5 Questions for Business Owners to Ask Before Posting to Social Media

5 Questions for Business Owners to Ask Before Posting to #SocialMedia

If everything in business came with instructions, perhaps anyone and everyone would be successful. But for new small business owners who plan to use social media to grow their consumer base, it isn't as simple as it is for the everyday user. Much like how you run your business, you have to have a game plan before jumping into the crazy world of social media marketing.

As a business owner, you should have the answers to at least these five questions before you even posting, tweeting, or uploading information onto a social media platform:

1. Who Am I and What Is My Brand?

Establishing what your brand is and its components is first and foremost. A brand is your company's distinguishing claim and how its customers perceive it. Branding is making a statement about your company that is important and interesting to your customers, and which sets it apart from your competitors. Represent your brand in every post you make by considering who you are and what your company is all about. It will create familiarity, unity, and loyalty among your employees as well as your customers.

2. Who and Where Are My Customers?

Knowing the type of customer you're targeting will go a long way in how you word and present information on social media. In fact, it may also impact what social media platforms to pay attention to more. A lot of research can be found on the Internet, as far as trends and consumer behavior goes. But to ring in the local consumers, it's best to plug into your surrounding communities, either by joining the local chamber of commerce, getting involved with local economic, civic, or sports clubs, or by sponsoring local events. By getting to know the locals, you can "talk their talk" and target areas of high interest to relate it with your product(s) and brand. Customer behavior and trends are ever-changing so the question of knowing who your customers are is something you'll need to ask frequently.

Take a look at the infographic below, courtesy of Mainstreethost, to learn more where your business fits into the social media world.

Click on image to view a large version.
#SocialMedia: One Size Does Not Fit All - #infographic #marketing

3. What Are My Goals for Using Social Media?

For some businesses, the goal of using social media is simple: get the word out there about your brand and products. But going deeper and setting up more detailed goals and strategies will help your business achieve better results. For example, many businesses are setting up Twitter accounts to help with customer service, which ultimately can improve customer relations. Social media is becoming the best way for customers to get quick feedback about a question, complaint, or concern. Another goal is pull in new consumers by entertaining them. Companies like LifeLock use Facebook as a means to not only advertise its products, but to entertain and teach followers on Facebook with content that relates to its brand and product. This tactic, which includes blogs, is fairly popular nowadays and is a great way of reeling more consumers in.

4. What Should I Be Posting?

For the best results, avoid posting the same exact information among the social media platforms you use. Rewording a post even a little (albeit with the same meaning) can keep things fresh on all your social media platforms. Be fun, be charismatic, but don't be boring or spiteful. It is important to show integrity as well as personality. One more important tip is to always ask yourself if what you're posting is really compelling to your audience. If you cannot answer that with a "yes," find a way to make what you want to post relevant. Maybe include a photo, a customer's quote, or an interesting fact about yourself or the company. However you present it, make it worthy of reading.

Take a peek at this infographic, created by mainstreethost, for more information on what and when to post your content on 9 important social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Vine and Tumblr).

Click image to enlarge+.
What to post and when to post your content on 9 important #socialmedia sites - #Infographic #marketing

5. How Do I Keep Track of My Volume/Frequency of Social Media Accounts?

If you're very new to the social media game, start off with one platform, like Facebook. As your company grows and as you grow more comfortable with the use of social media, you can then add more platforms. One rule of thumb is to post content an hour apart. You want to keep your audience engaged, not overload them. As far as keeping track of all of your business' accounts and posts, there are a few effective ways:
  1. Assign one or two employees the duties of monitoring and posting information daily. This way there's little chance of missed opportunities or duplication of information.
  2. Create a list of rules about what to post, how to post, and how often to post.
  3. Lastly, hire a social media manager who is experienced in this type of marketing, and will handle all of the responsibilities. Though it may cost more money to create a new position, the investment may be worth it as this person stays focused on your social media marketing goals.
[Top image via Shutterstock.]
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