Your business needs social media!

digital marketingA new report from a leading design and print agency has revealed that almost a third of all UK businesses are yet to develop a social media strategy. The report released this month suggests that although many businesses are using social media, a third don’t have a plan in place.

Catalogues 4 Business questioned over 100 companies across the UK and found that 67% of businesses claim to be using social media which is an increase from just over half in 2012.

Social media has become the second most popular tool for marketing amongst businesses, utilising a range of channels including photo-based platforms like Pinterest as well as Twitter and Facebook.

Shockingly, the survey also revealed that 39% of businesses’ websites are not designed to work on mobile devices and the same percentage was not focused on SEO. Both of these factors are key to ensuring your business succeeds and makes its way towards the top position in your industry.

Using social media is just the beginning, to find success you need to have a measurable strategy in place. UK companies are only just getting their heads around the fact that digital marketing requires as much detail and planning and is as important as traditional marketing methods.

Different people will tell you different things about how to plan your social media strategy but we’ve put together six steps to a social media strategy that successful digital marketing UK companies can benefit from.

Know Where You’re Going

Begin with the basics – outline your goals and objectives. Social media is about engagement and you need to break down your goals within this area. Remember keep it SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Research

You cannot underestimate the importance of research to your social media strategy. Before you even send a single tweet or pin a single image, test the waters a little. Create a list of social media sites which will work for your organisation and your customers.

Build a Digital Address Book

Subscribing to blogs in your industry and creating a digital address book of contacts and influencers who play a key role in your industry is essential. Keeping a digital address book will give you a great starting point when creating your own content and gives you something to share across your social media channels to engage influencers and audience members alike.

Join the Conversation

Once you’ve identified the areas and audience you plan to target then you can begin to engage. Join the conversation by posting blog comments, answering any questions your followers may have and joining groups which are relevant to your industry. The more business focused chat you can fit in, the better.

Measure Results

You set your goals, you began your strategy and now you need to measure the success of it. You need to set goals you can measure, perhaps whether tweets are resulting in actual traffic to your website or whether visits to your site are being converted into genuine sales. You need to ensure ROI on your social media otherwise your strategy isn’t working.

Build on your Findings

Your social media strategy can’t be left to stagnate. Once you’ve analysed and measured the results you need to tweak the strategy to ensure improvement and development each time.

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