified what people are saying about your product or service (good and bad) it’s time to look at the channels they are using.

Is it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. for example? When are people talking about you? What types of things are the looking for or concerned about?

This intelligence is vital in determining your approach i.e. where you are going to spend your time or budget if you only have four hours a week say to do this.

Then look at what’s interesting or different about your product or service.

Is there something you can share that’s educational or entertaining for example? Interesting content encourages your ideal customers or those who have a lot of online followers (known as influencers) to comment or share your content thereby increasing the amount of people who get to hear about you or see your stuff (we call this engagement or reach).

After you’ve worked out how to make your content “sticky” (as per the abovementioned example), it’s time to plan.

A weekly or monthly content plan means you get to rehearse what you want to talk about and of course it means you have more time to pick up and correct any pesky spelling mistakes.

It also means you don’t physically have to sit there and put the tweets or blog post or whatever out “live” every time as there are a number of tools such as Hootsuite you can use to schedule your content on for a number of channels in advance.

Very importantly, remember that what you are trying to do with social media is to keep your fans, followers, influencers, etc. talking about your product or service or event thereby maximising the amount of times your ideal customer sees or hears about you.

Why? The reality is there are different types of buying cycles, some ranging from impulse buys such as shoes to considered purchases such as a car.

You are trying to ensure through all your marketing communications (and this includes things like media relations, your website, events, etc.) that you stay top of mind for those customers so that they choose you instead of your competitors when it comes to buying a product or choosing a service.

Lastly, measure and refine. You have to plan to be effective in business and so too should you be with social media.

But remember to look at what’s working or not and change it or do more of the same.

M and M Communications offers a free 20 minute telephone or online consultation to all Zokit members, so if you want to know more or need assistance, get in touch.