How to position yourself on social media and how to stand out from the competition when you are a small structure or when you start from scratch? Most leaders support the implementation of a social media strategy or the creation of social profiles. However, it is often difficult for them to take the plunge, for lack of resources, time or knowledge on the subject. Any business can take advantage of social media, from a few simple rules…
1. Identify your targets and objectives
It is essential to clearly identify your targets and define your objectives, because social media is not an end in itself, but tools at the service of a digital strategy. There is no point in being everywhere except wasting your time and energy. Rather, it is a matter of focusing on the levers relevant to your activity and expressing yourself in legitimate territories (brand expression framework).
First define your objective: increase your notoriety, develop your visibility, recruit, prospect, sell …? The tools will prevail accordingly. What are your positioning, your values and your brand identity? Where to find your target on the web? How to capture qualified traffic? The choice of media will depend on the answers to all of these questions. Once this reflection has been carried out, you will be able to focus on the following steps to develop your online visibility, build communities, engage and retain loyally.
2. Choose your social media
Professionals most often refer to Facebook when it comes to social media. However, if the platform continues to be on the top of the podium, in practice, the fact remains that its adoption by professionals is not necessarily the most judicious solution. Facebook is a community network based more on affect, emotion and sharing. Is it the most relevant tool in BtoB? Not necessarily.
All dimensions of the business must be considered to select the right channels a priori : BtoB or BtoC activity, sector of activity, target population (age group, gender, lifestyle, appetite for technology, etc.). Ideal tool in BtoB, LinkedIn will allow you to convey personal or brand values, promote an image, exchange, prospect and expand your network or even recruit talents. The Twitter media is ideal for talking about your activity, obtaining information, keeping watch or detecting influencers.
Avoid spreading yourself out if you have neither the time nor the resources, because you risk degrading your image more than enhancing it. Creating a Facebook page so as not to animate it afterwards is a waste of time. Do you manufacture or sell decorative items? Pinterest and Facebook will help you glorify your products and create proximity with your audience. Take advantage of the impact of images (widely shared on networks) to increase your popularity and generate conversions. Note that Instagram and Pinterest (image networks) are ramping up in the social media galaxy and therefore increase your chances of reaching your audience. Certain sectors such as catering or tourism will benefit from turning to social media based on geolocation.
3. Define your social profile
Perhaps you are personally active on Facebook and like to post a new profile photo every day? The same is not true for a business page. Remember that it counts as an asset in your professional digital identity and that it is the basis of your e-reputation. So it’s not about mixing genres, being wacky or inconsistent.
On each medium, determine the same cover image and the same profile image (formats specific to each platform) and occasionally modify the cover image during events or special operations (sales, participation in a trade show, presence at a forum…). Fill in the details of your activity: address, telephone, website, etc.
Trick : on your Facebook page, you can integrate a Twitter tab for an instant overview of your news feed on the platform. You can also insert YouTube videos which will be directly viewable from the Facebook timeline. Then strive to respect an editorial line and regularity of content.
4. Build communities from real communities
You never start from scratch when you create your social accounts: customers, partners and employees are all potential fans and subscribers on the networks. Let them know, during meetings or meetings, on the phone or in your letters, that you are now on the web! Find them on the web and invite them to join your groups and pages!
Bit by bit, your circles will widen: the members of your primary communities, by interacting with you on the web, will distribute your profiles / pages and posts to their own communities and so on… Snowball effect , virality operates as a lever for growth.
5. Identify communities
Expanding your communities will then lead you to identifying opportunities and diversifying your contacts. Some tools will be useful for detecting influencers and professionals, verifying trends in trades and markets. For example, the Followerwonk web tool compares Twitter users and allows them to cross their respective subscriptions to reveal contact opportunities (large accounts, influencers).
Social media groups are great opportunities to connect with qualified contacts, they make it possible to detect opinion leaders on a given theme. Meet industries in a LinkedIn group dedicated to SMEs and you may be surprised to discover so much wealth and business opportunities there. On Facebook, a travel agency can, in the same way, join groups of globetrotters or enthusiasts: by participating in the social debate, this one will naturally be able to fit into its new community and generate natural support.
6. Monitor, prospect, recruit, share content
Whichever social platform you speak on, try to be consistent, relevant, interesting or entertaining. Exchange useful information, share your watch, give your opinion in the discussion groups… just like in real life!
Do not overwhelm your audience either: on Facebook, 3 to 5 posts per day will be enough. Promotional ads within your networks are also to be avoided. Your subscribers or fans will appreciate you more if you know how to inform, advise or amuse them. You will naturally attract them.
You also have the possibility of broadcasting sponsored announcements on the various platforms: by putting your hand in the wallet, you will be able to widen your visibility, reach more easily and more precisely your prospects. There are many advertising formats in the form of text, image or video.
Note in particular that it is possible for you, thanks to the retargeting technique, to target your e-mail contacts on certain platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) even when these are not part of your social communities.
7. Evaluate your KPIs (key performance indicators) and take action
What is the value of a social media presence without measuring its impact? Evaluating the evolution of your audience (number of fans, followers, subscribers, etc.) and its engagement (site traffic, conversions, sales) will help you measure the benefit of your actions, make adjustments and optimizations. Finally, switch from virtual to real by personally contacting your social communities and inviting them to your offices. You will truly reap the fruits of your efforts!