Social media is a powerful tool in today’s digital era and allows immediate reach to a vast audience. Social entrepreneurs solving some of the toughest problems can make good use of social media to communicate their story and gather support for their initiatives. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Instagram allow real-time interaction between the companies and the customers. It allows social enterprises to market not just, the enterprise but also generate awareness about their cause. Now the question arises, what is it that makes an enterprise tick on social media? How exactly would a social initiative strategize their digital marketing campaigns?
Here are a few tips how social entrepreneurs can exploit the potential reach, mass appeal and inexpensive nature of social media to market the social enterprise on social media.
1. Deciding on the goals
The first and foremost issue in marketing strategy is deciding what you seek to achieve with your marketing campaign. This decision will serve as a key determinant in formulating all such future decisions. Whether it is simply creating awareness about your brand, increasing credibility or building a customer fan base, it is much better to make a clear outline of what you are looking to achieve. You can follow the S.M.A.R.T strategy to set your goals, making it- (refer to image)
2. Determining the channels to be used
There are a number of social media platforms available for every enterprise to use as per their marketing strategies. For example, Google Plus is a platform which makes it easy to collaborate between customers as well as team members. Facebook basically connects people to their personal contacts and individual interests, whereas Twitter is meant more for following what is latest in news and trending. LinkedIn is more of a platform for direct interactions between various business houses, whereas Instagram is more likely to be used in developing communications and engagements with consumers directly. You can also add a profile of your social enterprise on Impactpreneurs to help impact investors, potential employees and partners understand your company.
3. Choosing what to promote
There are two major aspects of every social enterprise- the organization itself and the cause for which it was formed. Most emerging enterprises focus on promoting their organization instead of the cause. While the former is necessary, it fails to make a personal connect. Social enterprises can share pictures from their field visits and impact stories with their social media followers and gather support for their initiatives. You can also submit us your story as a part of our #seedsofchange campaign and we will publish it on our blog.
4. Developing the content
This is the most important part of the enterprise’s social media marketing strategy. The content must be lucid, clear, effective and useful for the audience.. It is important to use keywords which will land up the content in various search engines, thereby improving the discoverability of the your content. Introducing various tags and categories enhances this very latent ability. Hashtags are very effective in adding structure and organise content around topics. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram all support hashtags, so you should consider adding a couple of them to each of your posts. It is also important to be brief. The optimal word count for a blog is between 500-1000 words and 2-3 sentences for Google+ and Facebook. Finally, be visual! Every post and article should have a picture, video or graphic. Need Inspiration? Check out our story on how Green Sole takes a step towards sustainability by recycling old shoes.
5. Post often
Most companies make the mistake of posting too infrequently . This is often because content creation is inexpensive and time consuming. It takes significant research to write long articles, taking pictures and making videos. For startups producing more than two per week can become difficult. That’s where content curation comes in. It is about finding other people’s relevant content, summarizing it and sharing it. It’s a win-win situation as it drives more traffic to the source and help engage with your audience getting them great content. So go ahead, create or find shareable content and post!
6. Monitoring your traffic
Once all the content is created and starts to get published on various platforms, it is a good idea to regularly monitor and check the traffic being generated. This is vital since it engages audiences which have shown interest in your product, and gives you an idea of what kind of content the audiences are interested to read. Monitoring is crucial to a successful social media strategy so that you know what’s working and what isn’t. There are numerous websites which help you track what source your web traffic is coming from, how many likes, hits and referrals you got, etc etc.
7. Managing a schedule
The scheduling of various social media content in advance is absolutely necessary for a social enterprise. Introducing various social media managers who timeline the content is an interesting thing to consider, especially in the growth stage of your business. It is also vital to know your target audience’s time availabilities, according to which content may be released, thereby ensuring maximum views and hits. It is often recommended to post in mornings when most of the audience is starting the day. But you must run some experiments to find the best time for your posts.
8. Publicity of the product
In the book “The Art of the Start ” by Guy Kawasaki, he emphasize on not just the four P’s of marketing, i.e Product, Price, Promotion, Place; but also the importance of Proselytizing. This means that the company should be able to hire evangelists or people, who would be able to effectively purvey your good or service or cause .
As a conclusion, one may observe that social media is the marketing technique “du-jour”. Its immense potential must be harnessed to the very greatest extent by every organization. Social enterprises must also focus on strategically engaging with audiences and maintaining a high level of interaction on all social media platforms. The importance of social media cannot be under-emphasized in today’s era.
Also read : Marketing at the Bottom of the Pyramid