Social Media and Business 101: Getting Started

Today, a company can create a Facebook page and potentially reach out to thousands of current and prospective customers. But, it’s not that simple. Once the decision has been made to add social media to a company’s marketing and communication strategy, more than a few factors must be considered.

No matter if the social media presence will include Facebook, Twitter, or others, the company will need to decide:

 What is the budget?
Who will manage the social sites?
What will be posted?
How will success be measured?

At first look, it may appear that a social media presence is free. After all, creating a Facebook or Twitter account requires only an e-mail address. Upon further examination, however, it becomes clear that there are costs associated with developing a successful social media campaign. New content won’t magically appear. Someone has to create and curate content, as well as monitor feedback and social statistics.

While smaller organizations may only need to dedicate one person to the management of their social media sites, any company will need to ensure that designated staff members:

 Engage with followers;
Develop new content; and
Review the social statistics

Content is critical. What good is having a Twitter account if there is nothing to tweet about? The right mix of content can be the difference between a good social strategy and a great one. Fortunately, it’s possible to kickstart content generation by:

Including photos and videos in posts;
Sharing the latest industry news; and
Creating content that teaches more than promotes.

To be sure that your social channel is working, you need to know something about the way it’s being used. Every press release, new product announcement, and blog post shared on social sites should have a unique link that can be tracked. Tracking such things as the origin of a referral, the number of clicks on a specific item, the time the clicks occurred, and the geographic location of visitors can provide real benefits to any organization.


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