Five Tips for your Social Media Strategy

You can create a profile in no time, and most tools are free: That is why more and more companies have their own profiles in the social web – and wonder why they have so few likes and followers. To prevent that happening to you, we want to give you five tips for developing a long-term social media strategy.

Our social media guide is a good way for you to get started in the interactive Internet. Now you need clear goals (what do we want to achieve?) for your company profiles on the relevant platforms, lots of relevant content (what can we tell our followers every day?) and lots and lots of patience (trial and error is inevitable). If all you want is to be present, you are wasting your time and money.

1. Think long term

Companies generally already have a community of customers, employees and suppliers. In social media, they are only mapped digitally and linked to one another. So think about what you want to achieve by getting involved in Web 2.0: Is our target group active in social networks? (This question is still worth asking, even though Facebook’s user figures are skyrocketing). If so, what value can we add for them online? And: Do we have copy editors and social media experts who can interact with users on this channel in the long term?

2. Choose the right platform

Without a doubt,  it was Twitter, Facebook, the German VZ networks and Xing that made Web 2.0 popular. However, that doesn’t mean that every one of these platforms is suitable for your strategy. Find out which of the many special interest sites, blogs and forums your target group uses.

3. Join the dialog

Once you have chosen one or more platforms, draw up a kind of editorial schedule with the topics that could interest your followers. For example, answer important questions on your products, share news from your industry or offer exclusive content – such as interviews with experts. Recurring headings are also often successful (“Question of the week,” “Follower of the month”). Before you post EVERY article, ask yourself: Is my community really interested in this? Join a dialog by listening and reacting to statements. The social web is like a party: If all you do is talk about yourself, you will bore the other guests to death.

4. Dovetail your media presence

There are tools to help you distribute content online and reach a bigger audience. If you post a news item on your blog, you should automatically link to it on Twitter or your company’s Facebook profile. Also place share, like and retweet buttons on your websites so that users can share your content with friends. Use e-mail signatures, newsletters and your business documents to remind recipients of your company’s profiles in the social networks.

5. Be patient

Social media is trial and error. If the initial response is low, be patient! With a little practice, you will soon know just what your community’s interests are. It is important that you deliver relevant content regularly. If users find that they can learn something from you, or are simply well entertained, your fanbase will grow automatically.

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