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Is social media relevant for my business?

Absolutely. A recent study showed that roughly 81% of small businesses use social media. Social media provide the opportunity to cross international borders; market your brand to the world; and engage in dialogue with customers, employees and shareholders, as well as journalists, other businesses, and audiences you haven’t even thought of.

What do I say?

It depends. The general rule is to “give” to your followers. Give them information about your company’s latest achievements or services, as well as industry information that may resonate with their interests. Entertain, ask questions, and generate buzz about new products, current events or legislation relevant to your brand. If your audience engages with a comment, make sure you respond within 24-48 hours max. Two-way communication is how relationships are built and your brand gets shared.

How often do I use it?

Any time. You want to avoid overkill, but you also don’t want to let opportunities to engage pass through your fingers. This is where strategy, forethought and planning come into play. When it comes to messaging about your own brand, an easy strategy (“easy” is relative; social media takes WORK) is to create an editorial calendar, write down a backlog of topics and ideas, and then refine the actual message when it is time to post. In the meantime, keep your eye out for opportunities to share other news that your readers might find interesting.

Which platforms/networks do I need?

That depends. You can join any social media network and cause a stir, but it is better if you focus on the ones that are going to make waves. If you spread yourself too thin, you lose punch. An oil and gas company, for example, might not reach its target audience using Instagram. A company with cool new products, however, stands to gain from a visual following.

Should social media replace other marketing campaigns?

No. The great thing about social media is that it complements existing marketing strategies. Traditional marketing such as email, direct mail, promotions and word-of-mouth still have a powerful place. By enhancing those efforts with social media you have a well-rounded strategy.

I have more questions and need help. Where do I go from here?

You’re already there. Start with us! NetworkNewsWire has a whole team of professionals dedicated to helping clients with their social media campaigns.